Editor: Here’s an interesting idea – rechargeable hearing aid batteries. It sounds like a great concept, as long as the batteries last a reasonable time before requiring recharging. What’s a reasonable amount of time? I think that’s something people will have to answer for themselves!
SoundBytes and the GodisaUSA Foundation partner to distribute rechargeable hearing aid batteries and charger kits, which are developed and manufactured in Botswana, Africa by Hard of Hearing workers.
SoundBytes announced today that it has become the US distributor of the SolarAid rechargeable hearing aid battery kits. The rechargeable hearing aid battery kits include Ni-MH rechargeable hearing aid batteries and chargers that can draw energy from both solar and AC power. SolarAid is manufactured by Godisa, a Botswana-based hearing aid manufacturer, and has come to America through the GodisaUSA Foundation, Godisa’s US affiliate. Previously, the product was only available to developing countries through groups or not-for-profit organizations conducting humanitarian audiological services. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 250 million people worldwide who have some degree of hearing loss.
The reusable Ni-MH batteries can result in significant cost-savings for end-users over disposable Zinc Air batteries that are currently on the market. They provide reliable long-life capacity to power hearing aids. Each battery can be recharged 300-400 times, lasting up to 2 years. Rechargeable batteries also significantly reduce battery waste, as a powerful hearing aid can use a battery every two or three days.
“We are proud to partner with such a caring organization, and to provide a cost-saving solution to the ever growing population of hard of hearing individuals,” said Michael Abramowitz, Managing Director of SoundBytes. “The expense of zinc air hearing batteries can really be a concern, especially when they are used for both ears on a continuing basis, or when multiple family members have a hearing loss.”
“Our organization, GodisaUSA, was established to raise awareness and resources for the worldwide hard of hearing community. Thus our name “Godisa” which is a mission-filled African word meaning – to do something that will help someone else grow”, explains Dino Juliano, CEO of GodisaUSA Foundation. “So today we are pleased to partner with SoundBytes, an equally dedicated company serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, to offer all hearing aid users what they have been waiting for – rechargeable hearing aid batteries. Since our products have been developed and manufactured by hard of hearing employees, we understand our customer’s needs because we face many of the same challenges.”
Soundbytes is a catalog, web and retail-based company specializing in providing assistive equipment for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals and the agencies that serve them. In addition, they assist businesses with ADA compliance. SoundBytes offers amplified telephones, TTYs, FM systems, household notification systems, hearing aid batteries, maintenance equipment, and other assistive living and communication products. SoundBytes is based in New York and is an affiliate company of Independent Living Aids, Inc. (www.independentliving.com), a company specializing in products for blind and low vision individuals.
The GodisaUSA Foundation is an organization committed to the empowering of the worldwide hard of hearing community. Our goal is to provide resources to help alleviate the challenges associated with hearing loss for people around the world. Our mission is to partner with like minded entities in the education, training, assistance, and employment of the hard of hearing while providing an equally beneficial product for lowering the cost of maintaining hearing aids.