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Barrier-Free Library: Coming Out About Hearing Loss

May 13, 2013

Program Locations:

Mid-Manhattan Library, The Corner Room
For all ages

How does hearing loss impact your professional and personal life? Katherine Bouton, Richard Einhorn and Jay Alan Zimmerman share personal stories of losing their hearing, gradually or suddenly, and offer strategies for overcoming the stigma.

Katherine Bouton will read a section from her new book, Shouting Won’t Help: Why I – and 50 Million Other Americans – Can’t Hear You. Her focus will be on the onset of hearing loss, how it affects one’s personal and professional life, and how to make the best of it.

Richard Einhorn will talk about how the person with hearing loss can use existing technology to improve the ability to distinguish speech from noise, as well as the need for over-the-counter hearing aids and the government regulations that currently prevent their development and sale.

Jay Alan Zimmerman will give a multimedia presentation about the future of technology, dazzling innovations that will allow for wireless captioning as well as visualization of music.


About the Presenters:

Richard Einhorn is a composer and former classical music producer. In 2010, he experienced a sudden, serious hearing loss. His innovative use of smartphone and other hearing technology has been featured in articles in The New York Times and elsewhere. He continues to compose. The National Cathedral of Washington recently commissioned a new choral piece for the 2013 Christmas season concerts. His Voices of Light, inspired by the classic silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc, has been performed by many major symphony orchestras. Richard lives in New York with his wife, journalist Amy Singer, and their daughter Miranda.

Jay Alan Zimmerman is a composer, author, and multimedia installation artist. Theatrical works include his award-winning Incredibly Deaf Musical (The Duke on 42nd Street), A Royal Soap Opera (The Clurman), and song cycle Punctuated Thoughts—originally directed by Broadway legend Tom O’Horgan.  Visual music installations include Window Music  (New York Academy of Medicine), Art/Song (chashama Times Square), and Roboticus symphony—created during residency with Lemurmusical robots. He scored the dance films, The Last Leaf (Best Score—First Run Festival) and Do Not Call It Fixity (Pompidou Centre, Paris), and the London-produced plays Booth and Our Brutus.  Now profoundly deaf, he grew up playing piano, saxophone, oboe.  He lives in New York City with his wife, the abstract painter Lisa Ingram, and son Zachary.

Katherine Bouton is a former editor at The New York Times. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and Book Review. She is a regular contributor toScience Times. Her book Shouting Won’t Help, has led to many interviews about the largely unrecognized scope of hearing loss in America, as well as about the stigma that often prevents people from acknowledging it and seeking treatment. She is an advocate for noise awareness and for equal access to all public forms of information and entertainment, through captioning and other technologies.

There will be real-time CART captioning available at this program, and a portable induction loop will be installed to enhance sound for those with T-coil-equipped hearing aids.