Begin Main Content Area

Understanding the Needs of People who are Hard of Hearing: A Practical Approach

Understanding People Who Are Hard of Hearing Flyer (PDF)

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 15 percent of American adults (age 18 and older) report trouble hearing. And, about 2 percent of adults between the ages of 45-54 have a “disabling hearing loss;” this percentage increases with age. Secondly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that hearing loss is the third most common physical condition after hypertension and arthritis.

Pennsylvania is not immune to these statics. ODHH receives many inquiries about hearing loss, communication options, and technology to be used in the home, workplace, assistive living facilities or nursing homes, etc. Because of this demand, we are excited to bring you “Understanding the Needs of People who are Hard of Hearing: A Practical Approach.”

This session is designed for professionals and organizations who want to become “hard of hearing”-friendly. It is an opportunity to introduce you to the impacts of hearing loss, how to communicate effectively, and technology. It will be moderated by Ben Moonan from ODHH and presented by Bill Best and Kay Tyberg.

The training is being held at the Hearing Loss Expo 2016, so it is a win-win! Participants can attend the training and then stop by the expo hall and/or one of the other activities taking place. Visit for a complete schedule.

There is no cost to attend the expo or the session, however registration is required to attend the training. Space is limited to 30 people.


Bill Best
Bill has bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and has benefited from the use of two hearing aids for more than 15 years. He uses a variety of ALDs in his home, at work, and while traveling. He completed training in the Hearing Assistive Technology Program through the Hearing Loss Association of America in October 2012. Bill has also recently completed additional HLAA training to become a Consumer Hearing Assistive Technology Trainer. Bill continues to travel around Pennsylvania as a volunteer to share information about hearing loss and demonstrating ALDs by using the equipment available in the HLAA-PA Assistive Listening Device Kit. Bill will be displaying the HLAA-PA ALD Kit as an exhibitor at this Expo and can be reached at

Bill lives in West Chester, Pa. and has a healthcare background, being trained as a pharmacist, and still works as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. He is the current president of the HLAA Chester County Chapter and a member of the HLAA-PA Advisory Council.

Kay Tyberg
Kay has a sensorineural hearing loss from birth which was detected during elementary school pre-screening; she has worn hearing aids since fourth grade. In 2008, within three days, Kay became profoundly deaf and in 2010 she underwent cochlear implant (CI) surgery which made a significant impact on her life. The experience of utilizing hearing aids and CI has enabled her to understand hearing loss from different avenues.

Her passion and energy is spent educating the hearing loss community and the general public about deafness and assistive technology devices. It is imperative to eliminate communication barriers and stigma the deaf and the general public has about deafness related to the workplace, education, social and psychological needs. Personally, Kay does not want to see any child or adult with hearing loss be treated as she has been in her lifetime. Katy is proud of being deaf, because the enormous challenges in life has allowed her to become the person she is today. Kay has become a strong advocate for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. She has formed several support groups for parents with children who have a hearing loss.

Kay has been employed by leading Fortune 500 and 100 corporate companies and nonprofit organizations for over 45 years. She resides in Altoona with her husband, Dr. Thomas Tyberg. Together they have four children and 10 grandchildren. Currently she is writing her autobiography about living with a hearing loss.