Do Good Things: Justice for All – Pt. 3

An IEEE NJ Coast Section SIGHT Group Project

Pictured above with an IEEE NJ Coast Section SIGHT Group founding Member and IEEE Senior Member, Margaret J Lyons, PE, an IEEE Life Fellow in the New Jersey Coast Section, Don Heirman, has had a career with extensive experience studying Electromagnetic Compatibility of hearing aids and telephone devices, being himself one of the founding members of the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Society. Don is himself a person with a hearing loss, and with experience using hearing aids, so there was a strong connection for him with our Humanitarian Activities. We were fortunate to find excellent guidance and information from him and other advisors right in our Section. We were able to interview Don Heirman who is a font of knowledge, create video recordings, and post them online so we can share a great deal of important information from this unique resource. We have received many great compliments about the excellent content of these videos. Check out the videos of our interview with Don Heirman.

In June 2019 we concluded the Mock Trial Team season with an IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee Event – ‘Hear, here! Justice for All’ inviting everyone including IEEE Members, Volunteers, Judges, Attorneys, perspective Members, students, professors, stakeholders, people with hearing loss, members of the community, and anyone curious about the project. We reviewed our Sustainable Development Goals. At the Event there was a Trivia Contest, we listened to several interesting keynotes including but not limited to: Derek Davis, Esquire of Harvard University Law School whose research follows the practice of Law domestically and internationally, Eamon J Wall, Esquire IEEE Senior Member and Patent Attorney who discussed achievement, Andrea Composto, Esquire President of the Rockland County Bar Association, the Honorable Dr Duncan Rogers Lee, II Esquire Advisor to the Mock Trial Team, and more. We viewed the Storytelling Video prepared by the Nyack Mock Trial Team that made an impact on everyone in attendance. Also pictured are Filomena Citarella IEEE Member, Clara Citarella IEEE Student Member, Associate Professor Lisa Nocks, PhD IEEE History Center and Stevens Institute of Technology, and more. There are many IEEE Members and Volunteers not pictured here, but who may be found on our online pages.

In the upcoming season we will address aging populations, and hearing loss in the Military and Veteran population, now part of our Do Good Things Justice for All. LTC Kathryn Kennedy-Pegues, PhD, Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point is part of the team investigating what has become the signature injury in the Military, hearing loss. LTC Kathryn Kennedy-Pegues is pictured above at the IEEE Women’s History Month Event at Stevens Institute of Technology – Celebrating Our History: Inventing Your Future organized by invitation of our IEEE NJ Coast Section SIGHT Group Angel, Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology, Victor B Lawrence, PhD and IEEE Life Fellow. Pictured are: Katherine Grace August, PhD, Moderator, and Round Table Members Kahina Lasfer, PhD, Paula Muller, PhD, Yingying Jennifer Chin, PhD, and LTC Kathryn Kennedy-Pegues, PhD. This Event served to initiate our attention to Sustainable Development Goal 5 Gender Equality and has grown into the new project to address disparity of women as inventors through workshops and outreach.

Since people are living longer, and there is a growing number of older people, hearing loss poses a major risk of depression due to social isolation and inability to perform at the workplace impacting economic parody with peers. In the next season, will attend to the issues of this growing population. Sociavi developed by our IEEE NJ Coast Section SIGHT Group Member Paula Muller, PhD (pictured in the Mock Trial Event Collage) is a proven communication and activity platform for Seniors to easily engage with family, friends, healthcare providers, partake in activities, and more. Our project aims to expand features such as Captioning on the platform to help those with hearing loss to remain engaged with the people, and activities they enjoy.

New types of hearing loss and interactions within complex acoustic scenes have become more well known in recent times. Exposure to noisy workplace environments cause lasting hearing and or vision loss and or brain injury even in situations historically thought to be safe. Hearing loss may impact situation awareness in a noisy environment, even though the hearing loss may not be measurable by standard techniques. Yet new technologies and connectivity to networks provides greater options to improve understanding of the complex acoustic environment, to detect when speech understanding will become challenging, and to provide complementary communication strategies to improve situation awareness especially needed in difficult working environments including but not limited to Military Service and for Veterans.

We were successful in gathering even more enthusiasm for our aims, and more requirements for our IEEE NJ Coast Section SIGHT Group efforts. We look forward to another rewarding year Advancing Technology for Humanity with Do Good Things Justice for All.

Article by NJ Coast Section SIGHT group Chair Dr. Katherine August.