Happy New Year! (copyright Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Hearing Is A Function, Happiness Is A Feeling – Where Do They Meet?


French language McDonald's door sign

French language McDonald’s door sign (Photo credit: mechanikat)






Friends are surprised by the idea of speaking another language.  Hearing does not come into it as I forget about it.    At that moment, I am free and the key is to keep that feeling going.


Life throws obstacles at us to keep us interested.    To tweak that slightly, I think it’s the brain at work.  It can only act on what you think about and every time you look at something more than once, it looks for evidence to back up your thoughts.  You become more interested and suddenly you’re acting on it.  When everything seems to be going wrong, the more you think about it the worse it gets.


So tweak it. Something is going to catch your attention.  In my case it was going on a skiing holiday to France.  I got lost, but boarded a bus and could chat in French to the bus driver and half the passengers!  None of them knew the place I was looking for, but there was a Tourist Office near one passenger’s stop and she took me in there.  They were instantly disapproving, but it turned out to be because I was wearing ski boots indoors.  If you’ve ever worn them, you’ll know it’s difficult to forget legs bent forward in a reinforced boot to mid-calf and less a walk than a kicking lollop.  I wondered if I would hear them and they were worried about their floors!  The holiday company was not in the directory and in the end  I  got the bus back to where I started.  The Ski Rep rang back as I was on the way to my first sit-in at the ski hire shop and gave me landmarks for the ten-minute walk.   Problem solved.   Oddly it was harder to follow directions than to speak French.  I had the best holiday ever and I found myself applying for jobs with French.


At any point in my adventure I could have changed my mind and gone off on another path.  It was not the right or wrong way; it was just a path.   When relaxed it was easy to hear  and communicate.  Not fighting the issue was the best chance of finding the way home.


Things happen, accidents or otherwise to break up a life and it is difficult to take the next step.  It may be slower but I am convinced that thinking about happy times, happy people, art, music, places will create happy memories.  You can pull those out any time and think about them: instant happiness creator.


Happy Easter


Debbie Jeffrey


‘Join That Conversation’





Happy New Year! (copyright Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Hear Music Without Words

English: View of Boulder from Bear Peak. Unive...

English: View of Boulder from Bear Peak. University of Colorado far left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Boulder Theatre in Downtown Bould...

English: The Boulder Theatre in Downtown Boulder, Colorado. Taken by myself, Jesse Varner, on 12/25/04 http://www.flickr.com/photos/molas/27585158/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I have discovered, the last one as usual, that people with ordinary hearing can’t hear song lyrics.    It means we have an advantage.  We can switch our hearing-aids up and have better hearing.  Instantly!

It doesn’t mean I hear every word, yet it’s clearer.  Here’s The Indulgers, a Celtic Irish rock band from around Boulder, Colorado.  I truly envy anyone who can see them live.

The Indulgers

I don’t know the words, which probably means that I can’t hear them.  I adore the voices, especially the way they are layered.  Numbers 9 ‘The Promise That It Holds’ and 3, ‘Molly and Me’.

Have a great week!

Debbie Jeffrey

The Indulgers



Almost Grown Up (CCL Hearing Wellbeing Copyright 2012)

Apple Geeks Listening About Hearing!

Apple wonderful Apple!  If you know me at all, you know I don’t  flatter phones, especially mobiles.  I had dispensed with my mobile, shock horror as I couldn’t hear on it.  Yes, amplified mobiles, I know but I want design in phones but I want hearing clarity first.  I’m not having big buttons for anyone.

Apple Apple Apple is thinking to set up a network for hard-of-hearing users according to Matthew Broesma writing in ‘W Tech Week Europe‘ on 23 July.

‘Apple is researching the idea of a social network for hearing-impaired users that could be supported by the “made for iPhone” hearing aids planned to debut with iOS 6 this autumn.

According to patent applications published last week, and first noted by Apple-focused news site AppleInsider, the social network will build on iOS 6 hearing-aid technology that will be compatible with the iPhone 4S as well as the upcoming iPhone 5.’

It’s plain to us what is happening.  We’ll just refer you to previous blog posts and say thanks to Apple for hearing the idea and having the creativity and strategic vision to give hearing-aid wearers a leg-up.  Use it with specially-adapted hearing-aids ?  Well that’s obvious; they need to protect their investment.  I can have a panel of long-term hearing-aid users willing to trial them – fine I have four off the top of my head, including me and a range of hearing issues.  Being long-time users, we are a bit sceptical so Apple needs u to overcome that scepticism and communicate it to the global hearing-assisted community.  Now, just finishing the book and will have that up shortly.

Great Opportunity For Techies Everywhere/

Headphones Make You Deaf/

Background Noise – Choose It Or Lose It/

UK Video-makers – 5-Seconds to Win £500 Deadline Tomorrow

Making movies levels the playing field for people with a hearing issue. We’ve just seen this contest. Best of luck!

Show what can be done in 5 seconds.
Upload your phone or camera video here:

5secondchallenge@confused.com or tweet it to @Confused_com with the hashtag #5secondchallenge

by tomorrow, Wednesday 21 May 2012. Best of luck!

UK residents only sorry. To be fair, lots of contests are US only. Since they’re confused.com, go tell them you want an international comp. next time.

Have a go. 5 seconds is a short short movie!


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.


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!


Bobbers & Swayers – Hearing Loops

You’ll see temporary induction also known as hearing loops at Conferences that consist of a tape stuck to the floor with masking tape, attached to a box for the Sound organisers and the microphone onstage.

Sitting in front of you will be the ‘bobbers’ and the ‘swayers’. They bob up and down to try and see the speaker with the vain hope of lip-reading. Further away than a metre and you cannot see the lips well enough to lip-read. The swayers are desperately trying to catch the best signal by swaying ever so slowly to one side and then the other. It must drive the people behind crazy!

Fixed hearing loops work in churches.  At a christening, I had a far more interesting experience than the rest of the congregation as I could hear everything the Vicar was saying to the parents 😉 .  That is until Baby made another grab at the microphone and almost succeeded.  Rustle, rustle, can you guess what happened?  She threw it over her shoulder. Not the baby, the microphone! Then there was silence and the baby could have been named Jamie Jamboree Jeffrey for all I knew.

You could hope that hearing-aids help you out in any public place yet they are really meant for talking on a one-to-one basis and social groups. At parties and socialising you need extra help. Take your own hearing loop.  There are loads on the market but you get what you pay for.  Read the small print.  If it says, you can hear within 2 metres of the loop, forget it.  You’ll be a ‘swayer’.  We talk about loops in our upcoming ebook.

Hearing-aids enhance the hearing you have and hearing loops enhance it a few more notches. We were told that by a man who has spent his life in loop systems. It’s like standing on a 5-metre diving board then being given the courage to go up to the 10-metre board. You can see so much further from up there.

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?”


“ 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:


“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 😉