‘A person is attached to those ears’
Sophia Kramer is shifting the focus from technical signal processing to the hearing-impaired person. The new Professor of Auditory Functioning and Participation, originally a neuropsychologist, is especially interested in what goes on between the ears.
More than a third of people who have a hearing aid never use it. That’s not because their hearing has suddenly improved. It has to do with how they assess their own hearing impairment before they acquire the hearing aid. Professor Sophia Kramer was recently appointed to a University Research Chair. As a PhD student, Kramer developed the questionnaire used today in all hearing aid stores in the Netherlands to measure how serious a person finds his or her own level of hearing loss. A picture accompanying each question makes it easier for people to understand the situations described on the questionnaire. That makes the questionnaire more effective. At the request of health insurers, the questionnaire is now used universally, hopefully giving hearing-impaired people a real voice when it comes to prescribing hearing aids, thereby boosting user satisfaction.
Sophia Kramer gave her inaugural lecture on September 12, 2014.