Please Note: This is entirely my opinion and may not reflect others who are Deafblind.
There was a recent court case where a Deafblind man, Paul McGann, demanded that Cinemark Theaters provide him with a Tactile Interpreter so he can attend "Gone Girl".
Now I'm wondering how this would work.....
There'll be two interpreters to take turns - not just the dialogue, but screen actions, descriptions of people, places and so on and so forth.
Some of you have seen Captioning - print descriptions of every sound happening:
[dog barks in distance]
[paper rustling on desk]
Then there's audio description for people with vision loss - describing nonverbal happenings on screen, scenery, etc:
Now a Tactile interpreter would have to do BOTH these jobs and the two switch turns (usually every 20 - 30 minutes).
It's just my opinion that this guy is asking for a lot and expecting a lot.
Maybe he can't get access to TASL for movies at home, so he goes after the "big guy" with the money? I don't know his reasoning and I don't care.
I'm sorry, but just be like many other Deaf and Deafblind person who don't want, or can't access, the standard captioning service at the theater and wait for it to come out on DVD and watch it at home.
Pretty soon there'll be technology for Captioning to Braille for television watching available, and then probably adapted for movie theaters as well.
Now I'm all for equal accessibility and everything, but right now, this Deafblind woman is baffled and bothered by this lawsuit. In the current state of things it is an "undue burden" on the owner of that particular theater - not the Parent Company. Sure, the lawsuit names Cinemark, but they'lll just pass it off onto the small business owner of the Pennsylvania theater. If they don't pass it off and absorb the costs themselves, and other DB folks request it - the costs are going to be passed off to the consumers. Moviegoers already pay a ridiculous amount to get into a movie, how would they feel with another price hike?
So, have patience grasshopper.....technology will improve to where we all can enjoy movies without any waiting, without any requests, without any barriers.
.I’ve recently been asked by Sonic Alert to review two of their products.
I was given the Sonic Boom Travel Alarm clock and their NEW Bluetooth Sonic Boom Super Shaker Alarm.
Sonic Alert is a company that specializes in alerting systems for people with hearing loss and for those who are hard to wake up. They sell alarm clocks that have extra-loud ringers and "bed shakers" which are small pods that vibrate for you to feel. They also sell amplified telephones and home alerting systems (visual alerts to important sounds).
Now the products:
The Sonic Boom Travel Alarm Clock
The picture shows the clock portion upright, but it actually can fold flat.
I tried the alarm in several scenarios:
- Tucked under two pillows.
- Between the mattress and boxspring.
- Clipped to the fitted sheet in between the pillows (on a queen bed).
- Clipped to the fitted sheet, but dangling over the side (in case you knocked it off)
- Clipped to the end of the bed in the middle (by my feet).
It didn't work in only 2 scenarios - dangling off the bed and clipped to the sheet in the middle between the pillows. I figured out why - there was no resistance to the vibrations, meaning there was nothing on top to enhance the vibrating. If it bounced freely, the vibrations are lost - so using a blanket or pillow helps.
In all the other situations - Man did it ever work! You could be in a coma and still wake up on time. That's why the name "Sonic Boom" fits it perfectly.
It was very easy to set up, Just install the batteries, one look at the diagram bof where buttons are and I was done setting the time, the alarm & the vibrate alert. It also has a snooze button, night light and options such as vibrate only, buzzer only, and both vibrate and buzzer.
The only suggestion I have for improving this product is having a pocket in the storage case for the batteries, (as they advise removing the batteries while not in use).
Sonic Bomb Bluetooth Super Shaker Alarm
So whenever you receive a new phone call, text, a new e-mail on your smartphone - it sends an alert to the sonic boom.
The vibrations can be adjusted - short bursts, long vibrate, and so on. Sadly it cannot be set to different vibrations to different alerts. (short bursts for texts and long vibration for email). I don't really care for that option but thought some users might.
I really thought this would be AWESOME for Deafblind people like myself! Why? We often lack peripheral vision and miss seeing the visual alert flasher or the smartphone's own light. Sure, we could just have the phone vibrate in our pocket - but that gets uncomfortable when you're in a chair or on the couch watching TV, reading, or other activities. Stick the Sonic Bomb alert in your couch or chair cushion and you'll never miss anything else.
Another bonus I liked - the Sonic Boom alerter can either be plugged into a wall socket (with included plug adapter) or a USB port. The bonus is that the USB adapter has another USB port for you to plug in your smartphone or tablet into. So only one plug outlet is needed for the vibrating alert and to charge your phone How cool is that?
Both of these great products and Sonic Alert's other products, can be found on their website, on Amazon, and in my Store.
So never be late for anything while away from home, or miss any more notifications with Sonic Alert.
American Sign Language (ASL) has steadily gained more exposure through television, movies and social media. It’s the third largest language used in the United States.
People are eagerly taking classes, watching videos, and downloading Apps to learn ASL. They’ve even created signing Holograms and included ASL in a new video game.
So, the more people that know ASL, the less communication barriers we, Deaf, will face. Deaf people will be able to be more involved in the community around us.
Or that’s what everyone thinks……
No matter how many times Nyle DiMarco posts on Twitter, how many PSAs Marlee Matlin makes, or how many episodes of Switched at Birth there are – people still have negative bias towards Deafness and low-set standards towards them.
We constantly fight to get:
Let me explain further:
Whenever we need to go to the doctor’s office, or to the Emergency room, we constantly fight for our communication rights in getting an interpreter. I’m not talking about the portable video relay interpreter (VRI) unit mind you!
You wouldn’t expect someone speaking Spanish to forgo an interpreter and be forced to communicate in their broken English and understand everything clearly? Why are Deaf people subjected to this discrimination and stress.
So, we constantly fight for communication access that WE choose, not something forced on us by administrators because it’s a cheaper alternative.
There are only 48% of the Deaf Community that are employed. Some of those who are employed are woefully underemployed. I know several that have degrees but can only get employment in unskilled jobs, like in a factory or retail.
Firstly, this change has to start early in High Schools (whether it’s a Deaf institute or a mainstreamed school) where the tendency is to steer Deaf students towards vocational training instead of higher academic goals.
Secondly, higher education institutes need to provide better accessibility to their colleges and universities (this goes back to the interpreter issue).
Thirdly, employers need to provide adequate access as well. Many just skip over potential candidates just on the disability issue alone (can’t prove it, but it’s been done).
So, we battle an unfair war to gain respectful employment.
There are State schools for the Deaf all across the U.S. and Canada who primarily teach in ASL. But even then the sign language competency is inadequate! There was a State review of the Florida School of the Deaf and Blind that revealed 82 of the teachers didn’t meet proficiency requirements. This is widespread across a lot of schools.
I attended a Deaf High School, the rumor was that some of the teachers weren’t qualified enough to teach in the Public sector so they were assigned to a Deaf School.
So, we get second-rate teachers who can’t even communicate well with us?
I see and read so many stories, as well as experienced it myself, that as soon as someone finds out that a person is Deaf – their expectations of that person drops dramatically.
Forget about the awkwardness of trying to communicate, that’s understandable if they’ve never met a Deaf person before, I’m talking about people’s instant opinion of that Deaf person. The majority of the time that opinion is that Deaf = Mentally Deficient and we’re treated as such. “Where’s your caretaker”, “Can you get someone else to sign this for you?” “How will you look after your child?” and the list goes on.
So, no matter how much exposure Deaf people get in the Media, we still encounter people who don’t believe that we can be scientists, business owners, teachers, actors, and everything else!
Putting all the above aside, we just want to be accepted for the way we are and that we don’t need to be cured or fixed in order to be a productive member of society.
We have a beautiful, vibrant, and healthy Culture that is thriving and we cherish and are proud of. We have art, poetry, movies, stories, humor, history and socialization that is unique from any other Culture in the world.
So, we continue to strive without “hearing” intervention and oppression. We just want people to stop asking about our hearing loss and whether “they” should fix it for us.
One glaring example of everything I just discussed is summed up in this video:
Now I think it’s awesome that more people are learning to sign, but we also need to get rid of the stereotypes and attitudes towards Deafness and the Deaf community.
So please, along with learning ASL - become involved in changing mentalities too.
Whether it’s partial or complete deafblindness, when they’re home people with hearing and sight difficulties need to feel comfortable, safe and completely in charge of their surroundings.
Acquired deafblindness can be frustrating and scary. It forces people to rethink their habits, their needs, and their environment.
To help deafblind people gain their independence, we’ve hand-selected 7 ways to adapt your house in order to accommodate them.
1. Lighting Changes
Whether they live in a studio, apartment or house, one of the first and most important changes for a deafblind person’s environment should be lighting.
Changing the placement of light fixtures can also help better illuminate dark spaces:
• Choose the brightest light bulbs. These will come in handy in darker spaces where accidents tend to happen such as the bathroom or on the stairway. Invest in fluorescent bulbs – they emit a more powerful light and they last longer.
• Be generous with the light fixtures. Illuminate the house entirely, including the hallways, closets, and outside.
2. Interior Design Adjustments
The home of a deafblind person should be a safe haven. Here are some tips to help you create exactly that.
Electrical items can be tricky to get used to. But it’s not impossible for deafblind people to use them.
Here’s how you can make it go smoother for them.
4. Bathroom Adaptations
This type of adjustment is essential for safety.
Here’s how to adapt a bathroom for deafblind people:
5. Hallway Adaptations
Hallways shouldn’t be overlooked when you are working on adapting a home for a deafblind person.
Here’s what you should know about corridor adaptations:
6. Outdoor Adaptations
To make it easier to deafblind people to go out or access the garden, here’s what you should keep in mind about outdoor adaptations:
7. Security Adaptations
There are special alerting systems designed for people with hearing and sight difficulties that keep them informed about what is happing: phone ringing, smoke alarm going off or someone at the door.
About the Author:
John Stuart works on behalf of raisedfloor.co.ukin outreach and content creation. He creates engaging content that help businesses connect with their audience and stand out from the crowd
The OrCam device is a smart camera that sits on the user’s glasses and reads text aloud to people who are visually impaired or blind.
While the OrCam device is not exactly “glasses for blind person”, it definitely looks that way. The device is so small and discreet, it is barely noticeable. Besides its compact size, there are many amazing OrCam features that make the device unique and accessible.
Easy to Use
OrCam MyEye is an intuitive wearable device with a smart camera that clips onto a regular pair of glasses and is able to 'read' text and convert it into speech relaying the message to the user. The device is activated by a simple intuitive gesture – pointing your finger or pressing a single button. Using OCR - optical character reading - technology, the device can read printed materials on almost any surface such as newspapers, books, computer screens, menus and more.
Many people who are visually impaired or blind have to carry around a heavy magnifying glass to read text. The OrCam MyEye is small and light and simply attaches to the right side of the user’s glasses frame. The camera weighs ¾ of an ounce and has a thin wire, easily hidden behind the ear, which connects to the base unit or “brain” of the device. The base unit is about the size of a cellphone and can easily sit in one’s pocket or on a belt strap.
“You are what you wear.” Wearable technologies have grown tremendously in the past few years. Smart electronic devices that can be worn on the body are practical and discreet. The OrCam is no exception. Although they are not exactly glasses for the blind person, the device sits on the individual’s glasses frame and is so discreet that it can barely be seen by others allowing the user to fit in with the crowd.
Unlike other OCR technologies, the OrCam does not require a scanner connected to a computer or internet connection. All the information stored in the device is private and only accessible to the user.
For people who are visually impaired or blind and have conditions that cannot be corrected by glasses or surgery, the OrCam MyEye can be life-changing.
Who would have thought that this little camera situated on a pair of glasses could help people who are blind or visually impaired regain their independence?