Kathryn Bakke - Speaker,  Pianist, Hearing Loss  Consultant  
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What it's like to have a hearing loss?
Communicate with someone
who has a hearing loss?

Through useful tips and training Kathryn will help you discover what you need to know about hearing loss and how to help people with hearing loss.

People with a hearing loss are like someone locked in a glass house. They can only able observe group communication. They participate with difficulty.  They are often unaware of technology that can lessen this isolation. 


Useful Tip -- Personal Listening Systems

Personal Listening Systems help a person with a hearing loss eliminate background noise when the environment is noisy. There are two general types. Both are invaluable in ability to assist you in challenging listening environments.

Stand alone - a person with a small or quite a large hearing loss can use it without a hearing aid. It includes a microphone and some kind of body unit

Adjunct to a hearing aid - these are handier and usually smaller and lighter. They are purchased as accessories, usually including a little boot on your hearing aid and a separate microphone.

When attending a conference, ask the speaker to use your personal listening system on the lectern or around his or her neck. Repeat all questions and comments from from the floor. It will save you embarrassment from asking a question someone just asked and frustration from being afraid to ask a question for fear someone just asked it.
Personal Listening Systems (PLS)
Why Use It? How to speak to someone you know who is using a PLS:


Visibility - people are aware of your hearing loss and more ready to assist you.

Signal to noise ratio  - the microphone is close to the person who is speaking.

Directional microphone helps to focus on the speaker.


Be natural and friendly

Be willing to forgo some spontaneity for the sake of their enjoyment.

Be aware that, even under the best of circumstances, any noisy social setting is stressful for people with a hearing loss, .

Use the device to point at the speaker to facilitate speech-reading

Set-ups and punch lines are essential to appreciate a joke or story. Be sure any joke or story-teller is using the device before he starts.

Training - topics




I May Not Hear the Music, but I Don't Miss a Beat

General audiences seeking solutions for challenges.

Agencies that work with people with a disability.

Employers who need to adapt their work space.

Kathryn will inspire and motivate you to identify your life challenges, determine needed changes and learn techniques to overcome them.

She will train you to pinpoint specific changes you can make to accommodate people with a challenge.

One, Two, Three, Rephrase!

Friends, family and employers seeking ways to communicate a person with a hearing loss.

How do you talk with a person who has a hearing loss? How can you help them understand and be included? Do you have a relationship that is limping because of communication challenges?

Kathryn will educate you with knowledge, understanding and the skills needed to communicate with a person with a hearing loss. She will empower you with ways to recharge your relationship.

"Sure I Can Hear! But I Want to Listen!"

Businesses public facilities, churches, retirement homes,

Learn low and high  tech ways to improve your facility or place of business. Provide access for people with a hearing loss, a large group of people, a largely untapped market, by making it easy for them to do business with hearing loss.

Education in a Glass House

College administration, faculty, board and staff.

Make your educational environment or public shows (plays, musicals, entertainment) accessible to hard of hearing students and the older people who are your alumni.

Make it Comfortable

Church staff and boards with extension to members

What is the need - how much participation is there of deaf and hard of hearing in church activities?  What situations are difficult for people with a hearing loss?  What's the difference between deaf and hard of hearing accommodation?  How do deaf and hard of hearing differ in attitude toward their challenge?

Stemming the Tide of Retreat

Business administrators and managers in charge of employees' work environment

Analysis of employee make-up and their friends and relatives.  How to improve the working environment for a person with hearing loss.  What accommodations need to be made.  Increasing employee understanding.

It's Your Choice --Glass House or Social Manor

Enjoying social gatherings despite the challenges of a hearing loss

Learn educate family, friends and coworkers about assistive devices that can ease hearing. Also learn confrontation techniques and ways to disengage when stress becomes intolerable,

Tizzy or Busy: The Case for Enlightened Procrastination Anyone who is having difficulty managing their busy schedule. You've always thought procrastination is a bad thing? Well, think again! When it's used creatively, procrastination can be a valuable tool to improve productivity and quality of life.
Beyond ADA: Adventures in Innovative, Creative and Affordable Hearing Loss Access Any business, school, private venue, police or fire department, hospital that wants to ease hearing for clients with a hearing loss. Be empowered!! You've always wanted to understand hearing loss and how you can help associates you know who are deaf or hard of hearing. Background music. Din. Dim lighting. Poor amplification. Uninformed communication techniques. All are factors in creating a difficult hearing situation for hard of hearing people.

"You have an inspiring energy when you play the piano. It really brings a group to life. It’s wonderful when an energy like that is contagious. Thank you again. We highly recommend your speaking and musical talent to groups who want a magical blend of pleasure and inspiration." Susan Zimmerman, Programs and President-Elect, Awesome Women