What are the biggest difficulties deaf or HOH people face nowadays?

Posted by pedronpaiva @pedronpaiva, Nov 3, 2020

I'm very curious to know a bit more about what do you feel are the biggest difficulties still lived by the deaf community today that aren't solved by the relay services? (in the day to day life, work etc)

How and where do you believe that technology could be used to continue improving the lives of the American deaf citizen?

I find that in many cases when I let someone know that I have hearing loss, they are very accommodating for a brief period, but then go back to using their normal voice, or speak with their back to me. I just try turning up the sound on my hearing aids. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.

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@sparklegram

I find that in many cases when I let someone know that I have hearing loss, they are very accommodating for a brief period, but then go back to using their normal voice, or speak with their back to me. I just try turning up the sound on my hearing aids. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.

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@sparklegram It's good that you are able to advocate for yourself even if the results are only short-term. I can only imagine that it gets to be very tiresome to have to continually advocate for a basic need in communication. There definitely needs to be more awareness as a whole.

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@dracena

Before Covid, when we were traveling by air, hearing announcements in airports is very difficult for hearing impaired. There needs to be accommodation for hearing impaired the same as those available for other disabilities. Announcements for gate changes and cancellations are a big issue for the hearing impaired and we are usually the last to know.

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I missed a connecting flight to Washington D.C. one time due to a change of gates. The flight was delayed, and then the gate was changed. I totally missed the announcement about the gate change. Thankfully, I was able to catch another flight without penalty. It was a lesson. After that, not only did I tell the attendant about my hearing loss, I also told whomever I was sitting next to that if anything changed I'd appreciate them telling me. People tend to be kind and helpful. I never had any other issues, except for the few times when I was asked if I needed a wheelchair. 🙂 Lots of misunderstanding about hearing loss. Like many others, I've also been asked if I would like a braille menu. 🙂 FYI: HLAA members in many major cities and some smaller ones have advocated for hearing loops and captions in airports. Many of them have those accommodations. Let them know what you need. That is how they learn.

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@erikas

@sparklegram It's good that you are able to advocate for yourself even if the results are only short-term. I can only imagine that it gets to be very tiresome to have to continually advocate for a basic need in communication. There definitely needs to be more awareness as a whole.

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We need to know what we need. Then we have to be willing to ask for it. If it is not provided because they don't have the accommodation we need, use that to teach them there are solutions. If enough people would do this things would change. Hearing loss is invisible. The majority of people who have it won't talk about it, thus they may be perpetually frustrated. Until that changes, progress is slow. It doesn't help to show anger or to be aggressive. Soft advocacy give a person a chance to teach a lesson. That has been my experience. I'd love to hear yours.

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In reply to @golden418 "one word - mask" + (show)
@golden418

one word – mask

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Agreed! I did not realize how much I read lips until I suddenly became deaf in my right ear, which unfortunately happened at the same time the mask mandate began. I am a healthcare worker and am required to wear a face mask (sometimes two) as well as a face shield which makes communicating with my patients, as well as coworkers, extremely difficult. Unfortunately I dont think there is really a solution to improve on this, at least one that is still safe in protecting myself and others from diseases but also makes sense financially to the hospital.

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@julieo4

I missed a connecting flight to Washington D.C. one time due to a change of gates. The flight was delayed, and then the gate was changed. I totally missed the announcement about the gate change. Thankfully, I was able to catch another flight without penalty. It was a lesson. After that, not only did I tell the attendant about my hearing loss, I also told whomever I was sitting next to that if anything changed I'd appreciate them telling me. People tend to be kind and helpful. I never had any other issues, except for the few times when I was asked if I needed a wheelchair. 🙂 Lots of misunderstanding about hearing loss. Like many others, I've also been asked if I would like a braille menu. 🙂 FYI: HLAA members in many major cities and some smaller ones have advocated for hearing loops and captions in airports. Many of them have those accommodations. Let them know what you need. That is how they learn.

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I was in the Toronto subway and there was an emergency stop for the train and many announcements about what to do. Needless to say I understood none. Really – all systems should make announcements visually as well as speaking them! I submitted that suggestion to the Toronto Transit Commission.

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@julieo4

Good questions. First, I encourage you to understand that while the Deaf population and the hard of hearing population have some overlapping issues, their difference are very significant. "Big D Deaf" identifies the Culturally Deaf population that considers their deafness a 'difference' rather than a disability. They use manual communication almost exclusively. I say 'almost', because some of them have been taught to use some oral speech from childhood, but even then, most prefer not to use speech. American Sign Language is their first language. They loudly claim they do not want to be 'fixed'.

Among the hard of hearing population there area variables that create differences. A lot has to do with the age of onset of the hearing loss. When it happens after the onset of language development it's very different than if the partial deafness is there from birth or early childhood. Language development is a key to communication with both the spoken word and the written word. Data from the National Institutes of Health indicates that there are over 48 million Americans who have hearing loss. Approximately 2 million of that number are culturally Deaf. Yet, because they are visible, due to the manual communication they use, many believe they are the majority.

Hard of hearing people who lose hearing as adults, often spend more energy denying and hiding it than they do finding a way to remedy it, Consequently many do not get the help they need, or they wait years before becoming so frustrated they seek help. Other statistics indicate that 75% of the people who could benefit from hearing aids don't get them. Stigma and denial are among the primary reasons for that, but the high cost of quality hearing aids is a huge barrier.

You ask what technology helps us. All of the populations with hearing loss benefit from visual support. Captions make a huge difference for all of us. Masks worn currently, due to COVID19, create a huge barrier to all of us because we all depend on facial expressions and lip movements to supplement whatever means of communication we use. Cochlear implants have been miraculous for many people who wish to stay in the hearing mainstream. The culturally Deaf population does not like cochlear implants because when successful, they have removed people from the Deaf Culture Community. Hard of hearing people who get cochlear implants consider them miracles. Hearing aids are also miracles for people with degrees of hearing loss that can be helped by them. The advances in hearing aids have been remarkable in the last few decades. Hard of hearing people in the know, know that technologies that connect with those modern hearing aids can keep one in the hearing mainstream. The key word is 'connect'. Not all hearing aids will connect with hearing loops or BlueTooth devices. Both means of connection are extremely important. This writer believes that all quality hearing aids should include both means of connection. That means both telecoils and BlueTooth components.

Caption phones are life saving for many people with hearing loss. They have come a long way in the last two decades. Hearing Loops and other assistive technology in theaters, work places, performing arts centers, meeting rooms, worship centers, libraries, etc. are extremely helpful to the population that wants and needs to hear. ASL interpreters are in demand by the Deaf population. Both are necessary to provide full 'communication access'.

I am a bimodal user of a cochlear implant and a hearing aid, My brain has become accustomed to using both technologies. It is amazing. I love the hand held BT mini mic that relates to both devices. It helps me in noisy settings such as restaurants, social gatherings, etc. I love the telecoils that connect me to room installed technologies and also make it possible for me to connect simply and inexpensively to my laptop, my cell phone, other audio devices, etc. I cannot imagine not having access to all of these technologies.

The key to living well with hearing loss is to know what is available and what will work for YOU. Far to many from the hard of hearing population have been led to believe that nothing can help them. Far from the truth, but one has to be open to talking about it and learning about it. HLAA has been my guide since 1983. The chapter meetings and national conferences provide opportunities to meet other people. UNfortunateluy, COVID 19 is preventing HLAA from holding in person meetings, but there is a lot of information available at the website. And, we will get back to real meetings soon. Meanwhile, Zoom and Google Meets have provided get together options. Just learning I wasn't alone back in 1983 was life changing. HLAA is the tool for learning. http://www.hearingloss.org

Julie O

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Watch also for lip reading classes on YouTube co-sponsored by my HLAA Chapter and the Fort Pierce Lions Club. Looking to release by end of February.

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The problem with lip reading is that many people especially in a crowded environment will be wearing masks. My husband has that problem because he reads lips in loud areas and public places when noises blend together.

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@faithwalker007

The problem with lip reading is that many people especially in a crowded environment will be wearing masks. My husband has that problem because he reads lips in loud areas and public places when noises blend together.

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Hopefully before year's end we can quit the masks

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@lucyg

I was in the Toronto subway and there was an emergency stop for the train and many announcements about what to do. Needless to say I understood none. Really – all systems should make announcements visually as well as speaking them! I submitted that suggestion to the Toronto Transit Commission.

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@lucyg 3 cheers for you, Lucy, for your advocacy!

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Would appreciate some assistance re purchasing a new cell phone with telecoils: I am looking for/need a replacement basic flip cell phone, not a smart phone as I only use cell phone for emergencies or when I am driving in unfamiliar areas. Currently I am using a bare bones prepaid Verizon plan for phone calls (no texting or internet access). Are still basic flip cell phones available? Thank you for any recommendations.

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