If you have just recently become hard of hearing, or have just accepted that you’ve been struggling with hearing loss for a while, you've come to the right place! Here you will find answers to some of your questions and initial guidance on the next steps to managing your hearing loss. Watch the video, read the brochure, share it with your loved ones and children, then contact the Hard of Hearing Program for more assistance. With over 1 million hard of hearing Arizonans, you are not alone!
Everyone needs support at some time or another. Here is a list of the current hard of hearing support groups throughout Arizona:
There are 22 walks that take place across the country and this will be the fourth annual Walk4Hearing to take place in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Every year thousands of walkers – children and their families, young adults, young at heart, and everyone in between – form teams and walk in their communities to increase public awareness about hearing loss, help eradicate the stigma associated with it and raise funds for programs and services for the Hard of Hearing and Deaf.
Registration will be at 8:00 a.m. with the Walk starting at 10:00 a.m. The walk will be a 5K (3.1 miles) around the Cubs training facility and then turning east around the lake. Lots of free food, activities for the kids, and vendors will be present.
Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is word-for-word instant speech-to-text translation provided on scene in just about any venue. A professionally trained and certified CART provider (stenographer) listens to what is being said or heard and then types it on the stenograph machine, which is hooked to computer and a projector which connects to a screen or tablet where the words appear for one or more people to read. The stenographer can be on-site or remote and will 'write' everything heard, including environmental sounds, indicating a change in speaker, and audience reactions.
Primarily used in educational settings, C-Print® was developed at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) to convert spoken messages into text. A C-Print® typist, specially trained in text-condensing strategies types on a laptop computer using an abbreviation system. The text is displayed on one or more student computer (laptop) monitors. The transcriber does not provide a verbatim transcript but does provide a “meaning-for-meaning” rendition of the spoken English content.
TypeWell, used most often in schools, is a communication method to provide a “meaning-for-meaning” form of spoken English into English printed text on a laptop computer. Students read the “real time” text on a second laptop. The student’s laptop can also be used for note taking and turn taking. Transcribers are specially trained on licensed software provided by TypeWell.
Captions are text versions of spoken words and auditory sounds onto visual media. Captions can also provide descriptions of background sounds, such as “music playing” or “phone ringing.” There are two kinds of captioning, open and closed. Open captions always appear on the screen. Closed captions are hidden until activated.
RELAY CONFERENCE CAPTIONING (RCC)
Relay Conference Captioning is not a replacement for CART, C-Print, or TypeWell. Relay Conference Captioning is provided through the state-funded Arizona Relay Service and is to be used for teleconference calls when the user is an Arizona resident with an Arizona phone number. It is offered Monday-Friday from 8am-6pm AZ time and must be booked in advance. Please visit www.arizonarcc.com for more info, or reach out to Hard of Hearing Program Manager Michele Michaels at [email protected] for any questions or needed clarification.
AUTOMATIC SPEECH RECOGNITION (ASR)
ASR is a method of creating captions of what is heard via computers using artificial intelligence. ASR is currently being developed and used by a great many companies, but the product is not yet as accurate as a human captioner.
ASR is also being used in apps on smartphones, however there may not be a guarantee of confidentiality and privacy, so consumers should be very aware of that.
Your smartphone has a built-in microphone and free ASR which enables you to convert speech-to-text. Tap the microphone and speak into it, or have someone else speak into it, and try it out.
Service dogs for the Hard of Hearing and the Deaf are often known as Hearing Dogs, who are trained to alert their owners to sounds that are necessary for everyday safety and independence. Examples of sounds can be a door knock, a smoke detector alarm, an alarm clock ringing, and so on. Hearing Dogs may be identified by wearing a “Hearing Dog” vest, but are not required to wear a vest or have a certification. They must, however, be trained and are not pets. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Hard of Hearing and Deaf individuals are entitled to service dogs and are permitted to bring their service dog into public places.
Check out how ACDHH is celebrating 2019's Better Hearing and Speech Month, and Communication for All, by watching some of the videos below!
Kicking off Better Hearing and Speech Month, Dr. Juliette Sterkens speaks about hearing loss, hearing aids, and loops. She recommends that if you suspect you have hearing loss, get a hearing test, make sure the hearing healthcare provider tests you for speech-in-noise, get a telecoil, and do your homework.
Quiet Restaurants Help Hard of Hearing People Hear Better
Here are some tips:
remember to request to sit in a quiet area
choose a high-backed booth
don’t sit near the windows or doors
stay away from the kitchen and bars
make sure you have good lighting so you can lipread
in pleasant weather, consider sitting on the patio
if you can have your meal earlier or later than normal, that will also help!
Here are some restaurants in Arizona that are quiet:
Dianna Nanez, reporter for the Arizona Republic newspaper, experienced hearing loss for a day. In this article she describes her experiences.
Alvan Adams with the Phoenix Suns volunteered to be "Hard of Hearing" for a day for a panel discussion at ALDAcon 2015. In this video he shares his experiences on what it was like to experience hearing loss for a day.
Luis “Gonzo” Gonzales with the Arizona Diamondbacks volunteered to be "Hard of Hearing" for a day for a panel discussion at ALDAcon 2015. In this video he shares his experiences on what it was like to experience hearing loss for a day.
Priscilla with MIX 96.9 volunteered to be "Hard of Hearing" for a day for a panel discussion at ALDAcon 2015. In this video she shares her experiences on what it was like to experience hearing loss for a day.
JJ Putz with the Arizona Diamondbacks volunteered to be "Hard of Hearing" for a day for a panel discussion at ALDAcon 2015. In this video he shares his experiences on what it was like to experience hearing loss for a day.
We've randomly tested some of the hottest toys on the market this year and have discovered some that are just too loud for little ears, along with some suggestions of safer toys.
According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, a noisy toy is any toy that measures over 85 decibels (dB). You can download a free decibel meter app onto your smartphone to measure the sound of a toy. One of the most accurate sound level apps is the Armstrong Ceiling Solutions Sound Level Meter.
Noisy toys can damage children's hearing. When children are exposed to loud sounds, they become accustomed to loud as normal. But loud noise is not normal and not healthy for a child's hearing.
Here are some tips for how to buy toys that don't harm little ears.
Remember that children often place the speaker of the toy right next to their ear. Some of the ways to make the noisy toy safer are to put tape over the speaker, make sure the toy is set on the lowest volume possible (some toys are adjustable), take the batteries out, place foam behind the speaker if possible, and limit time spent with the toy.
Other considerations include the environment in which the child is playing with the toy. Are other children present, and are they also playing with toys that create sound? The decibel level in the room can become unsafe. Exposure to 100 dB for 15 minutes will damage hearing.
The Sight & Hearing Association conducts tests on the sound level of toys every year and the U.S. PIRG also reports on toy dangers every year, to include toys that are too loud. Both organizations have inspired ACDHH's work in this area.
The Veteran's Administration (VA) purchases more hearing aids than any other organization or company in the U.S. Veterans and service members frequently report hearing loss and/or tinnitus issues. If you are a veteran, please consult with the VA to see if you can benefit from their audiology services.
HLAA also provides veterans with free and low-cost services. Please visit www.hearingloss.org for more info.
If you believe your hearing loss has disabled you and you are not able to work, you can apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. Please be aware that receiving approval for benefits is often a long process.
In the meantime, if you want to work but your disability is impacting your ability to find a job, please connect with the Vocational Rehabilitation program in Arizona (a program under the Department of Economic Security).
There are 3 cochlear implant companies in the U.S.: Advanced Bionics, Cochlear Americas, and Med-El. Some offer surgical solutions for both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Learn more here: