Balloon Tower Farnborough, Hampshire UK (Copyright to Hearing Wellbei ng 2012)

What the eye doesn’t see, this heart grieves over

Hello Everyone

Most women like looking at websites that sell houses.  It is not because we will buy one; we’re just looking.  Recently, I saw a lot of televisions and it suddenly came to me that people with ordinary hearing were having problems seeing and hearing.  The bigger the   TV, flatscreen,  Blu-ray, sting ray 😉 the bigger the problem.   The industry has a constant struggle to keep up with making all of the dots (pixels?) on the screen clear.

Clarity!  People with ordinary hearing are having the same problem as hearing-assisted people.  Why?  Because all of the TV’s, especially the bigger ones, were placed against the window.  It makes sense; people still want their pictures on the wall, so the only other free space is the window.

They don’t understand why suddenly they can’t see or hear as well.  It must be the TV.  Send it back.  Get a bigger one with more dots per square cm.  I know the dot idea has gone out of fashion but it doesn’t matter what TV Design Engineers create.  The problem will always be the same.

Basically, an object against a window will immediately put the front of it into shadow.

The bigger the object, the more shadow you get.  Housewives don’t like it, as it blocks the light.  Anyone watching it will turn the picture clarity up full and the sound up full.  Since they don’t think they have to do that with a new TV, they get irritated and send it back or complain to the manufacturer.  The latter refers back to the Design Engineer, saying it must be the fault of the design.

At this point, you’d think that the Design Engineers would start asking questions about how the product was being used.  They have the technical details.  The TV’s operate perfectly under their design criteria.  The Design Engineer creates questions for the public.  This is like Chinese whispers.  By the time the question is printed on card for the customer, the Marketing Department has made it more exciting and shiny, with colours.  When the Design Engineer sees it, there are sounds of breaking cups and something unyielding being kicked with smothered curses.

The only way the Engineers find out how the product is working, is by conducting their own unscientific surveys, usually amongst friends.  This shows the importance of dinner parties.  Someone is bound to complain to him, probably a wife complaining of lack of light.  Then her husband will pitch in about actors mumbling.  It is nothing of the sort.  If you’ve read this blog often, then you know my thoughts on lip-reading and casting faces into shadow.  You must see to read, books, faces, expressions.

If the is hung on a wall, think about your neck.  It should be level with the TV both on a monitor and a TV.

Ears act in conjunction with the other senses.  When seeing clearly becomes a problem, what do you think it is like for those of us who lip-read?

Feel free to comment.  These words are merely an opinion.  You can disagree if you like!

Have a great investigating week,

Debbie Jeffrey

Hearing Wellbeing

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The funny reason lip-reading sometimes doesn’t work

English: Easter egg at the Palm Sunday fair in...

English: Easter egg at the Palm Sunday fair in the Village Museum, Bucharest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello

On a light-hearted note, some days you can’t win for a funny reason.  You’re lip-reading your best friend, because that’s what you do and suddenly you lose the conversation entirely.  The word ‘sempre’ gave it away.  She’s Spanish, the other girl in the conversation was Spanish and she had slipped into it when I wasn’t looking.

I grinned, couldn’t help it.  There was no way I could have understood.  Yay!  I almost burst out laughing!

Try this on your nearest and dearest.

“Try saying ‘Easter Egg’ in the mirror. Now just mouth it.  Switch your voice off if you can.  That’s really difficult. ;)”

If someone else can lip-read what you’re saying (without you telling them) I’ll eat my hat.  Better make it a chocolate one.

Happy Easter Sunday.

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join that chocolate conversation’

Deaf Mute that …

English: A Video Relay Service session, where ...

English: A Video Relay Service session, where a Deaf, Hard-Of-Hearing or Speech-Impaired individual can communicate with a hearing person via a Video Interpreter (a Sign Language interpreter), using a videophone or similar video telecommunication unit. The hearing person with whom the Video Interpreter is also communicating can not be seen in the photo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unbelievable, isn’t it that someone would use that language?  Thirty years out-of-date aswe know so much more about hearing that we don’t have to tolerate this sort of stupidity.

Written by the ancient historian, A. N Wilson in a book review in last week’s Financial Times no less*,  he should learn respect if he wants people to respect his own view of history.

People who cannot speak because of a hearing matter are rare.  In our lifetime, parents teach profoundly deaf children to speak.  Around 1930 it started by blowing up a balloon and having the child put their lips to one side whilst the hearing mother put her lips to the other.  The child would feel the vibration when the mother spoke and copy it.  Now the same idea is computerised and children follow a visual moving sound wave.

Let’s take the word ‘that’.  Usually it describes an object,  with no human traits or intelligence.  Let’s take the words ‘intelligence’ and ‘teaching’.  If you are stupid, you can teach nothing.  This profoundly deaf person taught lip-reading to a hearing person.  When you cannot speak to explain, each word can take a while.  Could they write it down?  If so, that would be quicker but if Sign Language is the first language, its construction is entirely different to English. ‘Man standing on a bridge looking at the water’ would start with the word ‘bridge’.  A N Wilson has underestimated the difficulty but it is the language he employs that is the most insulting.

The text that annoyed me:  ‘It is her generous decision to give employment (as a stenographer) to a deaf mute that teaches her the art of lipreading and enables Stringer to put not the final piece in the jigsaw – for the puzzle is never totally solved – but enough pieces to leave the reader satisfied.”

I want an apology.  What do you think?

*A N Wilson discussing ‘The Baghdad Railway Club’ by Andrew Martin

Visual and hearing clues for lip-reading

Lip-reading ‘Glass of Ice’

read my lips

read my lips (Photo credit: Reza Vaziri)

Lip-reading ‘Glass of Ice’

Oops,  I realised you might not want to comment, so getting out the answer..  Usually it’ll be mid-week and Saturday.

The reply to ‘Hearing a Glass of Ice’ is that lip-readers don’t understand what’s been said 70% of the time.  Expect that when you are lip-reading anyone.  Don’t get hung up on it, as it is reassuring to know that other people have the same issue.  It came from the biggest UK D/deaf/hearing charity and has to be taken as a story as I don’t know what questions they asked to reach that conclusion; it might be higher than 70%.  Needs more investigation IMHO.     If you are registered as ‘hearing xxx’  with any Sensory Loss Team or often your Doctor,  you can ask for a Lip-speaker to be present in employment interviews, appraisals and hospital appointments.  It costs a lot so you could offer to read what they say off a laptop.

Some people are great at lip-reading and will get it right most of the time.  One guy, deaf from birth, said he couldn’t lip-read at all.  That was partly a confidence issue.  In Manchester, the moment the staff knew he was deaf, they looked straight at him and spoke clearly.  He was delighted!

Angle matters.  A deafened guy said he could lip-read when the person sat at right angles.  Have you tried to speak to someone while you’re doing that?  It’s really difficult.  The old natural action used to be to look at someone when you speak.  Now everyone is too ‘busy but we need it.  You could try lip-reading someone sitting sideways to you.  It’s a good way of observing and giving you a rest!

When you sit directly opposite someone to lip-read, all of their emotions are flung straight at you.   In the US and it’s slowly spreading to Europe, Counsellors are taught to sit slightly sideways to avoid getting all the emotions of their clients.  Look at movies where psychiatrists are.  They sit behind a huge desk or they sit behind a sofa- that would be useless wouldn’t it? 😉  How could you lip-read from behind lol?

There was the kindest, loveliest man once who was so friendly to every person.  He had no hearing from birth yet he never let it stop him and he started off conversations with strangers, always accompanied by that friendly smile.  He had to go into hospital and his daughter said she found a Doctor shouting at him.  He hadn’t come round from an operation because they weren’t using the right stimulus.  Shaker*?  Would that have worked?  Doctors need to know … and they need to be taught.  You’re best placed to tell them.  Well, he was in the hospital for two weeks, having every test imaginable.  No-one knew until he came out that he had been absolutely terrified.  He had no idea what the problem was, what the tests were for, or even if he was better now.   His ‘treatment’ is why the rest of us need to make people with ordinary hearing aware of the issues and how to solve them: different angles of sitting, lip-speaking, shaker and the biggie, kindness.

*Shakers – ring, flash, shake – TBB = to be blogged?

Hearing A Glass of Ice

“Would you like a glass of ice with that?”

Whoa!

“ I got you up to ‘a’”

so I learn forward and ask her to repeat.  Nope, no good, nothing at all.  It’s hopeless, she’s getting impatient and I’m conscious of the next customer beside me.  Then a young guy walks behind her, holds up a glass and says:

“Ice?”

“Oh, yes, thanks .”

Such a relief.  He realised that I couldn’t understand and used a combination of visual and hearing clues.  More visual than anything else, but I could make a guess at the word ‘ice’ when he was showing me the glass.  Credit where it’s due, that was in Costa Coffee.

If you have ordinary hearing, say the first sentence in the mirror.  Switch off your voice if you can, otherwise it’s cheating!  Tell me if you can lip-read it without exaggerating your normal speaking.   Tell me if you can understand any of it.  There’s a reason for asking that I shall forget if you don’t reply 😉

You Don’t Lipread And I Don’t, So Who Does?

tennis

tennis (Photo credit: Marc Di Luzio)

English: It is good sportsmanship to shake han...

Image via Wikipedia

We’ve both been doing it for years with mixed results.  It’s natural to disbelieve us so here’s proof!

A few years ago, a tennis coach brought binoculars to a Wimbledon doubles match and lip-read everything one pair said to each other. He then relayed it back to his opposing team. Cheeky!

The following year all doubles players raised not just their hands but their whole arms across their mouths. Commentators were suddenly clueless about the psychology behind how the tennis players were playing. This was because they had been lip-reading without realising it. The moment it was taken away they stumbled. Experience, love of the game and mostly being ex-players themselves helped them through it.

The English were taken aback by this as Wimbledon is world-renowned for good manners and great tennis, in white as a mark of respect.

Following our original blog, a world tennis star who is now a Commentator for Sky Sports took note.  The following year Sky Sports employed a Lip-speaker.  Hooray, recognition for Lip-speakers who do a very tough job.   On the other hand, we’re big on privacy for the individual, so lip-speaking competitors in a game doesn’t tie in with that.  It could also act as a spoiler!