Image of ND Assistive staff helping a client with receiving and using a phone.
Tami and Delbert working through assistive technology options.

Remember that TV ad for Life cereal? The one where Mikey doesn’t like anything? At the end of the ad, Mikey eventually tries the cereal and discovers he likes it. (full disclosure: my name is Mike so this ad has mostly been a curse for me)

As I was thinking about how to best describe a recent successful demonstration at ND Assistive, that commercial kept popping into my head.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Delbert and Peggy who stopped in to learn about some devices to help with Delbert’s hearing loss. He has about an 80 percent loss in one ear and 90 percent in the other. As you can imagine, it makes communicating difficult.

Delbert and Peggy left that day with some amplified hearing devices (I wrote about them here) we thought would be good places to start. He borrowed them through our short-term loan program.

Well, he didn’t like them. Not one bit. This didn’t surprise any of us (including Peggy), because Delbert was pretty clear that he doesn’t like much. In this instance, he just couldn’t see himself carrying around another piece of equipment. His cell phone is enough for him to deal with.

So, they brought the devices back. Which is fantastic! That’s what our short-term device loans are for. He tried them, and discovered they didn’t work for him. Okay. On to the next thing. At least they didn’t spend money, only to have them end up in a drawer somewhere.

But we didn’t stop there. We asked him to try something else.

During our initial conversation, Delbert talked about how he watches TV with a set of headphones on. And while those are good alternatives, they don’t allow for a lot of conversation with others in the room. Peggy was quick to point that out. So, we suggested he try a Serene TV Soundbox.

The Serene TV Soundbox is a portable, wireless speaker that connects with the television. It amplifies sound and allows for volume and pitch controls so users can adjust it to what works best for them.

Picture of a TV Sound Box

They used the short-term loan again and took one home to try.


Here’s the message Peggy left for us this week, “I want you to know, that man is so happy! He can listen to me and watch TV at the same time. Since he’s had this, it’s probably the first time in the 29 years we’ve been together, that that has happened.

“Thank you so much for bringing that to our attention.”

Sometimes people just don’t know what’s best for them. Just like Mikey, Delbert was unsure and didn’t want to try new things. But also, like Mikey, once Delbert found the RIGHT thing. He liked it!

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