gadgets and accommodations


I don’t use the phone any more. I used to, but now I have to ask people to repeat what they are saying pretty much every time. Sometimes more than once for the same phrase. This gets upsetting, annoying, frustrating for all. At work I can’t risk getting the message wrong.

At home I have a TTY relay phone, I make the call via a relay operator, the person I am calling can hear me speak, and the operator types what is being said for me to read on a small screen on the phone. It’s great for information calls, you know the sort of thing; what time, how much, why does my bill say this etc, but not so good for a spontaneous chat. I have a Blackberry which I use for text messages and emails. At work I am sent email messages, but not everybody uses email to check for replies. What I do then is to type a message in a word document and then print that out over the network onto the printer in the relevant department. This works well.

I keep the Blackberry on vibrate and stuff it into a back pocket. It only vibrates twice for texts and emails so you need it close to your body otherwise you can miss the vibrations. Nobody would want to miss the vibrations.

Fire alarms, I can’t hear domestic ones, with or without hearing aids. We have ones with a flashing light but the light is small and you have to be under the light when it’s flashing to see it. Vibrating pad alarms cost over $400, we don’t have one. I do have a gadget that has a vibrating pad that responds to loud noises, loud noises include snoring. It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep if you wake up every time you or your partner snores. Not that I do, of course…The same gadget can be rigged up so that a light flashes if the doorbell rings, and can be used as a pager if you want to contact someone in another part of the house, the East Wing perhaps. Our house is so small we don’t really need to do that. I hate the clutter of these gadgets, aesthetics weren’t at the forefront of their design, so they are ugly.

A fax machine would be useful. I should look into sending faxes from the laptop. If anyone has any info on websites or software to do this I would be grateful to receive it.

My alarm clock vibrates rather than rings, this is good. I have only once been so tired that I slept through it.

I can’t hear the radio now, if I turn it up to a volume that I can hear noise then its far too loud for hearing people to be able to tolerate. I wouldn’t be able to make out any of the spoken word anyway so radio is now history for me. Closed captioning is a wonderful thing. I use that to watch TV. It’s rare here in Canada for a program not to have captions, they aren’t always perfect and the errors are often amusing. In the UK there were fewer programs with subtitles. We don’t go to the movies now, we wait for the DVD release. Some movie theatres have captioning but the nearest one to us is 90 minutes drive and then its not for all showings for all movies. Close Captioned radio. Now there’s an idea. Why not? It would be very pleasant to be able to “listen” to a comedy show or play with someone.

YouTube videos, online videos. They rarely have any subtitles. What’s daft is that I found some on cochlear implants. No subtitles there, err hello? deafened enough to “qualify” for a CI so unlikely to be able to understand without text.

I recently completed a college course. I had notetakers in class for that. When it works best is when the notetaker can type verbatim. Everything that’s said, even the asides, is typed It’s wonderful if the notetaker also types sound effects, such as “book fell on floor” or the reason why the class is laughing, it makes you feel part of the class if you know what’s going on and are included.

That’s what its all about though, being included. It’s not the disability that excludes but how society deals with it. Whether it’s the built environment, legislation, the attitude of others, or your own attitude.


7 responses »

  1. Hello! Thanks for checking out and commenting on my blog. I enjoyed reading your posts. I am experiencing partial hearing loss, as well, and reading your posts is enlightening. I wish you blessings!


  2. Does the relay service work well in Canada? I used to get a lot of calls via the BT service working in the NHS… I had it in my head for years that deaf people spoke with Liverpudlian accents!

  3. This is an excellent post, Mog and exactly why you should keep writing.

    I can’t hear fire alarms either. I found that out one day while a man was cooking (burning) me dinner and gave me ‘a look’ as he hurried by to open the windows… meanwhile I just continued to lounge on the sofa, sipping wine, oblivious to the ‘beep!, beep!, beep!’… then the penny dropped.

    It was a funny situation but thinking about it afterwards, it’s actually quite scary. I live alone and sleep like the dead… gulp! I should look into a flashing light thing or something that vibrates (that I don’t already have, I mean).

    I remember using eFax a few years ago. They were pretty secretive about what they charged and a few ‘fees’ surprised me… I would not recommed that service. might help.

    Thanks for your amusing comments about my ‘painting’! 😀 – Marnie

  4. I probably used the wrong term for TTY. I think what I use is voice carry over. I speak and the person I am calling hears my voice. The operator types what the other person says for me to read. It works the same in the UK and in Canada. I have found that in Canada/Ontario you don’t have to wait so long for an operator to answer your call.

    So maybe you only ever spoke to Scousers??

  5. I have and no longer use Symantec Winfax Pro. It was great to be able to send and receive faxes from the ‘puter. I’ve not needed a fax for who knows how long, but the printer (all-in-one) came with it’s own software which is acceptable.

    I would be more than happy to let you have the Winfax Pro. Just drop me an email.

  6. not on topic at all , but didn’t realise you had a blog !! blundered my way here from Inukshuk


    (waves) helloooo!!


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