Presentation on theme: "Communication and Alerting Technology for DeafBlind People Elizabeth Spiers Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired."— Presentation transcript:
Communication and Alerting Technology for DeafBlind People Elizabeth Spiers Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired
DeafBlind People – Blind or visually impaired; losing hearing – Deaf or hard of hearing; losing vision – Losing both senses – Little or no usable vision or hearing
Blind or Visually Impaired losing hearing – Maximize vision and/or hearing – Use sense of touch – Use of hearing is not as reliable
Deaf or hard of hearing, losing vision May have relied on vision in past; vision is less reliable May have relied on speech reading and visual cues for understanding; more difficult now May or may not use American Sign Language (may need to rely on tactile signs or adapted signs)
Other issues Many may have mobilty or dexterity problems as they age They may not feel comfortable with new technology Simpler is better
What do deafblind people want to do? Communicate With other people One on one Groups Use the Phone Use Email/internet
Awareness and safety – Know when a smoke alarm goes off – Know when someone is at the door – Know when the phone rings – Be aware of other important sounds
Communication Communication is the most important thing and the issue where most people have trouble Hearing aids and cochlear implants help, but aren’t the answer to everything!
Hearing Aids Digital – Computer programmed; person can’t program hearing aid themselves – Can set up different programs for different listening environments Group conversations TV One on one conversations
Digital hearing aids require several fittings to program to person’s exact needs Takes some adjustment Can be difficult for some seniors to adjust to Important to add telecoils (so persons can use assistive listening devices)
Analog – Older models of hearing aids – Person adjusts volume thesmelves – Cannot be programmed; person hears everything – May be easier for some seniors to handle and operate – Must have telecoils so people can use FM systems
Very different from hearing aids Hearing aids amplify everything Cochlear implants bypass damaged portions of ear and send sound directly to auditory nerve Auditory nerve transmits sound to brain Brain recognizes signal as sound
What do you do when hearing aids or cochlear implants are not enough, or the person is not using them?
Assistive listening devices Personal assistive listening devices FM devices or systsms
Asssistive Listening Devices Pocketalker Ultra Pocketalker Pro TV Listening Systems
Upgrade to Vibracall Uses vibrating watch Will have new vibrating pager sometime in spring of 2012 (similar to old Vibracall pager
VibraCall Has transmitters for doorbell, telephone, other sounds Has smoke alarm with transmitter Current pager has patterned vibrations person has to learn New tactile pager coming out soon—person can press a button down-when that vibrates, will indicate its function
All can adjust volume Some can adjust pitch, volume Some phones better for some people than others Many have large push buttons for easy reading
Jitterbug Hearing aid compatible cell phone Simple instructions—simply call Large numbers for easy reading Available through VDDHH on a trial basis (temporary) Jitterbug only is provided—people have to pay for phone service
Captel Captel is a service where you can dial a captioning service Operator will type conversation while you speak into phone Person can read conversation from other caller and speak to caller on phone handset.
Captel 800 and 800i Captel 800 does not need internet connection Captel 800i needs high speed internet connection Font and contrast can be adjusted—letters up to 3 inches high
WebCaptel Hamilton Relay runs this in Virginia People can plug a standard phone into a standard phone line Access WebCaptel on the Internet (through an account with a service provider) Person talks into the phone and reads captions on their computer