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Virtual Talk: Bill Schiffmiller. Building a Multi-Generational Community through Hearing Aid Batteries.
7 December, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Bill Schiffmiller is the Founder and CEO of AkoioTM, a company dedicated to providing products and services tailored to the needs of people with hearing loss. A life-long hearing aid user and hearing advocate, Bill knows first hand the inconveniences posed by a hearing aid. He founded Akoio to make the necessary daily maintenance of hearing wellness management a rewarding experience rather
than a frustrating one.
According to Johns Hopkins Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health, approximately 38.2 million Americans (14.3 percent) report some degree of hearing loss. It’s not just the person with the loss of hearing, but their close friends, family and community that is also affected. Similar to Places of Origin, Akoio is a believer in building community. As we enter a global pandemic, face masks became an everyday necessity. How is the hearing loss community able to communicate with others where they rely on watching mouth movements to understand what the other person is saying? Hear from Bill about his innovative vision to build community amongst those that have a range in hearing loss during the pandemic and what it will look like in the future. It brings not only those that are immediately impacted, but various generations together.
Bill first developed the idea for Akoio in graduate school at Pratt Institute. Discouraged by the lack of innovation in hearing products, he knew there had to be a better way, and began researching and creating initial concepts for a new product. A product to help people better support their hearing.
Today, Akoio offers and is developing convenience-focused products and services for people with hearing loss, helping to make their lives easier. Akoio’s goal is to enable people with hearing loss to spend less time managing their hearing and more time doing the things they love, empowering them to live their fullest life.
Prior to Akoio, Bill was the Accessibility Advocate for Apple, Inc., and has brought his experience and passion for accessibility to Akoio. He also was a protégé of Sam Farber, founder of OXO, the creator of Good Grip Kitchen products. Sam’s work in universal design impacted Bill, and inspired him to adopt the same philosophy and commitment to making status quo products better and more accessible at Akoio.