Hearing Loss: Come introduce yourself and connect with others

Welcome to the Hearing Loss group on Mayo Clinic Connect.
This is a welcoming, safe place where you can meet people living with hearing loss, and friends and family supporters. Whether you were born deaf or hard of hearing, experienced hearing loss after birth or with aging, it helps to connect with others. Together we can learn from each other, support one another and share stories about living with hearing loss, coping with challenges and celebrating milestones.

Let’s chat. Why not start by introducing yourself? What is your hearing loss experience? Got a question, tip or story to share?

@julieo4

Check the HLAA website for opportunities for webinars and video conferences. Those that have been held are recorded and posted. http://www.hearingloss.org I love the comment about us being on the same playing field as those w/o hearing loss on video conferences. I feel the same way, especially when they are captioned.

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@julieo4 HLAA webinars/conferences do sound great, bu unforunately the vast majority are Zoom only. There are still millions of us who do not have access to or possess the equipment that Zoom requires. We do not have or use smart technology so we currently have no direct access to such critical communication from HLAA.

(Zoom will not accept/recognize PC desktops computer speakers: without cameras/microphones no dice. Nor is Zoom accessible on landline telephones)

I recently contacted HLAA requesting 'normal' internet recordings but no response so far. A recent Slate article/comments re why older people really eschew technology provides important revealing responses.

For many of us who do not have family or nearby "tech gurus" to provide ongoing continued support and tutoring, smart technology is far too cumbersome, confusing, complicated, not in the least personally "intuitive" ("intuitive" is what techies familiar with the technology blithely and arrogantly assume is obvious to any one, including all novices/newcomers)

For us there are major hassles navigating too many choices even before acquiring, we are leery of such invasive technology (cameras and microphones in home intrude on personal privacy/activities/conversations, etc), etc.

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@catladyde9

@julieo4 HLAA webinars/conferences do sound great, bu unforunately the vast majority are Zoom only. There are still millions of us who do not have access to or possess the equipment that Zoom requires. We do not have or use smart technology so we currently have no direct access to such critical communication from HLAA.

(Zoom will not accept/recognize PC desktops computer speakers: without cameras/microphones no dice. Nor is Zoom accessible on landline telephones)

I recently contacted HLAA requesting 'normal' internet recordings but no response so far. A recent Slate article/comments re why older people really eschew technology provides important revealing responses.

For many of us who do not have family or nearby "tech gurus" to provide ongoing continued support and tutoring, smart technology is far too cumbersome, confusing, complicated, not in the least personally "intuitive" ("intuitive" is what techies familiar with the technology blithely and arrogantly assume is obvious to any one, including all novices/newcomers)

For us there are major hassles navigating too many choices even before acquiring, we are leery of such invasive technology (cameras and microphones in home intrude on personal privacy/activities/conversations, etc), etc.

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@catladyde9 I wanted clarification on some of what you mention. I agree that some folks may not have the technology to participate 100%. Your reasoning is sound. Privacy may be the biggest factor. However, Zoom meetings do not require your computer or smartphone to have a camera. Your face simply does not show for others to see you. Even if your computer or smartphone does have a camera, you control whether they are on or off during the meeting. Your computer does not need a microphone. You just wouldn't be able to voice any questions you have. Zoom allows a chat function so you would still be able to ask questions by typing in the chat box but you may not get an answer right away. If you do want to work that way, make sure you type your email address so that HLAA can respond afterwards. HLAA archives the meetings for later viewing. The captions are there if you watch it later.
You mention that Zoom is not accessible from a landline. They are if the person running the meeting allows that. If you were sent a link, it has the phone number to dial. You would dial that number on your landline. You would not see anyone and nobody sees you, but it does work. You may be asked to enter a meeting ID and a passcode, but that information would be in the email that you received.
You mention that you requested normal internet recordings from HLAA. Can you elaborate on "normal internet recordings"? The recordings are on YouTube. How else would you want them?
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi Thank you for your quick reply. Unfortunately Zoom did not/will not accept my new Lenovo PC desktop. When I first tried to access Zoom it kept insisting on a microphone — my repeated attempts to access Zoom were all futile. As far as captions are concerned, there was no link on the Zoom screen to choose English – what appeared was a non-European non alphabet language across the bottom of the screen. Recently when I tried to view one of the HLAA national convention 'recordings' all that appeared was a miniscule 1" x 1" tiny screen in the top right hand corner. It was totally impossible to view any demos, etc. Most of the screen was covered by "intro" listing participants. Could not remove that intro or move/enlarge the tiny 1" x 1" screen. I could not view any closed captioning in that 1" x 1". YouTube is not what appeared on my desktop; videos on YouTube I can usually view. Using my landline really is not welcome; far too unwieldy for digesting detailed contents — going back for repeated viewings, or being able to pause, take notes, and restarting again as is possible with most YouTube videos. Thanks again for your quick reply.

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@arrowshooter

InnoCaption displays text on my cell phone. It's free!

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You mean it transcribes? Is it pretty accurate?

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Tony – I am surprised to hear about your woes with Zoom and Lenovo. My Lenovo PC is about 2 years old and I (knock on wood) am using it alot for Zoom – no problem!! so what do we make of that?

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@barbb

You mean it transcribes? Is it pretty accurate?

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Here is how InnoCaption works. You sign up and you get another phone # for your smart phone while keeping your existing number. Incoming and outgoing calls on your InnoCaption number are made or received on your smart phone. The voice is displayed as text. Your smart phone still works the way it always did with your regular number.

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@catladyde9

@tonyinmi Thank you for your quick reply. Unfortunately Zoom did not/will not accept my new Lenovo PC desktop. When I first tried to access Zoom it kept insisting on a microphone — my repeated attempts to access Zoom were all futile. As far as captions are concerned, there was no link on the Zoom screen to choose English – what appeared was a non-European non alphabet language across the bottom of the screen. Recently when I tried to view one of the HLAA national convention 'recordings' all that appeared was a miniscule 1" x 1" tiny screen in the top right hand corner. It was totally impossible to view any demos, etc. Most of the screen was covered by "intro" listing participants. Could not remove that intro or move/enlarge the tiny 1" x 1" screen. I could not view any closed captioning in that 1" x 1". YouTube is not what appeared on my desktop; videos on YouTube I can usually view. Using my landline really is not welcome; far too unwieldy for digesting detailed contents — going back for repeated viewings, or being able to pause, take notes, and restarting again as is possible with most YouTube videos. Thanks again for your quick reply.

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I agree that the technology is confusing. It's a livelong learning process to keep up with the tech than can help hard of hearing people remain in the hearing mainstream. Many give up. I encourage you not to. If you have a new Lenovo PC, regardless of whether it's a laptop or a desktop, it should be able to easily connect you to the seminars and webinars you want to participate in or see. I realize it's a pain, but I strongly suggest that you talk to the computer geeks at the place where you purchased your new computer to ask them to show you the ropes. It's worth the time and effort.

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@arrowshooter

Here is how InnoCaption works. You sign up and you get another phone # for your smart phone while keeping your existing number. Incoming and outgoing calls on your InnoCaption number are made or received on your smart phone. The voice is displayed as text. Your smart phone still works the way it always did with your regular number.

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Thanks. Wonderful to have this very clear and detailed description. Just one question. I have my landline with Captel phone. Then I have my smart phone with its # which I currently use only for texting – not for talking with someone on the phone. But if I want to use my phone for more than texting, I could get a # which would be used for Innocaption (which I already do have on my phone. Is that all correct? Because Otter is so wonderful, I had been thinking of using my cell phone for phone calls and holding Otter to the phone as a way to know what's being said. I think I've heard Innocaptions don't have quite as high a level of accuracy as Otter….do you know about that?

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Can you share which company offers only texting as an option? I have T-Mobile for data only, which gives me internet, email and texting. I do not know whether this option is still available. I have no use for telephone calls on my cell phone and no desire to pursued it.

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I think your question is: which company does not require that you pay for your regular phone usage (I can't think at the moment of the proper terminology for what I'm saying) if you only want to text, not regular phone calls. The only thing about that, that I know is that I am using Verizon. I am guessing that any phone company would allow the option to do just texting,

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@catladyde9

@tonyinmi Thank you for your quick reply. Unfortunately Zoom did not/will not accept my new Lenovo PC desktop. When I first tried to access Zoom it kept insisting on a microphone — my repeated attempts to access Zoom were all futile. As far as captions are concerned, there was no link on the Zoom screen to choose English – what appeared was a non-European non alphabet language across the bottom of the screen. Recently when I tried to view one of the HLAA national convention 'recordings' all that appeared was a miniscule 1" x 1" tiny screen in the top right hand corner. It was totally impossible to view any demos, etc. Most of the screen was covered by "intro" listing participants. Could not remove that intro or move/enlarge the tiny 1" x 1" screen. I could not view any closed captioning in that 1" x 1". YouTube is not what appeared on my desktop; videos on YouTube I can usually view. Using my landline really is not welcome; far too unwieldy for digesting detailed contents — going back for repeated viewings, or being able to pause, take notes, and restarting again as is possible with most YouTube videos. Thanks again for your quick reply.

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@catladyde9 It sounds like you have issues with your computer. The language may not be setup correctly so maybe Zoom is using the language as specified in your computer???? Not sure but its a thought. The tiny 1 x 1 screen sounds like a Picture in Picture setting. Again, that may be controlled through your computer. As Julie mentioned, you probably should see if the store where your computer will help. It's too bad that this pandemic is lingering. Libraries and senior centers have volunteers that teach classes. Unfortunately, they are either closed or limiting what they do.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi Thank you – I do appreciate your feedback. A Geek Squad home visit Windows 10 transition specialist set up my
desktop during a multi-hour home visit late last year when I purchased my new Lenovo. (I was forced purchase a new computer to
switch to Windows 10 – which I detest – when Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7). I am sure he established English as
the only permitted language (after all these years no longer have facility with other languages). 'Picture in picture' setting……I am
totally unfamiliar with how to alter/remove that. My desktop is far too bulky and heavy take to Best Buy/Geek Squad for in person
servicing.

With Covid-19 necessitating only totally essential departures from home and needing to ensure I have few, if any, in person encounters
in my home, I realistically do not have any "fix" options for accessing Zoom.

Thanks again for you reply.

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@julieo4

I agree that the technology is confusing. It's a livelong learning process to keep up with the tech than can help hard of hearing people remain in the hearing mainstream. Many give up. I encourage you not to. If you have a new Lenovo PC, regardless of whether it's a laptop or a desktop, it should be able to easily connect you to the seminars and webinars you want to participate in or see. I realize it's a pain, but I strongly suggest that you talk to the computer geeks at the place where you purchased your new computer to ask them to show you the ropes. It's worth the time and effort.

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@julieo4
Thank your for your reply. As a 77 year old who has all the high risk categories, I can not safely venture from my home; my doctors strongly recommend that I leave my home only for essentials for myself and veterinary appointments for my cats. Going to Best Buy for Geek Squad is far too risky (the techs would need to actually use/see my computer to determine the issues). The Lenovo CPU tower is far too heavy and bulky for me to lift/carry). Quick "watch what I am doing" easily forgotten oral "instructions" do not work for me. I have always relied up/needed printed large font hard copy, fully detailed step by step instructions, with photos/diagrams. Unfortunately, I cannot view Zoom on my Lenovo – even after multiple access attempts Zoom will not accept my computer speakers (Zoom keeps insisting on providing a link to "my" microphone which does not exist/nor does a camera) The desktops I viewed at Best Buy were not equipped with cameras or microphones . The Best Buy Sales sales dept staff never mentioned either when I was selecting my new desktop in December. I cannot use laptops — their "keyboards" are awkward, uncomfortable and very tiring (legacy of multiple surgeries of all 10 fingers and both hands years ago). Thanks again for responding.

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@catladyde9

@julieo4
Thank your for your reply. As a 77 year old who has all the high risk categories, I can not safely venture from my home; my doctors strongly recommend that I leave my home only for essentials for myself and veterinary appointments for my cats. Going to Best Buy for Geek Squad is far too risky (the techs would need to actually use/see my computer to determine the issues). The Lenovo CPU tower is far too heavy and bulky for me to lift/carry). Quick "watch what I am doing" easily forgotten oral "instructions" do not work for me. I have always relied up/needed printed large font hard copy, fully detailed step by step instructions, with photos/diagrams. Unfortunately, I cannot view Zoom on my Lenovo – even after multiple access attempts Zoom will not accept my computer speakers (Zoom keeps insisting on providing a link to "my" microphone which does not exist/nor does a camera) The desktops I viewed at Best Buy were not equipped with cameras or microphones . The Best Buy Sales sales dept staff never mentioned either when I was selecting my new desktop in December. I cannot use laptops — their "keyboards" are awkward, uncomfortable and very tiring (legacy of multiple surgeries of all 10 fingers and both hands years ago). Thanks again for responding.

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I hope that when the time is right you'll be able to get the answers. Your Lenovo likely has everything you need to do Zoom. It's a matter of understanding how to do it. A friend of mine with a desktop had this same problem trying to use Zoom. An 11 year old neighbor girl figured it out for her. Wishing you good luck. Once you can do Zoom you will love it.

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@barbb

Tony – I am surprised to hear about your woes with Zoom and Lenovo. My Lenovo PC is about 2 years old and I (knock on wood) am using it alot for Zoom – no problem!! so what do we make of that?

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@barbb. Hi — it is my 12/19 new Lenovo desktop that Zoom refuses to accept. I have standard desktop computer speakers connected to the Lenovo CPU – no camera or microphone. Zoom will not accept/recognize my speakers, preventing my accessing any Zoom presentation, even after multiple attempts. Zoom does not provide any online support nor do they respond to any email customer service requests…..

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