FDA moves to make over-the-counter hearing aids available to millions

By Eugene Scott and Katie Shepherd: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday moved to make hearing aids cheaper and easier to buy over the counter without a prescription or medical exam — a long-awaited goal for nearly 30 million consumers.

“As early as mid-October, Americans will be able to purchase more affordable hearing aids over the counter at pharmacies and stores across the country,” President Biden said in a statement Tuesday. “This action makes good on my commitment to lower costs for American families, delivering nearly $3,000 in savings to American families for a pair of hearing aids and giving people more choices to improve their health and well-being.”

The president called on the FDA to make hearing aids available over the counter last year in his Promoting Competition in the American Economy executive order to lower costs and increase competition in certain industries.

The new regulations will create a new category of hearing aids that supersede state-level regulations requiring patients to visit physiciansor audiologists to get prescriptions and fittings. The devices will be available for individuals 18 and older with mild to moderate hearing loss at pharmacies, stores and online.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a co-sponsor of the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act, praised the decision on Twitter and credited Biden with moving the issue forward after it stalled at FDA.

“It took years of hard work, but I’m glad that millions of Americans — many of whom aren’t using hearing aids because they are too expensive — will soon be able to buy safe & affordable hearing aids over the counter,” she tweeted. “This is what it looks like when government works for working people.”

What I Learned in Therapy About Medical Trauma

By Shannon Adams: For Complete Post, Click Here…

I have always prided myself on my resilience. I have been through awful hospital stays, invasive tests, disease flare ups, medication changes and more, yet I have always bounced back. I was one of those people who couldn’t be broken. That all changed after my latest hospital stay for E. coli. I don’t know why, but that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

After coming home from the hospital, I began having panic attacks and crying all the time. I felt like I couldn’t find my way back to myself. Any slight twinge of nausea (which tends to happen pretty often when you have Crohn’s Disease and gastroparesis) would send me into panic. Worst of all, I felt like I wasn’t there for my daughter. My smart, beautiful, loving daughter needed her mom and I could barely get through a day without having panic attacks. I thought the support of my family and friends would get me through like it always had before, but this time it wasn’t enough. This time was different.

I could see how hard it was for my husband when I shut him out, but I couldn’t find a way to let him back in. He wanted to help me, but I didn’t know how to accept his help. Eventually, he found a therapist for me and asked me to try it out. I was convinced they wouldn’t be able to help me, but I tried it anyway. I told myself that I could go at least one time for him. It turns out, the hype is all true. Therapy can be incredibly helpful if you find the right therapist.

Mostly I just cried for the first several sessions, but then I noticed something. I saw a glimpse of the old me. At first, I would go for a few minutes without being consumed by panic. Then slowly it became hours, which turned into days.

Apple’s entry-level 10.2-inch iPad with Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support, starting at $329.

By MacRumors Staff: For Complete Post, Click Here…

What’s Next for the Low-Cost iPad

A refreshed 10th-generation iPad is rumored to be coming before the end of 2022, and it will include some notable upgrades. Apple is rumored to be adding a USB-C port, swapping over from Lightning, and it is expected to feature a larger 10.5-inch display, up from the current 10.2-inch display.

The iPad will include an upgraded A14 Bionic chip and 5G connectivity to allow iPad users to connect to faster 5G networks, and there could be some design updates to bring it in line with the iPad mini 6. The upcoming iPad could feature a flat-edged design while continuing to retain the Home button and thicker top and bottom bezels.

DigiTimes said in August that the 10th-generation iPad is in production and will launch in September alongside new iPhone models. Other sources have suggested an October launch date at a dedicated iPad and Mac event.

Apple is also rumored to be working on a new 14.1-inch iPad, which could be a low-cost model, according to display analyst Ross Young. The display is not expected to feature mini-LED or ProMotion, but it would be odd for Apple to make its largest iPad a low-cost model, so take this information with a grain of salt until we know more.

New website to support accessible film screenings for deaf and blind audiences launches in the UK

by Jake Godfrey: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-We need this…

A new website for the UK, which is the first of its kind, aims to make cinema accessible to all.

Sidecard is a searchable database, which records details relating to film access materials, such as subtitle and audio description files.

The site is intended to improve and promote accessibility, encourage learning and resource sharing across cinemas, film festivals and the wider film exhibition sector. Around twelve million people (one in 5) in the UK are deaf or living with a hearing loss (RNID, 2022) with over 80% saying they would attend cinema regularly if a nearby cinema had captioned shows at convenient times (Inclusive Cinema, 2022). The project is supported by BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN), awarding funds from the National Lottery.

Sidecard is named after the separate “sidecar” files that are created to make screenings and home viewing accessible to deaf and blind audiences. No such files will be hosted on the site, but their details will be logged – who made them, who commissioned them, against what version of what particular film – and contact details provided, so that whoever might want to make further use of them can request the materials and permission to use them.

The website, which is a joint project of Matchbox Cine, BFI FAN’s Inclusive CinemaFilm Hub WalesFilm Hub Scotland and Independent Cinema Office, will invite users to upload details of subtitle and audio description files made to support accessible screenings and disc releases. Sidecard will also host glossaries and tailored guides to support distributors, exhibitors and film-makers to learn practically about making films more accessible. The website launches with more than 1000 access files listed already.

Best Hotel Chain: Home2 Suites

By Sylvia Longmire: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Best of’ Series is a web-first series highlighting the places that offer truly memorable wheelchair accessible experiences across the country — and occasionally internationally. To catch the latest installments, opens in a new windowsign up for our newsletter.

Since I started traveling as a full-time wheelchair user in 2015, I have stayed in hundreds of hotel rooms across dozens of countries and states. If I’m traveling domestically, I never know what I’m going to get when I roll through that hotel room door, other than the 99.9% chance I will come across at least one ADA violation.

The biggest problem when it comes to consistency across wheelchair-accessible rooms in the United States is that at least 90% of hotels are franchises. That means that the parent corporation, like Marriott, IHG, Hilton, etc., only dictates some things that must be standardized across the brand, like logos and some interior decorating touches. Construction companies, interior design companies, layouts and standards vary widely across the same brand. You could stay in 20 different hotels of the same brand that look nothing alike and have varying levels of accessibility.

The major hotel corporations are always looking to innovate and come up with different brands that meet different traveler needs. The Home2 Suites chain is a Hilton brand that launched in 2011 and was Hilton‘s first new brand in 20 years. Today, it has approximately 400 properties across the U.S. While most of them are franchised, the interior design elements are very standardized with minimal deviation and layout differences — something highly unusual for such a widely franchised hotel chain. This is an incredible bonus for travelers who require wheelchair accessible rooms.

“Neurodiversity And Accessibility” In Gaming

From Diverseability: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Cate Osborn never dreamed before COVID hit that she’d be the creator of a thriving social media community of more than two million in just one year.

Known as @catieosaurus online, Cate, a mental health advocate, full-time content creator, and co-host of Infinite Quest podcast (a top-50 mental health podcast), is speaking out about an unusual but important topic: neurodiversity, disability and the gaming community.

Osborn was as surprised as anyone at the popularity her ADHD-focused content achieved so quickly. After losing her job during the pandemic, she created a TikTok channel to pass the time. It turned out her content hit home for many people. Her honest, informative posts about her own experiences with ADHD and depression spoke to others with similar realities who were hungry for content, understanding and community.

From undiagnosed adult ADHD to neurodiversity and sexuality (Osborn is also a Certified Sex Educator) to the lesser-known symptoms of ADHD, Osborn explores topics that don’t usually make it into mainstream discussions around neurodiversity. One particular topic garnered a swell of interest from followers: neurodiversity and accessibility in the gaming community. As an avid Dungeons and Dragons player and co-host of Infinite Quest, Osborn’s two passions collided with the topic of neurodiversity and gaming.

“There is a shocking lack of accessibility in gaming,” explains Osborn. “Especially tabletop role-playing games (TTRPG) like Dungeons and Dragons. The more I explored the issue and interacted with players who struggle to feel welcome, the more I realized how vital the discussion is. Everyone should be welcome at the gaming table.”

HHS Proposes Wide-Ranging Rule Barring Discrimination in Healthcare

by Joyce Frieden: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Includes Medicare Part B providers for first time.

What has 308 pages and discusses everything from pregnancy to Medicare Part B? It’s the proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) implementing the non-discrimination parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The proposed rule, which was published August 4 in the Federal Register, implements Section 1557 of the ACA, which addresses non-discrimination in healthcare. The Biden administration has interpreted that section of the act very expansively, which means that the rule would cover a wider range of healthcare providers than it did under previous administrations, said Katie Keith, JD, MPH, director of the Health Policy and the Law Initiative at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington. For example, it will “apply to Medicare Part B providers for the first time, and will require physicians to not be discriminatory in all these ways,” she said.

Maryanne Tomazic, JD, MPH, clinical instructor at the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, agreed. “This proposed rule is a lot stronger, and a welcome change for many,” she said, adding that it expands protections for several groups, including “people who are LGBTQIA. Discrimination manifests itself in the healthcare system in many ways; patients can face physical or linguistic barriers when they try to access care. Some patients have health insurance that will categorically exclude care related to gender dysphoria or other diagnoses.”

“We’ve also seen patients have insurance plans that will take groups of drugs used to treat a certain chronic condition like HIV, and put those drugs on the most expensive formulary tiers, leaving the patient and the provider with no affordable options for treatment,” Tomazic said. “The proposed rule will result in a very strong final rule that prevents these situations from happening, and where it doesn’t, it explains how people can seek redress.”

Artfully Artistic and NeuroDiverse Writers: In Our Own Words

From Artfully Artistic: For Complete Post, Click Here…

This Publication is for all who are Autistic and for those of our kind. It is for the Neurodivergent, for those on the Spectrum of all Gender Identities, the LGBTQ*, and all others who are justifiably non-conformant to Society’s harmful marginalization and Ableist views of us.

We are an “Anti-ABA,” “Anti-Autism Speaks,” and “Anti-AANE” Publication, and as such do not accept Writers or accept Submissions in support of either. – Keira Fulton-Lees, Owner of the Medium Publication: Artfully Autistic and Neurodiverse Writers – In our own Words

Why We Need To Relabel BPD As What It Really Is

By Annie Tanasugarn, PhD: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Borderline personality disorder is really a pattern of trauma responses.

Ihave studied Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) for years. Two things that have always affected me are how subpar many treatments are for BPD and how backwards diagnostics are regarding this very confusing — and stigmatized — disorder.

BPD affects a person globally in many more ways than “just” their personality. If we’re looking at the old Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF scale, now changed to the WHODAS) to assess a person’s level of functioning, those with BPD typically have a significantly reduced score. On a scale of 0–100, with 100 being a perfect functioning level, the “average” person is roughly between 100–81 on any given day.

Scores this high suggest that any deficit in their functioning is often environmental and situational, such as heightened anxiety before an exam that returns to baseline functioning when the exam is over. On the flip-side, if we’re to assess someone with BPD based on the older GAF scores, their average functioning level typically vacillates between 60–20, depending on whether their life is “good” or whether they’re experiencing more severe symptoms of BPD, including suicidal ideation.

Symptoms of BPD can annihilate a person’s ability to function. Some can’t hold down a job. Some find themselves in a revolving door of toxic relationships with predatory types because they learned that having their boundaries and needs violated is “comfortable” from an equally toxic childhood. Some can’t tolerate stress and self-medicate to the point of developing drug or alcohol addictions. Many were never taught how to “adult” — meaning they don’t know how to take care of themselves financially, emotionally, safety-wise, relationally, socially, or physically and wind up in a cycle of learned helplessness.

Others develop obsessions with their bodies and may begin starving themselves, going on dangerous “high protein” or “low carb” crash diets, restrictive calorie counting, or developing dangerous and compulsive exercise routines or “health” kicks. Others obsess about their looks to the point that they can’t be seen in public without a full face of makeup, while others are so emotionally dysregulated they live in toxic positivity because they’ve become scared of their emotions and afraid of what is under the mask of “happy”.

Many with BPD have a limited sense of self-identity and don’t know who they are outside of a relationship or in mirroring those in their lives. They may change how they look, how they dress, the sports they’re into, the hobbies they engage in, or the values they hold based on the people they idealize.

Create Fund Artist Investment Program

From Shutterstock Create Fund: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Create Fund Artist Investment Program

Our Create Fund Artist Investment Program concentrates on artists from diverse backgrounds that can help us fill content gaps in specific areas. Selected artists receive a cash grant, production, and marketing support, as well as other hands-on help needed to successfully complete their projects.

Disability – All in

People with disabilities live full lives. Their experiences are as diverse as they are. That’s why we’re partnering with the Global Alliance for Disability in Media and Entertainment along with the World Institute on Disability to provide production grants to artists with disabilities and their allies. This initiative aims at building more authentic representations of disability across a broad range of environments, relationships, and issues.

Apply now

Diversity in 3D Program

Shutterstock has the largest 3D marketplace in the world. Under our Create Fund Artist Investment Program, we are offering a total of $30,000 in production grants to three 3D artists from diverse backgrounds to provide more opportunities as that marketplace grows.