In most instances, the goal of technological improvements is to make various aspects of life more accessible. This belief has prompted some tech companies to employ design concepts which expand products and services for the hearing impaired, while others create devices specifically to improve the lives of deaf people. From sound enhancements to smart phone apps with closed caption, it seems everyone is pitching in, and chances are this is only the beginning.
In recent years, smart phone manufactures have begun engineering their products to be more accommodating to the hearing impaired. For starters, newer mobile phones, as opposed to previous models, are made with telecoils, which are added to boost magnetic signals and enhance sound while also adding clarity. Smart phones are also equipped with LED lights and vibrations powerful enough to capture the attention of users who otherwise might not notice incoming calls.
The rise in popularity of webcams has made life more natural and accessible for the hearing impaired. The ability to see the speaker in real time, no matter how far away they might be, allows people to read lips and monitor facial expressions. Because of the large number of people flocking to social media sites, including those with hearing complications, Facebook and Google+ have both been hard at work adding there on video chat features which will rival popular apps, like Skype. For portions of the deaf community that have already become regular social media users. incorporating sign language into their online conversations will make communication much more convenient.
Personal frequency modulator systems, otherwise know as FM systems, are devices that transmit sound directly to a hearing aid. Whether placed in a church, arena, or classroom, any sound detected by an attached microphone is sent to the transmitter, where it is amplified. Recipients would hear the speaker’s voice as if it were coming through headphones. Traditional FM systems can be built into walls or PA systems, while portable versions can clip onto the speaker’s belt. For more information about ways to cope with hearing loss, specialists like those at Hearservice are available to help.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, up to 3 children out of every 1,000 are born with a noticeable hearing impairment, and 37.5 million adults have experienced hearing loss. For this reason, ensuring that everyone has access to the same services and opportunities is becoming a universal initiative.