Kemo and her dog
Kemo with her Service Dog, Shay, a black lab coonhound

Watching someone get the gift of amplification after years of diminished hearing is a great part of our job here at ND Assistive. The usual playful banter of “Can you hear me now?” “YES!” is sweet music to our ears.

Kemo, a Veteran and member of the Lakota Nation, lost a portion of her hearing due to the war and health issues some time ago.  This North Dakota woman struggled to comprehend one-on-one conversations, make out sounds in her environment, understand important communications from her doctor, and hear anyone on the phone.

Kemo received an LG Bluetooth stereo headset though our ND Specialized Telephone Program.  When paired with her smartphone, this device allows her to hear conversations not only louder but in stereo. Hearing with both ears has increased her comprehension on the phone tremendously.

Thanks to generous donations to our Possibilities Fund, we were able to also provide Kemo a personal listening device called the Pocket Talker Personal Amplifier. This rechargeable device consists of the unit with a built-in microphone. It can be used with most 3.5mm earphones.  All she has to do is point it in the general direction of any sound or wear it around her neck. The sound is amplified and carried to the headphones helping her to hear at a louder level.

Kemo stated that the PocketTalker aids her in hearing the TV at a “normal” loudness level, which prevents angry calls from her neighbors. She can now understand her doctor during medical appointments and enjoys meeting with friends much more now that she can understand them. She said, “It is amazing how these devices work. These devices are really handy! They make my life so much easier!  I can hear a lot more than I did before!” Now, she can even hear her cat, Nimrod’s meow!

Nimrod the cat
Nimrod the cat

About Author

Jeannie Krull is the Program Director for ND Assistive (formerly IPAT). She is an ASHA certified speech/language pathologist and a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional, who has worked with people with disabilities of all ages since 1991.