Phonak—a subsidiary of the Sonova Group and a global provider of hearing aids and wireless communications solutions—along with comedian D.J. Demers (featured on America’s Got Talent, Conan) are teaming up for the ‘Here to Hear’ comedy tour—a month-long road trip to shatter stigmas and raise awareness about hearing loss through the power of laughter, Phonak AG announced. From California to New York, Demers will travel to colleges and universities performing stand-up shows at no cost to students. The comedy tour takes place throughout the month of October to coincide with National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
The road trip also aims to raise awareness of the latest hearing technology available to students with hearing loss, said Phonak. Hearing accessibility accommodations such as Phonak Roger Technology are guaranteed to eligible university students at no cost by federal law, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Phonak said in the announcement.
Demers, who is known as “The Hearing Aid Guy,” has worn hearing devices since he was four years old and is an advocate for people who wear hearing aids—often using the stage to raise awareness. He currently wears Phonak Naída V90-UP hearing aids, and uses the Phonak ComPilot and Phonak Roger Pen daily.
“As I’ve gotten older (and, dare I say, wiser) I’ve begun to acknowledge that my hearing aids are a huge part of my identity,” said Demers. “I still believe that I am more than my hearing aids, but I’m not ashamed to fully recognize their role in my life.”
Students in attendance will learn how they can access hearing technology like the Phonak Roger Pen through their student disability services office. Anyone who can’t see Demers in person will be able to tune in for the laughs online. Daily vlogs will be aired on YouTube, and fans can also join in on Instagram and other social media using the hashtag #HereToHearTour.
October 3: Washington State University, Pullman, WA
October 4: San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
October 7: NACA South, Chattanooga, TN
October 9: Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
October 10: Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
October 11: University of the Ozarks, Clarksville, AR
October 12: NACA Central, Oklahoma City, OK
October 17: Miami University, Oxford, OH
October 18: University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI
October 19: Augsburg University, Minneapolis, MN
October 20: St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN
October 22: Wright State University, Dayton, OH
October 24: University of Akron, Akron, OH
October 25: University of Akron – Wayne College, Orrville, OH
October 26: Iona College, New Rochelle, NY
October 27: Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.
October 28: Rochester Institute of Technology/NTID, Rochester, NY
October 30: State University of New York at Cortland, Cortland, NY
November 1: Queens College, Flushing, NY
November 2: Yale University, New Haven, CT