Together, we can ensure Safe Sounds for your child's hearing this holiday season.
This year we've randomly tested some of the hottest toys in the stores and have discovered some that are just too loud for little ears! We've included a list of these Toys to Avoid, as well as some suggestions on how to shop for toys online and some Ways to Turn Down the Sound. [Click here for image description.]
To stay safe, shop online if you can. Reach out to the retailers and toy makers via online chat and ask them how loud the toy is. Test the toy at home in quiet, and return it if it is too loud.
Toys that are too loud 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.
Children often place the speaker of the toy right next to their ear. Some of the ways to make the loud toy safer are to put waterproof tape or non-toxic glue 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 with the television on, other children yelling and playing, and loud toys combined can become unsafe. Remember, exposure to 100 dB for 15 minutes will damage hearing!
Before he retired, Michele Michaels interviewed Arizona Center for Disability Law’s Dave Haas on being a Hard of Hearing employee. #BetterHearingandSpeech #HardofHearing #ACDL #ACDHH
Meet Fran Saperstein!
Not all hard of hearing people work in offices. Some start their own businesses, write for a living, or even create art! Today we’re pleased to reintroduce you to Fran Saperstein who is a working artist who is hard of hearing. Fran’s beautiful artwork can be found on online, and in this video Fran shares her amazing spirit and ‘can-do’ attitude that has led to her success. If you have #hearingloss, we hope you flourish just like Fran has!
Meet Heidi Lovato!
In 2017, Heidi Lovato was the co-leader of the HLAA Arizona Working Adults chapter. In this video and column, Heidi shares her journey as a person with hearing loss and her poignant experience as a hard of hearing person in the workplace. Her story is one of acceptance, hope, and perseverance. We hope you enjoy meeting Heidi and learning how she has adjusted to her hearing loss.
Meet Lynn Meyer!
This week we kick off Better Hearing and Speech Month 2020 with a video from the past by Lynn Meyer who is a licensed counselor in private practice and is herself hard of hearing. Lynn discusses some of the mental and behavioral health issues associated with being hard of hearing. You can reach Lynn by email at: [email protected]
Archives for 2019 and previous years, including columns and videos, are found by looking to your right and clicking on BHSM Archives.
Here are some resources to help you better understand if, how, and when captions are provided for videoconferences:
Otter is Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) *** and is not verbatim captioning, however it can be used in the Zoom platform.
*** Please be aware that when you use ASR, it is possible that your conversation may not be kept private, so please check with the ASR product first.
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!
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.
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.
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-8pm and Saturday 8am-2pm 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.
ADDING AUTO CAPTIONS TO A YOUTUBE VIDEO?
Here are directions about how to add and edit auto captions on YouTube videos.
Here are some more instructions on how to caption You Tube videos.
TELEVISION (Broadcast) CAPTIONING
The FCC regulates broadcast captioning. This link explains the rules (captions must be accurate, synchronous, complete, and properly placed) and describes the programming exempt from captioning, and what to do if you have a complaint.
There are 22 walks that take place across the country and this will be the fifth annual Walk4Hearing to take place in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Every year thousands of walkers from around the country – 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.
Sponsorshipsandalliancesare available. Form your team today, or join the ACDHH Happy Feets team as we walk to support our community!
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. However, they must 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.
Here is a list of where you can obtain a hearing dog, or train your own:
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 Arizona Vocational Rehabilitation program.
A local law firm may be able to assist you regarding disability benefits.
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.
In this TEDTalk video, Rebecca Knill weaves her hearing loss journey around the evolution of technology, societal attitudes, and inclusivity.
Learn more about the 3 Cochlear Implant companies here:
Anyone who has any level of hearing should protect their hearing from further damage. One of the easiest ways to protect your hearing is by using foam earplugs. Foam earplugs, also called "formable earplugs" must be inserted into the ear canal correctly so that hearing is protected. Watch this video from the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD) to learn more.
You can also use a pre-molded earplug. This video explains how to properly insert this type of earplug into the ear canal.
How does hearing loss affect the person with hearing loss and their partner or spouse?
Hearing Loss for a Day
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.