This superhero cartoon shows kids with disabilities how powerful they really are

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A new team of superheroes shows children with disabilities how unstoppable they really are.

Team Supreme, an animated cartoon concept by Atlanta native Josh Leonard, features a cast of superheroes with disabilities who band together to take on various bad guys. Each member of Team Supreme has an individual superpower that makes them a key part of the group — and those powers are tied to their disabilities.

“I chose to focus on [kids with disabilities] because it hasn’t been done yet,” Leonard says. “It was simple for me, really. My cartoon is needed.”

Leonard was inspired to create Team Supreme after noticing that the children with disabilities in his life didn’t have superheroes that reflected their lives and resilience. He wanted these children, many of whom are the kids of his friends, to be able to see themselves and their experiences with disability reflected unapologetically in a cartoon.

“I wanted to create characters with an amazing, compelling story that was also cool enough to where the kids could not only relate to these characters, but also like and appreciate them,” Leonard writes on his website.

The main character of Team Supreme is an autistic boy named Zeek, who has the power to slow time down to a snail’s pace. His superpower is inspired by “splinter skills,” which allow some autistic people to retain large amounts of information in no time at all.

Leonard says this skill has always struck him as a real-life superpower.

Other members of Team Supreme include Thumper, who was born prematurely and has hearing loss; Shock, who was hit by a car and lost his arm; Li, who was born blind; Red, who lives with albinism; and Mech, who became paralyzed after surviving polio.

Each member of the team has a particular skill that hinges on their experience with their respective disability identity. Li, for example, has the power of supersonic hearing, though no eyesight. And Shock has a prosthetic arm that transforms into different tools to help him take on even the toughest of villains.

Continue onto Mashable to read the complete article.

Poignant new film, “Language Arts,” reflects a reality for the parents of people with autism that is infrequently told

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Language Arts movie poster showing a dad with a suitcase and a mom holding her young son in her arms

Cornelia Duryée’s ‘Heartfelt and Sensitively Drawn’ film Language Arts, starring Ashley Zukerman & Sarah Shahi, takes viewers on a powerful journey of connection and redemption.

A student project abruptly forces an emotionally stunted high school English teacher to confront his demons—past and present—taking him on a powerful journey of connection and redemption in Language Arts, available now On Demand.

A poignant family drama that connects us all in the universal need to love and be loved, Language Arts is now streaming in the U.S. and Canada on Apple TV, iTunes, Microsoft, Prime Video, Spectrum, Vimeo and VUDU; and is coming soon on Google Play and YouTube.

Starring Ashley Zukerman (the upcoming Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, Fear Street, Succession, A Teacher), Sarah Shahi (the upcoming Black Adam, Sex/Life, The Rookie, Person of Interest, The L Word, Fairly Legal, Alias), Elliott Smith (Confess, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping) and Lincoln Lambert (Witch’s Castle, Modern Farmer).

Based on the novel by best-selling author Stephanie Kallos (Broken for You), Language Arts was written and directed by Cornelia Duryée (West of Redemption, The Dark Horse, Camilla Dickinson), whose youngest son—who makes a cameo appearance in the film—falls on the autism spectrum. Parenting her son has given her a unique perspective on her adaptation of the novel and her direction of the film.

Britain’s Manchester Film Festival (MANIFF) called the film a “heartfelt and sensitively drawn drama,” adding that “the story of Language Arts is touching on its own, but the treatment it receives in this adaptation elevates it into something deeply moving.

In Language Arts

High school English teacher Charles Marlow (Ashley Zukerman; Young Charles, Elliott Smith) has spent decades shrinking from life, hiding away from the disappointments that have trailed him; regretful over a profound tragedy in his past.

When one of his students, Romy (Aishe Keita), proposes a photojournalism project documenting collaborations between autistic youth and senior dementia patients, Charles tailspins into the past, confronting the mistakes of his youth and struggling to reconnect with his own autistic son, Cody (Kieran Walton) and his ex-wife, Allison (Sarah Shahi). Their marriage shattered from the stress of raising a special needs child and Charles’ inability to reveal himself.

As Charles remembers an unlikely friendship with a boy in a white suit (Lincoln Lambert as Dana), who inscribed his troubled childhood with both solace and sorrow, he is forced to confront the actions and inactions that have shaped his life. Will Charles be able to release the regrets of his past in time to be a part of his family’s future?

WATCH THE TRAILER!

Family Drama.  Not Rated (Some Mature Themes).  Run Time: 127 Minutes.

From Kairos Productions and Gravitas Ventures, Language Arts was directed by Cornelia Duryée from a screenplay by Cornelia Duryée, based on the novel by Stephanie Kallos. Director of Photography was Alisa Tyrrill. Casting by Richard Pagano. Music by BC Smith. Produced by Larry Estes, p.g.a. (Smoke Signals). Co-producer is Randy Suhr. Executive Producers are Rich Cowan and Stephanie Kallos.

About Kairos Productions:
Kairos Productions is a leading independent production company based in Seattle, Washington, that aims to enrich the world through redemptive storytelling. Kairos develops original content such as The Dark HorseWest of Redemption and Portal Runner; adapted content such as Camilla Dickinson and Language Arts; and collaborates with other production partners to create unique stories, such as JourneyQuest. For more information, visit http://www.kairos-productions.com or follow us on Facebook @kairosseattle or Twitter @KairosFilm.

About Gravitas Ventures:

Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, is a leading all rights distributor of independent feature films and documentaries. Founded in 2006, Gravitas connects independent filmmakers and producers with distribution opportunities across the globe. Working with talented directors and producers, Gravitas Ventures has distributed thousands of films into over a hundred million homes in North America – over one billion homes worldwide. Recent releases include Queen Bees directed by Michael Lembeck; Our Friend directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, starring Casey Affleck, Dakota Johnson and Jason Segel; Vanguard, directed by Stanley Tong and starring Jackie Chan; The Secret: Dare to Dream, directed by Andy Tennant and starring Katie Holmes; End of Sentence starring Logan Lerman and John Hawkes; Looks that Kill; TreadLoopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk, narrated by Bill Murray; and Colin Hanks’ All Things Must Pass. For more information, please visit https://gravitasventures.com and follow @GravitasVOD on Twitter and @gravitasventures on Instagram.

About Red Arrow Studios:
Red Arrow Studios is one of the world’s leading creators and distributors of entertainment content, comprised of an acclaimed network of international production companies and labels in seven territories; world-leading digital studio, Studio71, based in six countries; and global film and TV distributors Red Arrow Studios International and Gravitas Ventures. The group’s significant output includes scripted, non-scripted and formatted content and IP, from TV and film to short-form and branded content, made for an array of global networks and platforms. Red Arrow Studios is part of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, one of Europe’s leading media groups.  https://redarrowstudios.com

Instagram Knows Just How Damaging It Is for Teen Girls

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Instagram Knows Just How Damaging It Is for Teen Girls

By , The Cut

For several months now, Facebook execs have been kicking around an eerie product idea few people seem to want: Instagram for Kids. Given the negative mental-health outcomes the app’s youngest users already report, lots of parents, lawmakers, and almost all the nation’s attorneys general have lobbied the company to please not. Nonetheless, Facebook persists — the youths are a lucrative market! — even though its own research reportedly confirms that for teens, Instagram outpaces other social-media platforms when it comes to fostering feelings of anxiety, depression, and body dysmorphia.

“We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” reads a slide from a 2019 presentation of corporate data, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apparently, Facebook has been investigating these topics for about three years, and the findings have painted a bleak picture. “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” another slide stated. “This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.” Numbers from 2020 indicated the same: “32 percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse …Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves.” Among teens who reported experiencing suicidal thoughts, 6 percent of U.S. users and 13 percent of U.K. users attributed ideation to Instagram.

The Journal reports that about 40 percent of Instagram users clock in under 22, and that about 22 million teens use the app daily. For this group, corporate research suggests that Instagram poses a unique problem in terms of social comparison, or the tendency to measure oneself against the standard set by other people’s posts. While TikTok leans on performance and Snapchat promotes cartoonish filters, Instagram is where people go to document their best moments, often edited for maximum impact. Then in comes the algorithm, the same villain that may have led you to believe everyone went to Greece without you this summer: Similar to TikTok, it notices what content engages you and for how long, then tailors your Explore page accordingly. The Journal identifies this feature as a uniquely damaging Instagram feature: One 18-year-old who spoke to the paper said she developed an eating disorder after falling into fitness wormholes every time she opened the app. “When I went on Instagram, all I saw were images of chiseled bodies, perfect abs, and women doing 100 burpees in ten minutes.”

While the research notes that not every young user who spends time scrolling reports the same problems, it also suggests that many link their self-esteem issues directly back to Instagram. In one survey of U.S. and U.K. teens, 40 percent reportedly said they started feeling “unattractive” around the same time they started using Instagram; about 25 percent said it made them feel “not good enough.” Many said that using the app created anxiety around friendships and social activity, but that many teens are “unable to stop themselves” from logging on.

What’s especially discouraging, though, is that Facebook publicly downplays Instagram’s potential for making people depressed, even though it has the data. “The research that we’ve seen is that using social apps to connect with other people can have positive mental health benefits,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress in March of this year, while in May, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said adverse effects on adolescents’ well-being were probably “quite small.” One in three teen girls isn’t an insignificant portion of users, though it is a strong argument against the forthcoming Instagram Junior. Nobody asked for this, and per Facebook’s own data, it seems no one needs it, either.

Click here to read the full article on The Cut.

Asmongold opens up on mental health struggles in candid Twitch stream

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During a stream on September 11, Asmongold shared a candid moment with viewers where he discussed his struggles with mental health and suicidal thoughts.

By Bill Cooney, Dexerto

During a stream on September 11, Asmongold shared a candid moment with viewers where he discussed his struggles with mental health and suicidal thoughts.

Asmongold is one of the most popular MMO steamers on Twitch, but recently opened up to fans about the struggles he’s had with mental health as a result.

When a user donated and asked if he’d ever “felt like Reckful (who took his own life in 2020) unironically.” Asmon gave an honest answer that initially concerned fans before the streamer provided reassurance.

“‘Do you ever feel how Reckful felt unironically?’ I probably shouldn’t say this, I’ve wanted to kill myself many times, yeah, absolutely,” Asmon revealed during the stream.

If you check out the chat while Asmon was saying this, there is an outpouring of love and support for the streamer, but at the same time worry for the concerning comments from viewers.

“What a f***ing segway,” Asmon added. “Yeah, many many times, I’m just too much of a p****y to do it, don’t worry about it I’ll be fine, I’m not going anywhere.”

His chat was, as we said, more than supportive after the streamer made these comments, but they still caused plenty of concern among fans. However, he said it was something he’d been wanting to talk about for awhile, and would be making changes to his stream in the future.

“I’d like to take down some of the super high energy stuff I do, and just try to have a little bit more of, just me,” Asmon said. “Not a bunch of crazy bulls***t, not a bunch of weird showmanship, just me. Just me streaming us having fun together, and relaxing.”

Mental health has become a huge issue not just on Twitch, but with internet personalities and creators as a whole. Asmon certainly isn’t alone in his struggles, either, so if you happen to tune into him in the near future, be sure to show the WoW OG some love.

Click here to read the full article on Dexerto.

Zendaya says she prioritized her mental health while growing up in the spotlight

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Zendaya said that the pandemic led her towards feeling persistent existential sadness

By The News International

Hollywood superstar Zendaya got candid about her mental health and how she learnt to prioritize it while growing up in the spotlight.

In a sit-down with British Vogue, the Dune actor, 25, spoke about going to therapy and recommended everyone to give it a try as well.

“Of course I go to therapy. I mean, if anybody is able to possess the financial means to go to therapy, I would recommend they do that. I think it’s a beautiful thing,” said the Euphoria actor.

“There’s nothing wrong with working on yourself and dealing with those things with someone who can help you, someone who can talk to you, who’s not your mom or whatever. Who has no bias,” said the former Disney star.

The actor also spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown that subsequently followed led her towards feeling persistent existential sadness.

“[It was the] first kind of taste of sadness where you wake up and you just feel bad all day, like what the [expletive] is going on? What is this dark cloud that’s hovering over me and I don’t know how to get rid of it, you know?”

Click here to read the full article on The News International.

Selma Blair: Actress says she’s in remission from multiple sclerosis

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Actress Selma Blair has said she is "in remission" from multiple sclerosis.

By BBC News

The 49-year-old American, known for films like Cruel Intentions, Hellboy and Legally Blonde, was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease in 2018.

Blair, who had been left with intense physical pain, told reporters her condition had improved as a result of a stem cell transplant and chemotherapy.

“My prognosis is great,” she said. “I’m in remission. Stem cell put me in remission.”

She added: “It took about a year after stem cell for the inflammation and lesions to really go down.”

Stem cell treatment it is not a cure for MS but can help to stabilise the disease and improve disability, according to researchers.

The star was speaking while promoting a documentary, Introducing Selma Blair, which follows her as she “reconciles a journey of monumental transition” to living with the incurable condition, which affects the brain and spinal cord, causing vision, balance and muscle problems.

MS had left Blair unable to speak properly or fully use her left leg, and she was pictured using a cane to walk up a red carpet after the Oscars two years ago.

Speaking to a virtual Television Critics Association panel on Monday, she said she had been doing well for the last few months after having felt “unwell and misunderstood for so long”, according to People and the Associated Press.

“I was reluctant to talk about it because I felt this need to be more healed and more fixed,” she said.

Click here to read the full article on BBC News.

“CODA” actress Marlee Matlin on making noise

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Marlee Matlin signing during a video interview

By CBS News

She was just 21 years old when she won Hollywood’s most coveted prize – the Oscar, for Best Actress – for her first movie, “Children of a Lesser God.” “You have to understand that I was a girl from Chicago who appeared on the scene out of nowhere,” said Marlee Matlin.

Thirty-four years later, she remains the only deaf person to win an Academy Award, in any category.

“When I won the Oscar,” she told Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz, “the community was very, obviously very thrilled, certainly. And then they said, ‘Okay, now what? What are you gonna do for us?’ It was a heavy load.”

Her new film, “CODA,” now streaming on Apple TV, is the story of deaf parents with two children, a deaf son, and a hearing daughter, played by Emilia Jones.

Matlin plays the mother: “It’s about a hearing girl who wants to sing, but she has deaf parents who rely on her to interpret, and they always have.”

Mankiewicz asked, “They want hearing actors as the father and the older brother. And you say?”

“I said, ‘If you do that, if you choose somebody who’s gonna ‘play’ a deaf person, I’m out,'” Matlin replied.

“That suggests to me that, maybe, 35 years after ‘Children of a Lesser God,’ and 34 years after the Oscar, that you’re a little more comfortable making some noise?”

“And in all honesty, I didn’t even think,” Matlin said. “I just said it, I put it out there. Playing deaf is not a costume. We, deaf people, live it.”

For Matlin, “CODA” (the acronym stands for Child Of Deaf Adults) gave her a rare opportunity to work in an ensemble cast of deaf actors.

“It was always sort of as background or, you know, token deaf characters,” Matlin said. “And this time we carried the film.”

“I was envious, and I think my wife was, too, of the marriage [in the film],” Mankiewicz smiled. “Like, that’s what I want, right? That was it. That’s as good as it gets!”

“You could still do it,” Matlin laughed.

“No, we’re good, we’re good,” Mankiewicz assured her.

As the most famous deaf person in show business (and probably the country), Matlin has worked steadily since her debut – feisty on “The West Wing,” funny in an episode of “Seinfeld,” and always game, quickly becoming an audience favorite on “Dancing with the Stars.”

She’s come a long way from the Chicago suburb where she grew up as a deaf child in a hearing family. Her hearing loss was caused by illness and high fevers when she was just one-and-a-half-years-old. “My childhood was so normal,” she said. “I was just so happy to have great neighbors, great schools, great friends, great family.”

“You’re a big sports fan?”

“Yes, I am. Big time! My father and I always watched sports together. You really didn’t need captions to watch sports.”

Her parents enrolled her in a weekend arts program for deaf children, where the camp director cast eight-year-old Matlin as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.”

Click here to read the full article on CBS News.

How Troy Kotsur Broke Barriers As A Deaf Actor, On Stage, On Screen And Now In ‘CODA

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Troy Kotsur attends the CODA Los Angeles photo call on July 30, 2021 in West Hollywood, Calif.

By , NPR

The new film CODA premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews and a record-breaking distribution deal with Apple. One aspect of the film that awed both audiences and critics was the supporting performance by actor Troy Kotsur. He plays a father and fisherman in the story, struggling to understand his hearing daughter’s dreams to sing.

Prior to the film’s acclaimed Sundance debut, Kotsur has already been a pioneering star of stage and screen, honing his craft despite the structural limitations of an industry that hasn’t always recognized his gifts. “If Troy were a person who could speak and hear, if he were a hearing person, his star would have risen many, many years ago,” signs fellow actor David Kurs, who is also artistic director of Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles. “There is a deep respect for him and his work. And so to finally see him in a place where his work can be witnessed by a larger audience has been an inspiration.”

Kostur’s vulnerability, expressiveness and humor make him a wonderful actor, says CODA director Sian Heder. “Troy’s an incredible improvisor and he’s really funny,” she says. “He’s just a handsome, big guy who’s got a great face on screen and I think he’s got incredible charisma and presence. His ASL (American Sign Language) is really creative and really beautiful.”

Fisherman, father and acting force of nature
CODA centers on Ruby Rossi, a high school student who wants to be a singer. She’s a ‘Child of Deaf Adults,’ the only hearing person in her family. Ruby’s family rely on her to voice what they sign, code switching for the hearing world. She works on the family’s boat with her brother, who’s also deaf, and her father, played by Kotsur.

“He’s kinda like a papa bear,” Kotsur signs in ASL, American Sign Language. “There’s humor, and that bond is very tight.” As the film proceeds, Frank tries to understand and relate to why singing is so important to his daughter. In one poignant scene, he asks her to sing for him as he tenderly holds her neck to feel the reverberations.

Kotsur says the scene echoes an experience he once had with his own daughter. “A long time ago when she was in kindergarten, she sang for a class performance” he recalls. “I asked, ‘can I just kind of feel your neck?’ And it was very cute. And then all those years later, the movie CODA was a real flashback where I did the same thing. And now my daughter is learning how to play guitar. So sometimes I’ll just touch her guitar so that I can feel her strumming.”

Click here to read the full article on NPR.

Fashion show — called ‘I Love Me and My Disability’ — will celebrate everyone, organizer says

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Trinity Jagdeo, center, with some of the models scheduled to participate in the I Love Me & My Disability Fashion Event this weekend in Vineland.

By 

The I Love Me and My Disability Fashion Event promises to be just that, an organizer said this week.

The show features 16 contestants — ranging from toddlers to young adults, all with disabilities — strutting up and down a catwalk in an array of donated fashions.

The charity event will be held Saturday at the Landis Theater in Vineland and will also be streamed online. It will benefit From We Can’t to We Can, a nonprofit started by a Cumberland County 20-year-old who has also created a comic book series four years ago featuring superheroes with disabilities. The goal, she says, is to highlight challenges these children and young adults face and overcome.

“In a world where they’re forced to look at their disabilities and what they can’t do, this is their time to shine, to show who they are,” said Trinity Jadgeo, 20, of Vineland who started the charity and created the comic books. “We have 16 contestants, ranging in all types of disabilities. It’s just an expression of being proud of who they are.”

Jadgeo also had a personal reason for starting her nonprofit. Her best friend Alexus Dick, 20, has a debilitating illness with no cure.

“I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing about it, knowing what I’ve witnessed with my best friend,” she said. “It opened my eyes about having a disability in a world that doesn’t cater to disabilities.”

Jadgeo said all of the clothes the models will wear Saturday were donated by local merchants. Food and beverages were also donated. Even though she bills the event as a contest, she said everyone who participates will be a winner.

Click here to read the full article on NJ.Com.

10 TikTok Creators You Should Follow This Disability Pride Month

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TikTok creators are using their platforms to celebrate Disability Pride Month

Very Well Health

During the month of July, many TikTok creators are using their platforms to celebrate Disability Pride Month—over 100 million videos so far have been tagged under #DisabilityPride. The hashtag uplifts posts created by a wide range of disabled people, sharing their lives online.

These celebrations honor the July 1990 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. But nearly 31 years later, people with disabilities still face a number of barriers to equitable treatment, varying from physical hurdles to economic challenges. Misconceptions and biases about people with disabilities continue to exist. Some TikTok creators hope to challenge these notions by sharing their experiences candidly online. With everything from self-deprecating jokes to glimpses into their lives as disabled people, these 10 TikTok accounts are embracing #DisabilityPride and challenging others to do the same.

Andy (@theonewiththeservicedog)

TikTok creator Andy posts videos for her audience about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and the other diagnosed illnesses she has. Through her posts, she educates people about some of the social and political barriers she faces. She even has an adorable service dog, Obi, that often makes an appearance.

Jay Johnson (@itsjaaayyy)

Jay Johnson is a 19-year-old creator growing her following on TikTok, where she posts makeup tutorials and get-ready-with-me style videos. For Disability Pride Month, she’s shared stories about her polymyositis diagnosis, which often leaves her fatigued and in pain.

Erin Novakowski (@wheelierin)

Comedian, writer, and disability advocate Erin Novakowski has amassed a huge following on TikTok with her funny, provocative content. Erin, who uses a wheelchair, posts makeup and lifestyle videos, but more often her videos are comedic while bluntly calling out the biased and negative comments she often receives.

Spencer West (@spencer2thewest)

Spencer West is a motivational speaker and advocates for LGBTQ+ and disability causes. After losing his legs as a child, Spencer now answers questions and corrects misconceptions about his own disability and about accessibility issues that the disabled community faces. He also frequently profiles restaurants, travel, and exercise routines.

Louie (@notlewy)

TikTok creator Louie posts trendy content, advocates for disability awareness, makes music, and creates comedy videos that are often about his arthrogryposis. Louie’s deadpan humor is a hit on the app, and his videos treat disability with a lightheartedness that acknowledges and celebrates difference.

Britt (@myelasticheart)

Britt posts content about living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Her videos are honest and emotional, explaining the ignorance and injustices that many disabled people face. But they also show moments of joy and hope that are often overlooked in mainstream depictions of people with disabilities.

Click here to read the full article on Very Well Health.

‘The Incredible Hulk’ Lou Ferrigno hears with a cochlear implant

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Lou Ferrigno hears with a cochlear implant

By Yahoo! Finance

During May’s Better Hearing and Speech Month, Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, is pleased to celebrate Lou Ferrigno, 69, actor, fitness expert and retired bodybuilder, receiving a cochlear implant and addressing his hearing loss. Taking the step to treat his profound sensorineural hearing loss with a cochlear implant will aid Ferrigno’s desire to remain fit and healthy as he ages. ‘The Incredible Hulk’ Lou Ferrigno treats his hearing loss with a cochlear implant.

Most known for his role in the TV series “The Incredible Hulk” and being the youngest, only two-time consecutive and Guinness World RecordTM holder for the IFBB Mr. Universe title, Ferrigno has been impacted by profound hearing loss nearly his whole life. Hearing loss started for him when he was a toddler because of ear infections, and he began wearing hearing aids at 4 years of age. Over the years, Ferrigno tried a number of different types of hearing aids – none helping him achieve the hearing he needed. In February 2021, Ferrigno underwent surgery for his cochlear implant, the CochlearTM Nucleus® Profile™ Plus Implant. His new hearing system was successfully turned on in March 2021. Ferrigno now hears the world with his Cochlear Kanso® 2 Sound Processor, the first off-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor with direct streaming from both Apple® and Android™ devices.*

“I worked very hard to speak and hear with hearing aids for so long, but I finally learned that with my profound hearing loss, the best hearing aid in the world was not going to give me the clarity in speech I needed at my level of loss,” said Ferrigno. “My cochlear implant has, so quickly, taken me to a new level of hearing. It’s like I’m reliving my life again.”

“I can hear S’s. I’ve not been able to hear consonants clearly for so long, maybe ever. I have better diction and speech clarity already. Now, I don’t have to try so hard to hear,” Ferrigno continues.

Ferrigno describes the joy of being able to hear his wife, who whispered from 50 feet away in their home, after his implant was turned on. He is surprised by the little, ambient noises he can hear now too, like tapping and ticking of home appliances. And he is very much looking forward to hearing the cries of his new twin grandchildren.

“I heard a lot of misinformation about cochlear implants over the years, but a friend of mine received the device and went from 15 percent word understanding before the implant to 95 percent with the implant,” said Ferrigno. “I’m someone that has had profound hearing loss almost all my life, so if this cochlear implant is working for me already, it can give other people hope too. I wish I would have entertained a cochlear implant sooner. There is no shame in hearing loss and getting it treated.”

Ferrigno has been putting practice into his hearing therapy and rehabilitation as well, underscoring that like working out, hearing rehab takes work, practice and patience. He touts his commitment to rehabilitation, including using hearing therapy apps, watching online talks and movies, as being critical to his fast success with his cochlear implant, stating “The more you put into it, the better it is.”

In the United States, one out of three people over the age of 65 and half of people over 75 have disabling hearing loss, but only 5 percent of people who could benefit from a cochlear implant have them.1,2 Research continues to show aging adults with untreated hearing loss can be substantially affected by social isolation and loneliness with impacts to brain health and quality of life.3

Once hearing loss becomes severe to profound, cochlear implants are the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medical solution to treat it effectively. Research shows that moving from a hearing aid to a cochlear implant significantly improves hearing ability in noise, including doubling speech understanding.4 However, many adult cochlear implant candidates are not appropriately diagnosed, referred and treated.5

Adults who currently use hearing aids can try the Cochlear Hearing Aid Check, a free online hearing check tool, to learn if they may benefit from a cochlear implant. The Hearing Aid Check aims to help individuals compare their hearing performance with hearing aids to people with a cochlear implant, and depending on their results, to seek further hearing healthcare advice to treat their hearing loss.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Finance.

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Upcoming Events

  1. CSUN Conference
    August 19, 2021 - September 28, 2021
  2. The Arc’s 2021 National Convention
    September 27, 2021 - September 29, 2021
  3. CSUN Center on Disabilities 2022 Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022

Upcoming Events

  1. CSUN Conference
    August 19, 2021 - September 28, 2021
  2. The Arc’s 2021 National Convention
    September 27, 2021 - September 29, 2021
  3. CSUN Center on Disabilities 2022 Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022