Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation

Auditory Training


I’ve been training with Geoff Plant for the past two years and am very grateful for everything I’ve learned from him. Geoff’s approach to training is creative, fun, and multidimensional.

What I didn’t realize before meeting Geoff is that while the hearing mechanism many be faulty, the brain can be trained to make the most of what auditory information is getting through. And as a result not only has my speech recognition improved based on my annual auditory exam, but friends tell me that they notice I am having less difficulty hearing them and ask them less often to repeat themselves.

But as if that weren’t enough, it is through Geoff’s interest in music and his mission to help people with hearing loss be able to appreciate music again that I, as a former professional musician, have been blessed with the joy of reconnecting with people through music. I wish that more audiologists and people in the hearing loss world knew about auditory training. Thanks to Geoff, it’s been a revelation.


My CI surgery was very difficult due to progressive otosclerosis. The surgeon explained that there was more damage than he thought and I should lower my expectations. The first mapping test was a heart breaker. I could barely hear any beeps let alone words.

I went to visit and he immediately assured me that if I worked at it, I could attain a very favorable outcome.

Bi-weekly meetings working with Geoff and my depression started to slowly lift. At my second mapping session, the audiologist was shocked that I scored 40% correct for words.

More weeks working with Geoff and at my next mapping session my word recognition jumped to 65%. I was so relieved and the surgeon was taken aback by my progress. I know that by continuing to work with Geoff my hearing will only get better.


For a number of years, I have been using auditory training programs online and working in face-to-face sessions with Geoff. My experience of this has been that practice with intentional listening continues to bring me great benefit.

It’s not so much that auditory training results in improvement of my thresholds; it’s that I attend and focus more mindfully when I’m in conversation.

I have developed increased stamina for listening for long periods of time, as well as insight and awareness about the role of attention, fatigue, and rest as I work to manage communication encounters.

My hunch is that auditory training may well put the odds for cognitive health in my favor, especially because I continue this practice as a regular part of my life. It doesn’t fix my hearing, but it keeps me on my toes for active listening.


I find Hearing Rehab, as taught by Geoff Plant, to be extremely helpful in many ways.

First, I am learning to maximize my own ability to sort out difficult syllables and words, maximizing what I can hear and decipher in real time.

Second, one exercise he gives is especially helpful when he reads a story while having another story on in the background. It teaches me to maximize my ability to hear and stay with a speaker while background conversations are intruding – a particularly difficult hearing task. This exercise is so helpful! I end up hearing better. And, the primary story Geoff is reading is a great story he personally wrote, so I can’t wait between sessions to hear the next installment!

By his keeping clear measurements I see what is most challenging, what to work on, and the progress I am making.

Third, it is particularly helpful to have my wife attend, as she much better understands what I have trouble hearing, is more able to speak in a way I can hear her and is much more patient with my loss, really helping our relationship and the frustrations from coming as often between us.


“I find one of the hardest things about hearing loss is social isolation and I’m very grateful to Geoff Plant for the way he thinks ‘outside the box’ and comes up with interesting new ideas for how to help people struggling with hearing loss.

The FIKA provides a unique opportunity to learn, to be entertained, and to socialize with others with hearing loss.

Geoff chooses intriguing topics which he illustrates with his vast collection of wonderful photographs from around the world. So not only are we practicing our hearing skills, we are also learning something new and being treated to beautiful images while enjoying coffee and pastries in the company of others with whom we share so much.

Thanks Geoff!”

Betty H.

“HRF’s FIKA is a valuable activity for building the quality of life with hearing loss! The FIKA ticks off many of the boxes for optimizing hearing/cognitive health:

Social connection: The sessions are held with a small conversation group of hearing loss peers.

Cognitive engagement: The talks are incredibly interesting, often about novel topics with gorgeous photos, providing a great lecture series.

Auditory training: We practice listening attentively to the content, a one hour presentation and conversation stimulated by attendees’ questions.

Well planned acoustic environment: Our FIKA room is small, carpeted, well lit, and filled with book shelves and Geoff’s art.”


“It empowers me to communicate with my peers in a friendly and safe environment.

The word listen is very important.

Because of my hearing loss , I forgo attending lectures, as it is very hard to listen. Listening becomes an overwhelming task, and I do not ask questions because I am unable to grasp what the answer is – very frustrating.

FIKA has changed this for me. I sit, listen to an educational lecture, and ask questions because I am not overwhelmed. I know the speaker will speak clearly, the other attendees have hearing loss, and I am served tea and pastry. So it now becomes this friendly, caring environment.

I am relaxed!! It’s a miracle for those with hearing loss to now feel normal. “


” I enjoy the FIKA meets because they are a place where I can meet others with a hearing need like I have. We can also chat about our needs there.

I think the stories Geoff tells us are very interesting and he has a very nice knack of pushing us to listen and to train ourselves to listen.

I  am a late deafened adult with a cochlear implant and a strong hearing aid in my other ear. I am very actively involved in human rights issues in my town and need to hear and concentrate for long periods of time. The FIKA stories and meets help me with this concentration.”



“For me the FIKA is a place where I hear perfectly, and feel perfectly understood as well.  It is a format that is inherently relaxing, and where I learn something new.

It makes listening a pleasure.

Seeing friends both new and old is a large part of the pleasure as well.”


Betty S.



Geoff invited me to a life changing event: a special 3 day Intensive Training Course where I met two CI wearers and two new audiologists who were learning Geoff’s techniques.

The days were supposed to be hard work, but to me it was the best medicine for curing my depression from my lack of hearing for the last 30 years. I started to hear so much better, but what was the most gratifying was I could once again hear the nuances of sounds that I hadn’t experienced for most of my adult life.

I know that by continuing to work with Geoff my hearing will only get better. After all, we do hear with our brains and not our ears!