Innovations are emerging to help the deaf and the hearing-impaired community thrive in the world of talking communities. These technological advancements are life-changing and have significantly contributed to the deaf and hearing-impaired people to function normally. These new devices and development open new opportunities to the deaf community in their home, school, workplace, and community.
Hearing loss can be from mild to profound. There are estimated to be 360 million people worldwide suffering from deafness and hearing loss caused by either hereditary disorder, genetic disease, prenatal exposure to a virus, use of some drugs, ear infections, exposure to excessive noise, injury, and aging. Treatments are being developed to aid them. Besides medication, many deaf-friendly communities are working together to help the deaf and hard of hearing
Educating the Deaf
Some schools are already prepared, equipped, and trained to be deaf-friendly. These classes use the technology of speech-to-text systems which makes studying more comfortable for the deaf and hearing-impaired students. This technology translates spoken words to real-time texts and also provide a text file of the lecture.
Deaf in the Workplace
The Video Relay Service (also known as video interpreting service) is a system using a computer and a web camera. This function allows the deaf and hard of hearing individuals communicate over video telephone.
The system is widely used in the workplace. It allows the deaf people improve their level of communication, thus, making them more confident and productive.
Uber is one of the companies that hire deaf and hard of hearing drivers. In partnership with the Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), they developed an online video support guide that goes directly into their app. It features flashing trip request, text-only communication with the riders, notifying the passengers that the driver is deaf or hard of hearing. It gives the deaf and hard of hearing drivers the opportunity to earn a living.
Alert Devices, Safety First
There are also gadgets used at home for the deaf to live a safer and comfortable life. Alarm clocks that vibrates can be placed under their pillow to wake them. It also has a flashing light. In case of fire, a fire/smoke detector with a bright flashlight that warns a deaf person if there’s smoke or fire can be installed. A phone flasher light also alerts them when the phone is ringing.
Another safety gadget is the vibrating bracelet which is something a deaf person can wear. This bracelet tickles the wrist when sound is detected around the house like a phone ringing, doorbell, and sirens.
Deaf in the Social Environment
Communication is made more accessible with these gloves. It translated real-time sign language into readable text which is relayed via Bluetooth to a computer or smartphone. This way, communicating with other people gets better.
It’s not easy to have disabilities or live with people with impairments. People are working very hard to break the barriers through the development of these high-tech gadgets and systems. It is not only to give them hope but to make them feel that they are also part of the society. Advancement of modern technology is slowly making this world become a deaf and hearing-impaired friendly. Anyone in their simple way can also help give them a happy, comfortable, and safe environment to live in.