14 years ago, a little boy named Drew was born. Drew had conductive hearing loss and needed to wear a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA). His BAHA was held on by a softband headband. When he was a baby, the softband kept slipping off and was drawing attention to his lack of ears and to his BAHA. So Drew’s Mom and Grandma created a way to attach the BAHA to a hat.
Drew’s Mom and Grandma tried many different materials and prototypes and had them tested by audiologists, because it was of paramount importance for Drew to be able to hear clearly, as well as wear hats and look like a young boy.
Thanks to there innovation, Drew could now wear hats to keep his head warm in winter (he got his baha in October). Then when spring & summer came, he could wear baseball caps and visors to protect his blond head from the sun.
Almost every picture of Drew is in a hat. He even had permission to wear hats to school. When it came time to get the BAHA implanted (at age 6), his family fought the doctor to make sure his BAHA was implanted low enough that he can still wear a hat. Now, at age 14, there is not one day that he leaves the house without a hat.
Drew’s family called this attachment piece a “Block.” It was designed to be used a hats similar to a button in a button hole. Drew spelled backwards is “Werd.” It eventually became known as the “ForWerd Button Block.” The Button Block Connector was designed to provide hearing options for Drew and also for you!
Button Block Connector Vs Oticon Medical’s Sound Connector
The Button Block Connector is not the same as Oticon Medical’s “Sound Connector.” The “Sound Connector” is 2 pieces which snap together permanently attached to a hat, whereas the Button Block Connector is moveable, so you only need 1 Button Block (or 2 if you have Bilateral BAHAs). Your BAHA snaps onto Button Block Connector which can be easily transferred between hats and softbands which are made with a flexible o-ring to hold the Button Block.
How use the Button Block Connector on a baseball hat or visor.
- Find a hat which fits snugly on head
- While wearing the hat, use a marker to mark where you want to cut a hole in the hat, usually just behind the ear.
- Remove hat from head and cut a 1/2 inch x 1/2 circular hole in the hat.
- Sew the edges of the hole by hand using only one or two threads.
- Insert the Button Block in the hole.
If the hat is a little loose on the head and cannot be adjusted tighter, put a wee bit of padding into the band on the hat where the hole is NOT going to be cut. As the head grows, remove this padding so the hat is never too tight.
Now boys can wear baseball hats and visors. And little girls can wear cute hats and sunbonnets!
Here is my first attempt at adapting my daughter’s hat to hold the Button Block Connector to hold her Ponto.
The Button Block Connector can be purchased from the Baha Bowtique on Etsy. There are two styles of Button Block Connectors, one is compatible with Oticon Ponto and a different one is designed to use with Cochlear Baha4/Baha5, so be sure to choose the one which is compatible with your hearing device.
Connector for Cochlear Baha: https://www.etsy.com/listing/585310688/connector-for-cochlear-baha4baha5
Connector for Oticon Ponto: https://www.etsy.com/listing/596871532/connector-for-oticon-ponto