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.
I saw an article a friend shared on Facebook:
"Nyle DiMarco’s Activism Is Dangerous For The Deaf Community"
This author is deaf in a hearing family and was mainstreamed in public school and can speak "the predominant language of this country". Well y'all know that's my upbringing too, I'm the only deaf (or deafblind if you want to get specific) in my family, I grew up oral and mainstreamed and didn't learn ASL until I was 12 years old. (You can read my Letter to Parents of Deaf Children for more details.)
This article irked me in so many ways...
Let me break it down into bits to respond to:
Someone who only uses ASL, like Nyle, can’t interact with society without help from others.
Whoa! Really? Are we that dysfunctional? There are other means of communication, pen and paper, texting, snapping a picture of the menu and showing the server, and so on and on. I know plenty of Deaf people who use ASL that can speak, but prefer not to.
I’m reminded of my deafness every second of every day.
Really? Because I don't give my Deafness a second thought. Like you said, "my deafness is one part of who I am", my deafblindness is a part of who I am, but I don't dwell on it and I'm not "reminded" of it. Sure I struggle to understand and lipread or interact with the hearing world, but I don't go "oh gee I'm deaf", "it's so hard being deaf", or "I wish I was hearing".
Deaf Culture extremists will respond to this essay in full force; they’re well-known for their intimidation and manipulation tactics
I could say the same for the Alexander Graham Bell Foundation and it's members, which by the way, Ms. Goldstein is a Board Member of AGB. So I can pretty much state her views are biased and in support of her organization. I've heard countless stories of intimidation and manipulation by AGB on Deaf families and individuals and they're not open-minded as they state they are. (Again read my Letter for more details).
We're deaf in different ways, and that should be Ok
Yes we are, there's the deaf (small d) and the Deaf (Capital D). Oral deaf vs. ASL Deaf. We've been at odds for a very long time and probably won't end any time soon.
Yet Ms. Goldstein doesn't want to celebrate the Deaf difference and instead belittle Nyle's accomplishment, just like her organization AGB has done all along.
Yet, despite him saying he wants to use his celebrity for good, he’s dividing instead of bridging
Have you not seen the celebrations around the world? The Deaf community and even the deaf community (those not part of AGB mind you) have been cheering for Nyle for a long time now.
We, Deaf, will not hide in the shadows anymore and are proud, damn proud of Nyle DiMarco. We are showing the general public (aka the hearing world), that the Deaf can do whatever we want!
We’ve all seen the viral videos of Cochlear Implant activations all over the Internet. The person or their family breaks down into tears when they realize they’re hearing sounds.
But these “inspiration porn” videos, as I call them, doesn’t show is what happens once the camera turns off.
Here’s the reality of Cochlear Implants that many people, including many in the medical community, don’t realize
It’s not an “Instant Fix”:
We can’t just slap it on our head and instantly hear and understand everything. It takes a lot of time and adjustment for our brains to learn to translate the electronic signals into sounds that we may recognize.
We have to go through a lot of technical adjustments (mappings) to adjust how we’re hearing. Pitches and loudness have to be adjusted every time.
I’ve had one C.I. for 10 years until an internal failure (long story). I was reimplanted with the newest version in November 2015 and even though I’ve learned to hear well with the first one, I’m having to relearn everything all over again.
It’s not a cure for deafness:
Once we take the external part (the Processor) off we are deaf again. We’re deaf when we sleep, shower, swim (unless we have the waterproof case), or any other time we take it off.
We’re also deaf when our battery dies, there are instances where we’ve forgotten our replacement batteries and have had to go without the C.I.
I was born prelingually deaf, so I’ve pretty much missed the window for speech discrimination (0-3 years old). People expect that since I have a C.I., that I’d be able to understand them clearly without lipreading. With my first C.I., I was able to understand my husband and my kids without lipreading….sometimes. Now with the new one, I struggle to hear them even when I’m looking at them straight on, but hey, it’s only been 4 months.
It will never match natural hearing:
It is electronically produced hearing. As great as this technology is and it’s improving all the time, it will never match the complexity and range of natural hearing.
For those of us prelingually deaf, we will never know what true hearing is. For those late deafened, they never will be hearing like they used to again.
Even though it’s electronic hearing, after much training and adjusting, people can get pretty close to how they were hearing before.
It takes a lot of training:
Even some C.I. users wonder why they’re not hearing well. It takes a lot of training to hear.
You don’t need to attend aural therapy sessions by a specialist to train to hear. Play the radio or TV in the background while you go about your normal routine. Get an audiobook and print version of the same book and read along with the voice to learn different speech patterns. You can also turn on Speech option in the Accessibility menu of your tablet or phone and it can read out loud any text you highlight. Have someone read the newspaper or magazine out loud next to you. All in all, the saying “you only get out what you put in” stands true here.
You also need a lot of patience, it may take months and months, or even years before your old brain “clicks” and you finally realize that weird high pitched sound is actually a bird singing outside your window.
So there you have it, the reality of a C.I. It’s the same as any other medical restoration. You don’t expect that patient who just had knee replacement surgery to suddenly jump up and start tap dancing after their stitches are out do you?
To new C.I. users: Be patient; enjoy the little “a-ha” moments; practice listening wherever you are; don’t forget to escape to the quietness of silence when things get overwhelming; and enjoy your “new ear”.
To everyone else: Be patient, help with identifying sounds; have realistic expectations; and enjoy their hearing “progressions”.
If anyone wants to know more, please shoot me a line.
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon