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?

@catladyde9
Hi,
Cell phones don’t have tcoils …hearing aids do . I think you meant what basic flip phones will work with the tcoils in your hearing aids. All cell phones should have a M3 or better an M4 rating to be compatible with the tcoils in your aids. T-Mobile has some flip phones that are basic but also have some smartphone features and some cheap plans. Alcatel my flip has an m4 rating. Nokia and Kyocera are fairly basic. You will have to do some research on the tcoil rating modes of these “basic” flip phones. I can guarantee you that most people who work for the carriers won’t know what a m3 or m4 rating means.
You may be able to find a really basic flip but it may not work for you because it doesn’t have a tcoil mode. You may have to settle for a step up from the basic flip but not actually a full smartphone.
And that’s about what aI know. We have some tech savvy people here who can help.

FL Mary

REPLY
@imallears

@catladyde9
Hi,
Cell phones don’t have tcoils …hearing aids do . I think you meant what basic flip phones will work with the tcoils in your hearing aids. All cell phones should have a M3 or better an M4 rating to be compatible with the tcoils in your aids. T-Mobile has some flip phones that are basic but also have some smartphone features and some cheap plans. Alcatel my flip has an m4 rating. Nokia and Kyocera are fairly basic. You will have to do some research on the tcoil rating modes of these “basic” flip phones. I can guarantee you that most people who work for the carriers won’t know what a m3 or m4 rating means.
You may be able to find a really basic flip but it may not work for you because it doesn’t have a tcoil mode. You may have to settle for a step up from the basic flip but not actually a full smartphone.
And that’s about what aI know. We have some tech savvy people here who can help.

FL Mary

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@imallears, I would like to clarify your response to @catladyde9. Cell phones have both an M and a T rating. M stands for Microphone compatibility and T stands for Telecoil compatibility. The values go from 1 – 4, with the higher number being the most compatible. Yes, we need to choose a phone that has at least an M3/T3 rating. An M4/T4 is ideal, but I am happy with my M3/T3 iPhone. You may not even find an M4/T4. Surprising, probably due to the advocacy efforts of HLAA members, the sales folks in the the phone carrier stores have become more aware. The M/T ratings are advertised more. If you do not see the M/T rating listed on the packaging or display kiosk, ask the sales person. They may have to go in the "back room" to find the answer, but you need to request this information. If it's not available, then do not buy that product (and tell them why) and consider yourself an advocate for others with hearing loss. Cell phone manufacturers are required by law to have a certain percent of their products accessible.
Tony in Michigan

REPLY
@tonyinmi

@imallears, I would like to clarify your response to @catladyde9. Cell phones have both an M and a T rating. M stands for Microphone compatibility and T stands for Telecoil compatibility. The values go from 1 – 4, with the higher number being the most compatible. Yes, we need to choose a phone that has at least an M3/T3 rating. An M4/T4 is ideal, but I am happy with my M3/T3 iPhone. You may not even find an M4/T4. Surprising, probably due to the advocacy efforts of HLAA members, the sales folks in the the phone carrier stores have become more aware. The M/T ratings are advertised more. If you do not see the M/T rating listed on the packaging or display kiosk, ask the sales person. They may have to go in the "back room" to find the answer, but you need to request this information. If it's not available, then do not buy that product (and tell them why) and consider yourself an advocate for others with hearing loss. Cell phone manufacturers are required by law to have a certain percent of their products accessible.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi
Thanks for correcting me. I know you would contribute to this discussion. My Samsung is a M3/T3 also and I don't plan give it up until it dies. The microphone is fantastic. It has been over 3 years since I bought it so I hope you are right about salespeople being more informed. I went shopping with my deaf friend about 2 years ago and the people at 2 places were clueless about the rating. She was an IT person at a local library and pretty much knew here way around things. One guy tried to sell her a hotspot device which would have added to the monthly cost. That she did not know about this being her first smartphone so I was glad I was there to tell her differently.
I got the impression from the hotspot guy that he thought he was talking to two hard of hearing older women who maybe didn't know much. Another layer of discrimination and assumptions we older folk (especially women) come across. The young guy who sold me my Samsung at Verizon told my son in law (right in front of me) that he would put the "easy" home screen on for me. I put his nose out of joint.

Thanks Tony….FL Mary

REPLY
@imallears

@tonyinmi
Thanks for correcting me. I know you would contribute to this discussion. My Samsung is a M3/T3 also and I don't plan give it up until it dies. The microphone is fantastic. It has been over 3 years since I bought it so I hope you are right about salespeople being more informed. I went shopping with my deaf friend about 2 years ago and the people at 2 places were clueless about the rating. She was an IT person at a local library and pretty much knew here way around things. One guy tried to sell her a hotspot device which would have added to the monthly cost. That she did not know about this being her first smartphone so I was glad I was there to tell her differently.
I got the impression from the hotspot guy that he thought he was talking to two hard of hearing older women who maybe didn't know much. Another layer of discrimination and assumptions we older folk (especially women) come across. The young guy who sold me my Samsung at Verizon told my son in law (right in front of me) that he would put the "easy" home screen on for me. I put his nose out of joint.

Thanks Tony….FL Mary

Jump to this post

@imallears, LOL. I guess putting someones nose out of joint is one way of advocating. Next time, send us a video of that in progress. Could make for some interesting conversation. Before my iPhone, I bought a Casio flip phone. I think it was the most expensive flip phone in the phone store, but I could hear the best when trying the different models. That had a M3/T4 rating. It lasted a long time and was completely still functional but at the time, I knew I needed to get into a smarter phone, get internet access, and finally have to pay for a real data plan. I had researched and read that the hearing aid manufacturers were targeting iPhones for compatibility. I'm real frugal and would have never considered an iPhone because they are so expensive. But, I needed the best hearing technology available. Once I bought my Resound Linx3D's it was the best I've heard on the phone in a very long time. Streaming has been a godsend. I used to avoid the phone but not so now. Streaming has been around for a long time, but it required an auxiliary device before the current technology.
Tony in Michigan

REPLY
@imallears

@tonyinmi
Thanks for correcting me. I know you would contribute to this discussion. My Samsung is a M3/T3 also and I don't plan give it up until it dies. The microphone is fantastic. It has been over 3 years since I bought it so I hope you are right about salespeople being more informed. I went shopping with my deaf friend about 2 years ago and the people at 2 places were clueless about the rating. She was an IT person at a local library and pretty much knew here way around things. One guy tried to sell her a hotspot device which would have added to the monthly cost. That she did not know about this being her first smartphone so I was glad I was there to tell her differently.
I got the impression from the hotspot guy that he thought he was talking to two hard of hearing older women who maybe didn't know much. Another layer of discrimination and assumptions we older folk (especially women) come across. The young guy who sold me my Samsung at Verizon told my son in law (right in front of me) that he would put the "easy" home screen on for me. I put his nose out of joint.

Thanks Tony….FL Mary

Jump to this post

@imallears After having the basic clam cell phone and then getting an inexpensive smart phone the difference and the huge advantage is well worth the money.. The signal is the same so why not use it to the best advantage.. The smart phones work with our Hearing Aids.. There are so many good apps that are so helpful. remote mics, and Google maps keeps us from being lost… or it finds our way out of unfamiliar territory.. I cut out my landline years ago.. . K

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Cell phone service: Check out Consumer Cellular! We live where we have no cell reception at home, or near our home, so I use mine when I'm away from home, my spouse almost never uses his as he's an invalid and rarely leaves home. We have one basic plan for the two of us: $35 month, using AT&T towers, which happen to be the best one in our small town. Here, there's no cell reception even in City Hall, unless you have the WiFi password. If I exceed the data use that comes with the basic plan, I get a warning. I've been surprised, as I do use the cell for texting a great deal. I've only gotten a warning once, and that was during the week we were evacuated to the metro area two hours north due to a local forest fire, and I used the phone constantly in an attempt to learn if our house was still here. (It was, fire never got closer than a mile away, never got into the hundreds of acres of unroaded old-growth forest that surrounds our place.)

Another advantage of a smart phone is that they all have apps to control your aid(s), which is far easier than messing with those tiny bumps on the aids themselves! IPhones are more expensive but pair more easily with many aids; I have a Samsung, less $$, still pairs with my aid, actually has better GPS than the IPhone I started with.

Imallears, you're exactly correct about salesmen (usually young guys) having a real attitude about older women who can't hear well. Sheesh! Just because we can't hear doesn't mean that we have no brains! My greatest frustration is getting answers to questions about using smartphones when reception is so very poor: all the stores are in cities, where there are cell towers everywhere, and these young pups can't even imagine a place without reception, have no answers. I'll bet that lots of them can't even imagine a time when people didn't go around with phones glued to their ears!

REPLY
@tonyinmi

@imallears, I would like to clarify your response to @catladyde9. Cell phones have both an M and a T rating. M stands for Microphone compatibility and T stands for Telecoil compatibility. The values go from 1 – 4, with the higher number being the most compatible. Yes, we need to choose a phone that has at least an M3/T3 rating. An M4/T4 is ideal, but I am happy with my M3/T3 iPhone. You may not even find an M4/T4. Surprising, probably due to the advocacy efforts of HLAA members, the sales folks in the the phone carrier stores have become more aware. The M/T ratings are advertised more. If you do not see the M/T rating listed on the packaging or display kiosk, ask the sales person. They may have to go in the "back room" to find the answer, but you need to request this information. If it's not available, then do not buy that product (and tell them why) and consider yourself an advocate for others with hearing loss. Cell phone manufacturers are required by law to have a certain percent of their products accessible.
Tony in Michigan

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@catladyde9 and @tonyinmi Thank you for sharing this detailed information. A big problem is that people do not know what to ask for or look for. Considerable advocacy from HLAA has been done on this issue, starting over 25 years ago when we recognized that cell phones were going to be the way of the future. The early models were NOT hearing aid compatible. And, you are right. Few people at the cell phone outlets know what we are asking for when we say we want to use our telecoils. That 'back room' is important for them to go to. If they are not willing to do that, you have a poor provider. Also, they want to sell the high priced models, so will probably steer you away from the flip phones. Stick to your guns if that is what you want. Keep educating and advocating and asking questions. It all helps.

REPLY

Here's another 'senior citizen' story. My husband dropped his Iphone6 in the toilet. Thankfully, clean water. Rescued it and took the dessicant (SP?) from my hearing device dehumidifier out and put it in a zip lock bag with the phone. The next morning the phone would turn on, but would not receive calls, nor could he use any of the apps. We figured it was dead. Took to Verizon, where we sat on a bench for nearly an hour before one of the 5 sales people there could help us. Amazing that some were helping a single customer that entire time. (Looked more like courtship in one case.) When a sales guy finally came to help us he took one look at the phone and said it was probably damaged beyond repair. He offered John an 'inexpensive' new iPhone option for $450 to replace it. Together we decided to check with our daughter and family to see if they had an older phone he could have reconfigured, so we walked out of Verizon while telling them we were going to check with family about a used phone. (KIds replace the dang things pretty often.) The Verizon guy did tell us they would reconfigure a used one if we could find one. No cost estimate, but guessing it would be a few bucks.

Long story short: Took the phone to our son in law, who is tech savvy. He had a used phone to give us, but it ended up it was not needed. He did a few things, including removing the back of the phone, which had also been in an Otter Box which we had removed. Pushed a few buttons and made a phone call. The phone worked perfectly. So no need for a new one or a refurbished old one.

We were so happy we were not suckered in to buying a new phone that day. I do think that seniors often get that kind of treatment. And the reality is; few of us are savvy like the young folks are. Those sales folks probably want to avoid us when we arrive in the first place. We're living in a crazy world.

REPLY
@julieo4

Here's another 'senior citizen' story. My husband dropped his Iphone6 in the toilet. Thankfully, clean water. Rescued it and took the dessicant (SP?) from my hearing device dehumidifier out and put it in a zip lock bag with the phone. The next morning the phone would turn on, but would not receive calls, nor could he use any of the apps. We figured it was dead. Took to Verizon, where we sat on a bench for nearly an hour before one of the 5 sales people there could help us. Amazing that some were helping a single customer that entire time. (Looked more like courtship in one case.) When a sales guy finally came to help us he took one look at the phone and said it was probably damaged beyond repair. He offered John an 'inexpensive' new iPhone option for $450 to replace it. Together we decided to check with our daughter and family to see if they had an older phone he could have reconfigured, so we walked out of Verizon while telling them we were going to check with family about a used phone. (KIds replace the dang things pretty often.) The Verizon guy did tell us they would reconfigure a used one if we could find one. No cost estimate, but guessing it would be a few bucks.

Long story short: Took the phone to our son in law, who is tech savvy. He had a used phone to give us, but it ended up it was not needed. He did a few things, including removing the back of the phone, which had also been in an Otter Box which we had removed. Pushed a few buttons and made a phone call. The phone worked perfectly. So no need for a new one or a refurbished old one.

We were so happy we were not suckered in to buying a new phone that day. I do think that seniors often get that kind of treatment. And the reality is; few of us are savvy like the young folks are. Those sales folks probably want to avoid us when we arrive in the first place. We're living in a crazy world.

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@julieo4
I did the same thing with my flip phone and when I got home the old phone fit in my Dry and Store. Worked like new the next day.
Just needed drying out. Probably because your hubby's iPhone and my old phone did not sit in the water long enough.
Also dropped an ITE hearing aid in regular water, managed to pry it open (that's went I actually saw what was inside one of these things).
Amazing what a hair dryer can do. I did have to glue the 2 parts back together and it worked until it didn't. Long ago also.

FL Mary

REPLY
@julieo4

Here's another 'senior citizen' story. My husband dropped his Iphone6 in the toilet. Thankfully, clean water. Rescued it and took the dessicant (SP?) from my hearing device dehumidifier out and put it in a zip lock bag with the phone. The next morning the phone would turn on, but would not receive calls, nor could he use any of the apps. We figured it was dead. Took to Verizon, where we sat on a bench for nearly an hour before one of the 5 sales people there could help us. Amazing that some were helping a single customer that entire time. (Looked more like courtship in one case.) When a sales guy finally came to help us he took one look at the phone and said it was probably damaged beyond repair. He offered John an 'inexpensive' new iPhone option for $450 to replace it. Together we decided to check with our daughter and family to see if they had an older phone he could have reconfigured, so we walked out of Verizon while telling them we were going to check with family about a used phone. (KIds replace the dang things pretty often.) The Verizon guy did tell us they would reconfigure a used one if we could find one. No cost estimate, but guessing it would be a few bucks.

Long story short: Took the phone to our son in law, who is tech savvy. He had a used phone to give us, but it ended up it was not needed. He did a few things, including removing the back of the phone, which had also been in an Otter Box which we had removed. Pushed a few buttons and made a phone call. The phone worked perfectly. So no need for a new one or a refurbished old one.

We were so happy we were not suckered in to buying a new phone that day. I do think that seniors often get that kind of treatment. And the reality is; few of us are savvy like the young folks are. Those sales folks probably want to avoid us when we arrive in the first place. We're living in a crazy world.

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@julieo4, Funny, but not funny. The harsh reality is that many sales people are crooks. They'll often tell us the things that they think we'll believe. It's all about the money. They may not have a way of billing for certain repairs so will try to sell you a product instead of trying to spend the time to research the problem. They certainly had no problem spending all that time with a single customer.
Grrrr
Tony in Michigan

REPLY

Weird. Ongoing battle on HOH not calling us part of the deaf world. I think it is an UK vs USA mater and or youth vs oldies folks . . Supposedly we should call ourself Deaf. I have gotten trouble for stating I am hearing impaired rather hearing challenged. It seems less need of what I mean when I say I am hearing impaired. Folks stated I am putting me in a negative light.
On another issue- my hearing aids are dying after 16 years. I brought over the counter aids . Most are for mild to moderate. Works somewhat. I did get a pair I thought were hearing aids for moderate to severe loss. They were stated they are aids. They are not. They are amphiers. My tinnitus got worse even though only wore for ness- 1-2 hours. Be careful.

REPLY
@bookysue

Weird. Ongoing battle on HOH not calling us part of the deaf world. I think it is an UK vs USA mater and or youth vs oldies folks . . Supposedly we should call ourself Deaf. I have gotten trouble for stating I am hearing impaired rather hearing challenged. It seems less need of what I mean when I say I am hearing impaired. Folks stated I am putting me in a negative light.
On another issue- my hearing aids are dying after 16 years. I brought over the counter aids . Most are for mild to moderate. Works somewhat. I did get a pair I thought were hearing aids for moderate to severe loss. They were stated they are aids. They are not. They are amphiers. My tinnitus got worse even though only wore for ness- 1-2 hours. Be careful.

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The terminology surrounding hearing loss gets as weird as the assumptions people make about hearing loss.

The difference between being Deaf of Deaf culture, and being partially deaf or hard of hearing is important to understand.

Those of Deaf culture, most often people who were born deaf who use manual communication exclusively, believe that deafness as they experience it is their norm. They don't want to hear, and resent people who tell them they should want to hear. Therefore, they do not accept the term 'impaired', because they don't believe themselves to have an impairment.

Hard of hearing people experience hearing loss differently. Most want to hear and will do what they can to bring clear sound to their 'impaired or damaged' ears. We HH folks don't embrace our hearing loss as beautiful. While we can bring these populations together to work on common goals, it is next to impossible to expect complete collaboration. One groups solution to communication access is sign language. The other group's solution is technology that helps them hear. It just doesn't mesh very well. Yet, we can certainly respect each other's needs and opinions as we look for things we can work together on.

I hope you can find the support you need to get decent hearing aids that will help you.

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