I admit I had trouble coming up with something to focus on for Deaf Awareness Week.
I knew social media would be flooded with a multitude of different posts, vlogs, videos, and so on....all celebrating, educating, sharing, and more.
I didn't want to sound like a broken record, or get get skipped over because people "saw it already".
So, what do I do?
Discuss one major hangup between the Deaf and the "Hearing" or General Public:
Stop Pigeonholing the Deaf
Yep, stop pigeonholing those who are Deaf.
Stop assuming that "you've met one deaf person, you've met them all". We are as wide and varied as any other community with only one common link - we're Deaf. (And even that isn't common - there's s spectrum of hearing loss too).
I've heard so many stories among the Deaf community of different incidents that happened:
Those in the Deaf community come from different backgrounds, other cultures, different schooling, different experiences, have different talents, different jobs, and so on.
So, next time you meet a deaf person, it's just someone with hearing loss - first simply find out what communication method they'd like "how can we communicate better?" Text, pen & paper, lipreading, ASL interpreter, and so on. They'll be glad to tell you. Then just go about how you would treat anyone else!
Now Switching the Tables
Now I'm going to switch things up and address the Deaf community.
Stop pigeonholing the Hearing community!
Lately, I've seen a rash of posts and videos going around ranting about hearing people's audism against the Deaf community. Yes, sadly it happens frequently, but I'm not addressing that here. I've seen different wordings that are pigeonholing the hearing community. Such as:
See? "You hearies", "you as a hearing group"....you are also pigeonholing the general public that can hear.
Yes, there has been negative incidents on both sides but it's unfair to those who are innocent bystanders.
So, stop pigeonholing everyone and treat everyone as a first-timer into your world.
Many times when people find out out someone is deaf or hard of hearing, the first question is usually:
"Can you read lips?"
Why? Why do people assume that all of "us" can lipread? Maybe you don't realize how hard it is to lipread and master it?
Let me explain:
Only 30% of what is said can be seen clearly on the lips. (And that's by skilled readers too). That's 3 out of 10 words! Most of it is guesswork.
Here's an example of how it's done.
Photo Transcript can be read here.
Pretty difficult right?
Don't forget there's eye fatigue and headaches that goes along with heavy lipreading.
How to Help
You can help ease the strain and stress by helping us out by:
How did you do? Harder than it looks eh?
One final suggestion:
Instead of asking:
We've all seen the News of the futuristic technology coming out, such as the new cochlear implant that has no external parts, sign language translation programs, and cool animated interactive sign language.
But what about those people that these technologies cannot help, or for those who don't want to be "fixed"?
If you ask me, researchers should also include adaptive technology for these people as well.
So here are my ideas for adaptive technology that we'd really need and want:
1. Text Based Technology
We need better speech to text technology! One that will work with any speaker and accents and a higher rate of accuracy. Yes there are a lot of programs and Apps out there, but I'm talking about something that doesn't require pre-programming to the speaker beforehand and one that actually WORKS!
Need an example? Turn on "automatic captioning" on pretty much any YouTube video and you'll see what I mean. WTH right??
2. Access for the Deafblind
Sure the animated sign language is awesome, and who knows maybe someday there'll be holographic interpreters than can beam into a meeting and interpret right there. But what about those who cannot see and depend on tactile sign language?
Sure there's the face-to-face texting capability of text to braille and vice versa; or the Lorm glove that vibrates out the alphabet on the Deafblind person's hand. There's several problems with these:
3. Improved GPS Systems
Sure there's tons of GPS Apps and gadgets out there and even newer Apps that are mapping indoor spaces for Blind/Deafblind people, which is great, but they need improvement.
But we all know they aren't specific and sometimes are wrong. Even my home address is displayed wrong by 50 feet! So when trying to "Find a Friend" you can be at their location but still be 25 feet away! This isn't helpful for Deafblind people trying to find a location or a friend (I can't even see past 6 feet let alone 25 feet).
4. Just stick to what works!
Instead of trying to invent gadgets and technology to help YOU (the general public) why don't you try and help US?
So, are there any technologies you'd wish there was? Let me know!
The medical and scientific developments of our times have introduced a breakthrough to enhance our lifestyles in many ways. A plethora of options is available to help us lead a better life. Auditory training is one of those that help those with hearing loss.
Listening to specially filtered and modulated audio does create a colossal difference in our mind and our hearts.
Basic Advantages of Auditory Training:
This is what makes it reliable and popular. Its long lasting and satisfactory results and served the purpose of the patients.
A combination of various methods is used such as:
Helping in normalization of speech is another perk of this process. Auditory training is helpful for almost all age groups and so this is available for a large number of people. It works on the basic principles of biology and hence the crux of mechanism of the central nervous system is understood well by the training and can work with depth to cure disorders.
Other Crucial Aspects of Auditory Training
These trainings are conducted informal setups and informal setups as well, depending upon what is best for the patients. The pre and post auditory based training helps to detect and focus on the problem and deal with the issue in depth.
Rehab and systematic review is the basic advantage of the training. Descriptive cross-sectional studies are not randomized and hence, the nerve simulations and impulse is studied carefully and properly. Sheer perfection of outcome can be attained if the sessions are attended regularly. Modification of neuro-plasticity is another effective option that most people have to go through. This training has helped a lot of people to recover from their disorders and hence, pros and cons of this training are to be known for its own benefit.
About the Author:
I left my full-time job and am back to square one. I'll continue with SignOn as an ASL Tutor, but there's not enough demand for decent working hours. I'll continue to freelance write and spread out into other projects.
But mainly I want to expand this website so I'll be writing more, doing more and showing more here.
If you're Deafblind, Deaf, Blind, a Parent, or a related Organization that would like to write their own blog but don't want to deal with the hassle of maintaining a website, feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to set up your own space here.
If you want to be a Guest Blogger, I'm establishing an Editorial Calendar so my content will have more variety. Please read it and reserve your spot.
Children are always growing and developing and when it comes to their hearing, they are highly sensitive to sounds. Sound can provide engagement and entertainment and even help your child’s brain develop, but overexposure to loud sounds can prove to be detrimental to your child’s hearing.
Discovering how sound can damage your child’s hearing will enable you to prevent it.
The human ear is a very complex part of the body. There are two main parts- the inner ear and the outer ear- that assist with hearing and how we interpret sounds. Both the inner ear and the outer ear are lined with cilia- tiny, hair-like substances that vibrate based on the sound wave vibrations they encounter. The cilia will carry these sound wave vibrations to the brain for interpretation. This is how we hear and even the tiniest of sounds can be interpreted by the cilia in our ears.
It is when sound wave vibrations are too loud for our ears that we are at risk of permanent damage. When we are exposed to an overload of sounds, the cilia will cause a ringing in our ears. According to Better Hearing Institute, this ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus, can accompany sensorineural hearing loss.
Unfortunately, when our cilia become damaged, they will not be able to repair themselves. Since children are highly sensitive to hearing, they are more susceptible to receiving permanent damage to their cilia, and therefore, their hearing.
One of the major factors of protecting your child’s hearing is preventative care. Unlike most causes of hearing loss, preventative care can be under your control. As a parent, it is advised to be aware of what sounds your child is exposed to and for how long in order to successfully prevent hearing damage or even hearing loss in later years.
Noises in our everyday life can cause damage to your child’s hearing. This includes, but is not limited to:
These are just a few examples of sources of sound and excessive noises parents are recommended to monitor in an effort to prevent damage to your child’s hearing.
According to ENTNET.com, nearly 18 million Americans suffer from hearing loss, including 17 out of every 1000 children 18 and younger. While you cannot monitor your child 24/7 and protect their hearing from everyday life and sounds, you can employ the use of noise cancelling headphones.
Noise cancelling headphones can be used on children of any age, including babies. This can limit their exposure to an overload of sounds and reduce the risk of hearing damage and hearing loss in their later years.
Your child’s hearing is still developing and should be protected to prevent long term and permanent hearing loss. Take preventative measures as a parent to avoid exposing your child to excessive noises and sounds by monitoring their exposure and picking up a pair of noise cancelling headphones. What preventative measures do you use as a parent?
About the Author:
Sarah is the Editor of Headphone Selection. She loves all sound technology and firmly believes in the power of positive music.