Welcome to the last installment of this series!
Please note that this post is focused on those deaf and hard of hearing that are still dependent on their residual hearing to listen and communicate.
Words of Advice
First, I strongly discourage you from getting one of these for someone who's Deaf. Note the difference in spelling? What's the difference between "d"eaf and "D"eaf? Not only will this be mainly useless for them, it will be taken as an offense.
Second, I won't post any hearing aids that you can order on the internet or by phone. Here's why I hate those hearing aid commercials.
Third, the best way to decide on which assistive device is best for you is between you and an audiologist. They know the type of hearing loss you have and can help you find a suitable product. They also know what product is compatible with your brand of hearing aid as well.
Fourth, going ahead and buying a product without a doctor or audiologist's consent puts you in danger of losing more hearing. Seek advice first.
Personal Assistive Listening Products
These are for personal listening, preferably one on one or given to a speaker in a group.
* SuperEar Personal Listening Device - Boosts sound all around you
* Personal FM System - Boosts sound from a specific speaker with a microphone
* Portable Phone Amplifier - Add volume control to any landline phone
* Cell Phone Amplifier - Bluetooth volume boost for your cellphone
Assistive Listening in Public Places
Hearing in public places can be much harder because of all the background noise - noisy restaurants, a windy day, crowds, machinery, and so on.
What may help hearing in public places?
* Loop Systems - Compatible with many hearing aid's T-coil setting and transmits sound from the sound system directly to your hearing aid.
* FM Systems - Public FM systems (like the photo above)
* Bluetooth Technology - Public Bluetooth transmitters
When you're in a public place - theater, house of worship, conference, auditorium, and many attractions - look for this type of sign:
Just remember, the best way is through your doctor and audiologist.
Disclosure: Some links contain affiliate links & I may receive compensation from them
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:
There was a huge uproar on Social Media over the weekend among the Deaf Community.
You might be familiar with Nyle DiMarco, the Deaf winner of "America's Next Top Model" and currently competing on "Dancing With The Stars".
The Deaf Community has been strongly supportive of him and his successes and are proud of him representing Deaf Culture and ASL.
Recently the Washington Post featured an article on him and his Foundation that aims at improving Deaf infants’ access to sign language education. Nyle got an invitation to the White House's Correspondents' Dinner where he plans to promote his principles of improving Deaf children's lives.
Great story and great goals eh?
Well....The Alexander Graham bell Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing got wind of it and just HAD to post a rebuttal article called "Dispelling Myths about Deafness"
Sure they "applaud" Nyles' accomplishments, but turn around and criticize pretty much everything the Deaf Community cherishes - American Sign Language.
Here's some excerpts that has the Deaf Community enraged:
"[ASL] use is declining."
I'm not going to go on about why the Deaf Community is hurt and offended, you can read all about it all across social media - #ASLStrong #AGBell #AGBellLies, from NAD, from Gaulladet and various other blogging sites.
To me this article basically states that ASL is NOT viable and is a waste of time. Oralism is the way to go and will make your child "a successful part of hearing culture".
*Raises hand* Uh?? I beg to differ.
I was born deaf to hearing parents, one of the 95% AGBell quoted. Of course doctors back then pushed the misconceived notion (but one that AGBell still advocates and pushes) that I never be taught sign language as "she'll never learn to speak". I was fitted with hearing aids and then had years and years of speech and aural therapy, some fun ones initiated by my folks, some not so fun oones from the school system.
So, speech therapy from 2 years old until I was about 15 years old, my speech should be pretty damn good by now? Sure, people tell me I that speak "very well", But I still wonder why no one can understand my freakin' name when I introduce myself?? They hear "T C" "Radee", "CeeCee" "ChiChi". I've given up and have to say "It's Tracy....like Spencer Tracy" (or Tracy Morgan if you're too young to know who's the first).
I've also had aural therapy those years too, with powerful Phonic Ear hearing aids, listening to words and sounds over and over again and repeating them. I excelled at this, BUT all that work does NOT imitate "real life". No one in their right mind has one word sentences like "popcorn", "cowboy", "hot dog", "baseball" in a conversation!
I was mainstreamed in public school where there were other deaf or hard of hearing students and I had a few friends, but I was isolated and alone in the hearing classroom because there were no other deaf students my age. I suffered intense bullying from the other hearing kids. I was never part of any hearing kid's birthday party, outing or did after school activities. I holed up in my room with my pile of library books and shut the rest of the world out. I then begged my parents to start High School at the Deaf Institute because "they're the same as me".
I got a Cochlear Implant at 35 years old, I've been tested to have a "mild hearing loss". I can hear and identify a lot of environmental sounds, I've been tested for speech discrimination at about 70 - 80% in the booth. Which again I think is unrealistic because it's a completely quiet environment with a one word list or very simple sentences. It does not imitate reality at all. In the real world, my speech discrimination is pretty much 0%. I cannot understand you unless I'm facing you to lipread, and in a bright, quiet room.
If I'm one-on-one with a Hearing person I can manage pretty well, talking, lipreading and understanding. But, throw in a second person or a group, a noisy dark restaurant, noisy car, traffic, mall noise, or any other real-world situations and I'm lost.
I've been out of the work force since 2005, with sporadic work before that mainly due to headhunters' inability to look past my disabilities.
So is that being "a successful part of hearing culture"? I don't think so.
Now let's flip the coin...
I went to a Deaf Institute for High School. I slowly learned ASL through those years. I attended Madonna University which has a strong support services system for Deaf students with plenty of interpreters and notetakers and the like. I had a lot of Deaf friends and attended social events. I could be in a noisy bar with a group of Deaf people signing and still understand what was going on.
After University I joined a Deaf Club, where I was a member for over 15 years until I moved away. I held various positions on their Board of Directors. I was also on the Deaf Dart League and was part of several Provincial and National Deaf Dart Tournament teams.
I have a hearing husband and have 2 hearing kids who are teenagers now. They know how to sign, the kids have been signing since they were 8 months old. Because of ASL at an early age, they were way ahead in their speech, language and reading levels than their peers throughout their school years.
Nowadays when I go to doctor's appointments, meetings, and such, I prefer to use a ASL interpreter.. Mainly because I feel comfortable and more at ease with Sign Language than dealing with the stress of misunderstandings, impatient and frustrated people, the headache and eyestrain of having to listen and lipread.
I'm now a freelance writer, and currently in the process of a job interview to be an ASL tutor.
Now, I'm not going to criticize your choice for your child, that's a very personal and private matter.
I just wanted to show you the two sides - Oralism vs. ASL, that AGBell is not revealing to you.
Be willing to look past the "inspiration porn" of cochlear implant activations and AGBell's Youtube videos of "successful" kids and seek out the dark side, there are videos out there to watch that counteract AGBell's stance.
Look for #WhyISign on Facebook filled with stories from hearing parents, hearing grandparents, deaf people, and deaf children showing why they chose ASL.
No ASL is not in decline and will always be around as long as there are Deaf people.
What it means to be Deaf has not changed for the thousands and thousands of us who are.
So, that's my story, I'm open to any questions you may have, just send me an e-mail.
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon
As most of my readers know, I was born deaf and have worn Hearing Aids since I was two. I've had a Cochlear Implant for the last ten years as well.
As far back as I can remember, EVERY Audiologist I've been to didn't know how to Sign. Even the audiologist that was at my School for the Deaf didn't sign!
One would think that there would be deaf and hard of hearing clients who use sign language in need of hearing tests, hearing aids, and repairs?
So my question is for you Audiologists -
Why didn't you learn Sign Language when you entered a "Hearing Loss" field of work?
Is it from the Medical standpoint of "deafness needs to be fixed"?
Or the old outdated (and false) claim of "if the deaf learn to sign, they'll never learn to speak"?
I'm really curious to know what the reasons are!
As a client, being able to sign to an audiologist when you don't have your Cochlear Implant on would be so much easier!
Sure, I get an interpreter for these audiologist appointments, but it feels redundant to need one.
Well the audiology appointment was a bust! I was assured in several emails from Vocational Rehabilitation that the appointment, paperwork & an interpreter would be ready for me on the 3rd. (after a failed appointment last January due to no paperwork sent). My SSP (need an explanation?) picked me up & we drove an hour and half one way to the appointment. Upon arrival the Audiology Center informs me that my appointment was for the 5th! Sooo, back home I go and wait 2 days....
Thursday arrives, my SSP and I again make the long haul to the city. First there was no interpreter, I can understand that, it's hard to book one on short notice. We finally go in and sit with the Audiologist and she says "What can we do for you today?" So I explain the whole story again, my C.I. broke, need a replacement, VR sent me here.....
"Well all we have here from them is an authorization for a hearing test"
(I flash a look of "WTH" at my SSP)
"Let's go into the booth and test you then". She puts on headphones and tells me "Raise your hand when you hear anything"
Three minutes later she returns to the booth "Ok, we're all done"...I didn't raise my hand once!
"Yep, you're deaf"
"No shit Sherlock" I mutter....
Sooo, after I return home I fire off some e-mails to my VR Counselor & learned that she's now currently on a leave of absence and the new one was speechless at the lack of progress and confusion. So today (Friday) my new counselor has been making phone calls and e-mailing me and saying she's working on it. So I'm hoping better progress would be made here on out.
Now I wanted to share some results so far in the Poll I gave:
25% said "Cover Up"
56% said "Show Off"
19% said "Don't Care"
After sharing my last post on several forums I've had varying reasons ranging from "I want people to see me for ME and not my H.A. or C.I." to "If people don't see my C.I., how would they know they need to face me to talk to me?" Which are all valid reasons, and some even disagreed with my reasons for covering up. Sorry y'all I was talking from my own experiences growing up with H.A.s and all.
Now I'd like to expand the poll a bit if y'all don't mind:
Soooo I will update y'all any further news, but for now I'm stuck with the Tinnitus and "ear-worms"
One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon