2011 printemps avril plantae plante nature pen...

2011 printemps avril plantae plante nature pensée-bio 2011-04-24 rosa rose rosa-canina rosier-des-chiens bords-d’oise étangs-de-cergy oise cergy val-d’oise france (Photo credit: Pensée Bio)

English: Port of Liverpool Building and statue...

English: Port of Liverpool Building and statue of King Edward VII at the Pier Head in Liverpool, England. This is a Grade II* listed building which is part of Liverpool’s UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Old Customs House at Exeter docks. Built in 16...

Old Customs House at Exeter docks. Built in 1681 & the oldest surviving purpose built customs house in Britain. It is a Grade one listed building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have landed on the south coast of England where there is a plethora of things to do and lovely people of all kinds.

It is fascinating to live in a three-sided square and look at how the sound travels around it. Maybe other people living here don’t notice but I am sensitised to sound as I think about it all the time.

I can hear wheel nuts being unscrewed at the garage which is at least thirty metres away as the crow flies. For someone with a hearing issue, even wearing hearing-aids, this is not only weird; I would have previously said it was impossible! I was standing at the kitchen window, looking through a gap between houses and saw it happen. I had thought it was next door drilling, or as described to a utility supplier:

Yes, next door seems to be building a new house.”

It sounds like drilling. What is odd is that the landlord living below does not notice the drilling, yet the lady in the ground-floor flat complains his family is noisy.

What if the whole of our Grade II listed house, (walls one metre thick), is sensitised to sound by the gap between the houses? Sound blasts from the garage through the gap and hits the back wall of the building.

There is also one of those mobile phone eyesore masts, planted in the garage forecourt. That may have nothing to do with the sound blasts from the wheel-nut drilling, or it may be amplifying it.

Do you know anyone who could explain this?

Thanks and have a great week!

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’

http://www.hearingwellbeing.com

 

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Top 10 Tracks of the Year – No Way To Live

Music is not a big part of my life as the lyrics are often too hard to hear.    I love this music, yet I’m going to have to listen five times to make out the words.  That will be a joy!  Thanks to Keelan Foley’s blog.

Top 10 Tracks of the Year – No Way To Live.

What?

Hearing those 3 little words

You know that thing we always have with people who mumble?

The one where you go … “What?”

After a repetition you get “Blah burble blah weekend.”

Okay, progress, he/she wants to take you out.  You smile and your loved one looks at you like you’re crazy.  You sigh.

“Excuse me?”

“It’s okay sweetheart  … “

You hear that and then a mumble again and you get, you got it, zilch, zero, nada.

What’s the third thing you say?  Is it “OMG!”   Or  “I’m freakin’ here!  Speak properly.”

Or is it the one-word version of ‘love you really’ even if he has the hearing awareness of a half-dead ant.   People with ordinary hearing have no clue.

I need the three words you say in ever-increasing irritation: What? Huh?. ..  I kinda wonder if OMG is disrespectful.     Comment here please.  It’s for the uh-e-book.  Hardest work ever, whoever says it’s easy, is not telling the truth!  If yours is chosen, we’ll fly you chocolate or word credit wherever you like.  If you’re in a faraway place, it might take a little longer.

Which words do you say?  In what order?  Your opinion?  Well they don’t come more qualified.  Thank you; it’s doing my head in trying to choose.

You know, we may never get it all down yet we will not let this thing beat us, right?  People type with pencils in their mouths as their hands are not working and I can’t string a sentence together with ten fingers!  You guys rock.

Cooee!

How hearing loops can help – (The Washington Post)

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/how-hearing-loops-can-help.html (posted on an article by The Washington Post)

Hearing Loop Conversor Pro

Conversor Pro Hearing Loop

If you’ve read the article you know it’s about hearing loops.  If you haven’t, please read it even if you don’t live in the States. Hearing loops in buildings seem to be put there by people who ask for them.  You’re best placed to ask. In 2004 the UK Disability Discrimination Act made local Councils put hearing loops in some public buildings, but not in hospital Audiology Departments!  Politicians are not known for asking advice from those who know so they missed the obvious places.  You could think about the best place in your town where a hearing loop should be.  If it suits you, it may suit other people.  Talk about it, start a community initiative.  Who will be grateful?  You and the old who can’t be bothered but want it.  This blog is about getting the best service for hearing everywhere.

1) The idea of having static hearing loops is state of the ark (not a typo).  See the blog about ‘bobbers and swayers’.  Besides a portable hearing loop with extra receivers may be the cheaper option.  In the picture, the receiver is at the top.  The transmitter can be placed either at one end of the room or you can hold it and point it at people.  Have the advantage in a conversation for once.

2) The best position for the wire of a fixed hearing loop is at your ear level when you’re sitting down.  Why do electricians still persist in putting them tidily under carpets?!  Walking on them won’t do them any good either.

Nobody will fix a hearing loop unless you ask.  In 2009 at an Audiology Conference no less, in the UK there was guess what, a cheap wire stuck to the floor with masking tape.  I had brought with me a state of the art hearing loop.  It meant I could sit at the back and hear  every word :faints gracefully:  Take your own  radio hearing loop and be independent of any public building.  This is what to do if you can’t persuade TPTB.   You can use it discreetly with hearing-aids or with headphones for a mild hearing issue.  Radio hearing loops are designed for hearing aid wearers.  You can also use it with headphones.

Putting loops tidily? – you just have to watch the installers 100% of the time!

 

Can you just switch the hearing loop on?

AFTER Interior Bank Décor | Bank Teller Design...

AFTER Interior Bank Décor | Bank Teller Design | Custom Bank Wall Mural | Venture Bank (Photo credit: I-5 Design & Manufacture)

Customer services

Customer services (Photo credit: gordon2208)

It would be very naughty if you were to visit your local bank and tell them you just need the hearing loop switched on.  You know it is not on, when you hear a buzz or nothing at all 😉 .

The usual reaction is they want you to change queues and go to another counter where the loop is positioned (more waiting). It’s like a cushion loop around someone’s chair.   In a local bank this has now been upgraded to a loop that runs around the counter.  Do you want to post the reason hard-of-hearing people ROFL when that happens?

Anyway last week, the teller leapt out of her chair and ran out.  Frowns from other customers.  Just about to join another queue when she reappeared with an old-looking portable radio loop … that was showing a red light.

“Er , it needs charging for about 8 hours.”

She went not just pale, but white.  No worries, really, it wasn’t that big of a deal.  All work stopped.  Two more Customer Service people and three Counter Tellers gathered around the loop, their backs to the customers like pecking pigeons.  When I looked round at the queue, a guy smirked and some were smiling.

“It’s okay, your colleague can just speak up.”

There was a giggle behind me and everyone ROFL.  Customer Services gaped ; this failure to accommodate the customer was not in their game plan.  Had they just had a training day on hearing and felt everything had to be perfect?    Really, it didn’t; we can wait.   Then a Manager appeared and took me away on his white charger …  wishful thinking, but we sat down on a one-to-one and he had a 10-second lesson on charging hearing loops.  Poor guy!  You could do this and banks could help us hear better.

So who helps companies?  You do.  If you don’t want anyone to know it’s you asking and hey, we’ll talk about that, get your Human Resources to call in a D/deaf charity to give the training (they get paid for it).  Spreading the word is a great way to move hearing forward.

  • How hearing loops can help(psychologicalscience.org) – If you live in the States and there’s one article you want to read, make it this one.  It backs up Hearing Wellbeing.  Next blog is about the article as the Comments are closed.

I wish … hearing … great opportunity for techies everywhere

Probably from an advertisement for the "A...

Probably from an advertisement for the "Acousticon", the first portable electric hearing aid, invented by Miller Reese Hutchison (1876–1944) in the USA and marketed there and in Europe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This picture shows the 4 most common Types of ...

This picture shows the 4 most common Types of zinc-air button cells, used in hearing aids. While the number noted is manufacturer-independent, the prefixes and suffixes of the numbers aren't and may differ. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

. .. I wish I could do this over the phone  –

If a Doctor can have a heartbeat tested over the phone, why isn’t it possible to check hearing-aids?  That question is for Starkey, Phonak, Widex, Oticon, Siemens (who almost sold their Hearing Aid Division by mistake!) and all techie people reading.

All you have to do IMHO is input the programming set up by the audiologist and send a coded/sound message to the hearing-aids which then adjust themselves to the right settings.* It is possible; ‘no’ is not an answer.  I know you can do it ;  I just bet the techie thinkers will be quicker.  Hey, you know the hearing-aid manufacturers to approach with the program!  Come back and tell me you’ve done it.

If you’re hearing-assisted, you may know the best way of doing it.  BTW I want this for everyone and not just the thrillingly expensive end of the hearing market.

*To clarify (4/22/2012), the person would be at home.  They ring a number, press a button and are through to a database plus software program.  They attach their hearing -aids to the phone or leave them by the phone.  The database looks up their prescription and the software program supplies the answer code.  It is then transmitted down the phone to the hearing-aids.  No communication with humans and no menus wanted.  Can you do that?

Iphone Hearing App. Techies, Geeks And Hearing-Aid Wearers Help Req.

iPhone 2g, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4

iPhone 2g, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (Photo credit: reticulating)

Nice shape Dodge Airies in hearing aid beige. ...

Nice shape Dodge Airies in hearing aid beige. Rare to see a K-car in such good shape these days. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you know anyone with a hearing issue who has tried the Iphone hearing app? If yes, can they or you hear clearly with it?

How would we find out how the app. works?  I’m wondering if there is some sort of telecoil on a chip?  Is that sci-fi?   We’re looking for a way of making more hard-of-hearing people able to hear on a mobile.  Amplified mobiles have hearing loop program.

Can we talk about making up a spec. for a manufacturer in the hearing market?   My ideas of sound great, look great would make a manufacturer scream in frustration – way too broad a definition.  We need techies and geeks and people with hearing issues thinking and talking to come up specific ways of making us hear better.

We might even be able to persuade them to have (your name/company name/ group name) and their brand name as a version of the phone.  Anything’s possible right?

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 😉

Implants For Cell Users Too Close To The Bone

Privately-owned Public Space Potluck 1

Privately-owned Public Space Potluck 1 (Photo credit: urbanomnibus)

The idea of using BAHA implants for cell phone users was an April Fool’s joke that no-one saw. It’s possible isn’t it?  Smoking is banned in public places as it could cause disease in the unwitting non-smoker.

When people can’t hear on mobiles, they either stick a finger in the other ear or shout.  They can’t hear because of background noise, which is moslargely caused by other mobile users doing the same.   Multiply it by a million and there is a problem.

Do you remember ‘road rage’ when everyone suddenly started yelling at each other for some misdemeanour in traffic?  The offenders were removed from public view and went to spend time at Her Majesty’s leisure (in jail for US bloggers ).  You can’t do that with background noise.  It is something we have to sort out by thinking, creating ideas and getting them implemented.

There is huge opposition from the mobile phone companies.   Two years ago, two multinationals: one sent me to a non-monitored voicemail, the other suggested coming back when I could see how to make a profit.  Last weekend  a company selling components for mobiles forecast sales of one billion phones a year until 2016/17 (seen on Bloomberg).  They can be part of the solution. Why wouldn’t they?  If we can quieten everyone down, they can sell more mobiles.

One solution: Hearing Loops on mobiles, that’s hearing-aid wearers sorted.    Needed: a way of connecting the phone to the ear for someone with ordinary hearing.   Thinktank?  Competition for the public?  What do you think?

It’s not about financial profit, it’s about saving us all from the consequences of background noise.

PS. City of Philadelphia –  LOL.  Food for thought.