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Ask MNCDHH: Addressing Barriers Experienced in an Over 55 Building

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3/14/2018 10:31:41 AM

A squirrel perches on a tree branch. Green leaves and more branches cover the background.

How can those living in an over 55 building become more accepting of hearing and vision loss? Some living therein have such losses but not all. Amplification (microphone) is available for gatherings but some have a reluctance and even refusal to use the mic. Money is available for proper lighting. Some are reluctant and even want to refuse to spend the money.

This seems like a great opportunity to share information about age-related hearing loss (ARHL) with individuals and organizations who simply do not understand the barriers you are experiencing and why it is important to remove those barriers so that you can remain fully engaged in your community.

Here are a few ideas to get you and others started:

  • Contact the Minnesota Department of Human Services Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD) to get the individual support you need, which includes learning about communication strategies and technology that may improve communication, and find out more about possible training opportunities on age-related hearing loss. Call 651-431-5940 to be directed to the regional office near you or send an email to
  • Encourage home care workers to participate in online training modules on ARHL as a part of their continuing education requirements.
  • Host a viewing party to watch the Hearing Loss Matters documentary film. Invite your friends, family members, other residents, staff, etc.. After the film, have a conversation about age-related hearing loss. 
  • Visit the Hearing Loss Matters website that MNCDHH created for individuals who need information about ARHL. This site has information on where individuals can get help, information for health providers, and information for policy advocates. 

Is this answer helpful? If you have more questions, please email

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