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.
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?
Home safety is usually a concern for most people, but it can be more worrisome for those with hearing loss – especially for those who just recently lost it. So how do people with hearing loss protect themselves and their belongings? They can get an alarm system and have a few modifications added.
So, here’s my list of home alarm systems for people with hearing loss and how they can feel safe at home.
Invest in a Monitoring Service
There are a variety of home monitoring services with different types of packages to choose from. Some are self-installed while others are installed by a professional. They’re available for homes, rentals, and businesses.
Some of these services offer notifications by cell phone, which is great as you can have your cell phone by your bed with notifications set to flash (or vibrate) to alert you when the alarm goes off
Visual Alert Systems
Getting a visual alert system for all your home needs is an excellent idea. A visual alert system is a system that alerts you by setting up listening receivers that flash a lamp or strobe light plugged into them. They also come with a bedshaker to place under a pillow or between the mattress to shake you awake for a noise alert.
There are alerts for the alarm clock, doorbell, smoke detector, baby crying, and any other noise you want to be notified for. A noise receiver can be set up next to your alarm system to “listen” to the alarm going off.
Install Louder Alarms
If you don’t have a visual alert system or hear “fine” during the day with your hearing aid or cochlear implant, you do need to consider night time when you take your devices off. You can find alarm systems, smoke detectors, phones, and doorbells with extra loud ringers.
Be sure to find one that works in your hearing frequency. If you have a high pitch hearing loss you’ll need to find an alarm with a lower bass frequency to be able to hear it.
Install Motion Detector Lights
Installing motion detector lights in your front and back yard is a great deterrent from break-ins. They’re also great for added safety for walking to and from the car at night time.
Some alarm systems come with motion detectors as well and can alert you to movement in the house. Even though these are not attached to lights per say, you’ll know if someone’s in your place.
I personally have a motion detector light in my front hall entryway. It’s pretty dark in there during the daytime as well. It’s a motion detector for the light socket. It comes on whenever someone comes in or needs to go out. An added bonus is that since I don’t hear the door open and close, I can spot the light come on and go check who’s here.
Get the Neighbors to Help
These days many people are so busy that they don’t even know who their neighbors are. Go and make friends with a few of them, offer to help them out if they need anything (mowing, errands, and such).
In return, they can help keep an eye on your place by letting you know of strange visitors or noises. They can also be a contact person for the alarm service to contact too.
Get a Pet
A cheap (and cuddly) alternative is to get a dog or a cat. Allow the pet to share your bed. In the event of strange noises, a break-in, or anything, you’ll feel your pet barking, moving around, or even bolting off the bed. Then you’ll know something is wrong and go investigate.
Many disabled people can safely and effectively look after themselves, while living independent lives, however, achieving the most effective home security can pose some extra difficulties to those with an impairment.
Burglars and home invaders are not the types of people that are likely to have qualms about victimizing a disabled person. However, with some diligence and planning, anyone, no matter what their disability, can achieve home security to an extremely high level. While everyone’s needs and abilities are different, some general tips have been outlined to stop intruders.
Keep Everything Within Reach
While most disabled people are mobile and self-sufficient, some may still find it difficult to reach key items. If locks and deadbolts are too high, then they need to be moved within easier reach. The same goes for an alarm system control panel. You should also keep a mobile phone within easy reach at all times.
Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help
You may pride yourself on your independence, but that doesn't mean you can't ask others for help. A family member or friendly neighbor is always a great option to make the most of, especially if they have some basic DIY skills. They will be able to assist with installing a security camera, fixing windows or doors, or any other jobs.
Another benefit of having a good relationship with a neighbor is that you can call on them if there is anything suspicious happening on your property. If they are home they can be around in seconds to help. Most people are happy to do this, especially if it's only a few steps away.
If you truly feel like your home is about to be broken into, or somebody is already inside, then don't hesitate, call the police straight away. People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, or those with speech difficulties can text rather than call, however, they generally have to be registered for this service in advance.
Get A Professional Handyman
Your doors and windows are the key access points to your home. This means they should be sturdy and shut and lock securely. Now if you can't find someone to help with maintenance for your doors, windows, and locks, as well as other tasks, then just contact a professional. Make sure they understand any limitations you may have so that they can create the best solution for your situation.
Use A Security System
There are many security systems that are optimized for the disabled. For those with a sight impairment, there are voice activated systems. For those with hearing loss, it is possible to get a strobe light alarm. Regardless of what your disability may be, there is likely to be a system that you can use without issue.
Remember, you want to optimize the visibility of your property. It can be difficult for those with limited mobility to investigate suspicious occurrences. Setting up multiple security cameras can give a panoramic view of your property. The feed from these can be sent straight to a phone or computer. A video doorbell is also available which may help. This means you will know everything going on around your property, and when the doorbell rings you can see who is there no matter where you are in the house.
Consider A Dog
Dogs can have special benefits for disabled people, such as guide dogs for the blind, and service dogs for those with limited mobility. Not only can these dogs transform the life of a disabled person, but they can also provide invaluable home security. The sight or sound of a dog is generally enough to ward off most burglars, not to mention giving advance warning to their owner. If you already own a dog, then that's fantastic, if not, consider the ways they could potentially assist you, as well as improve your home security.
Don't Be A Victim
You want your home to be your castle, where you feel safe at all time. Just as you don't let your disability hold you back in other areas of your life, don't let it hold you back from achieving excellent security. Taking these tips into consideration is the first step on your path to optimizing your home for security, safety, and peace of mind.
About the Author:
Joanna Sommer is the Senior Editor for InformedMag and is passionate about security and tech. She has been working in the home safety and security field for 5 years. Joanna loves to travel and enjoys going to hot yoga and Barre classes. She is dedicated to creating articles that both educate and help people make an informed purchasing decision.