How to sleep with tinnitus sounds

4 04 2017

tinnitus sounds blue

Tinnitus sounds and sleep don’t mix

As a tinnitus sufferer, you may be surprised to hear that many people with this condition actually find sleep as a time of escape, that said unfortunately, there are still many people who find sleeping with tinnitus sounds is very difficult of a night.

Everyone will experience some type of sleeping issue throughout their lifetime and it’s important to understand that there are many reasons why you may be experiencing sleeping issues. The 4 most common reasons why people have sleep issues are;

Insomnia

Causes of insomnia include:

  • Behaviour disorders
  • Prescribed medication
  • Health issues
  • Bad diet

READ MORE

#TinnitusTuesday





Deaf News – Living with hearing loss

1 04 2017

living with hearing loss

Good morning! We have a sunny morning here in London UK and I hope you’re starting to see spring appear where you are. There’s nothing like a bit of warm sunshine to lift our spirits. It’s time to put your feet up for this week’s read with a cuppa.

I came across a couple of interesting articles this week which I thought I’d share; A quick-start guide to understanding my hearing loss and The dark-and-dirty secret of people with hearing loss.

Did you know you can contact the emergency services without actually speaking to them? You just dial a number. I had no idea this service existed, find out more here.

I have read about ‘cures for hearing loss’ for the last 30 years. Another one has popped up, regenerating hair cells in the inner ear. I won’t be holding my breath!

My favourite article of the week was a gift from Jon Morrow: 7 life lessons from a guy who can’t move anything but his face.

READ MORE





Cochlear implant pros and cons

31 03 2017

boom cochlear implant pros and cons

7 cochlear implant pros and cons that will make you think

Many people assume that when you get a cochlear implant, you are “cured” of deafness. This is complete nonsense. It just doesn’t work that way. A deaf person receiving a cochlear implant remains a deaf person; they don’t miraculously become a hearing person. There are many cochlear implant pros and cons to consider before committing to the operation.

Being deaf is not an illness that needs to be cured. It’s true that cochlear implants (CIs) can help some severe or profoundly deaf individuals improve their way of communicating in the hearing world. However, not everyone has positive experiences; some deaf people actively protest the use of CIs.

Many people in the deaf community resent cochlear implants for the effect it has on the hearing people in their lives. When a deaf person gets a CI, and it works to a certain degree, their friends and family assume they can stop putting in the effort to effectively communicating with them, because you can hear now right?

READ MORE





4 year bilateral cochlear implant review

5 06 2016

I’ve just had my 4 year review of my cochlear implant hearing. My hearing is a straight -20db after turning down the volume a little, and it feels natural now to have such super hearing.

I work from home a lot these days; I can hear the neighbours on one side when they argue and the neighbour’s TV on the other side. Hearing well is not always a good thing! My new hearing dog Bailey has a very loud bark so all in all, it can get very noisy sometimes! This “overload” of sounds has been the hardest thing to get used to and I do like to take the processors off occasionally so I can get some peace!

I pick up the phone now and again when it’s an emergency or I’ve had to make a call and there isn’t a hearing person around to ask. Using the telephone takes a lot of confidence and interestingly the most difficult ones are where I had to phone people in Southern Ireland and struggled with the accents (I’m Northern Irish so didn’t expect this!), the easiest ones are where I listened to a digital voice and had to take down a pin number (and got it right! Wowser!).

audiogram 2016

Red: My hearing in 2016 with bilateral cochlear implants

Blue: My hearing in 2010, before receiving cochlear implants

 

 

hearing test 2016CUNY lipreading test – 24 sentences of varying length and complexity presented in auditory and visual condition – lipreading with sound

BKB sentence test – 32 short sentences of simple syntactic structure presented in auditory alone condition

 

I’ve been able to converse with a relative stranger when she was talking to me from the next room, because her voice was loud and clear enough for me to follow, and she wasn’t speaking too fast. I take great pleasure in understanding public announcements on the London underground, on trains, and in train stations.

The most surprising sound was water dripping from the ceiling to the kitchen floor when the builder forgot to secure the radiator flow upstairs – I was in the lounge! I was able to react immediately and run upstairs to alert the builder.

Another sound was (hearing this from the lounge again) water dripping from the kitchen sink into a bucket below, inside a cupboard. It sounded like a double popping sound. Investigating this, I watched – the first pop was the water drop hitting the surface of the water, the second pop was the water bubble bursting. Awesome!

hear speech

Being able to hear sounds well has made me much more relaxed about communication, and I now understand why hearing people don’t really comprehend the complexities of deafness. When you can hear well, it is so effortless and easy, it’s like breathing. Many hearing people don’t understand that hearing well is not just about volume. It’s about clarity, understanding, processing the sounds that you hear and knowing what a sound is, being able to translate heard sounds into speech and making sense of them.

The most frustrating thing is I still need communication support as many speak quickly and mumble, many environments are too noisy and have poor acoustics, and I am just not used to processing sounds into speech. I will always be deaf. But hey, that’s okay.

Some people speak too fast for me to listen to them and decipher what they’ve said, or they are simply too far away – lipreading is often a much easier tool for me to use. I had some people visit recently to give me quotes for roof repairs, and they all had (hilarious) cockney accents. Listening and lipreading, I had the pleasure of understanding every word they said and trying to keep a straight face at how they spoke. Recently I’ve travelled to the Midlands and the north of England, Paris, Gibraltar, Granada, Barcelona, Budapest, and Qatar – I have enjoyed experiencing and listening to all these accents and easily understood everyone I spoke to, without worrying about whether I would be able to or not. Communication is now enjoyable, and that has been a truly amazing gift.





Train to be a velotype captioner

31 10 2015

Are you interested in training as a velotype captioner?

Come to 121 Captions’ assessment day and find out if this is for you!

velotype

Velotype

Using the Velotype system, you can write up to 200 words per minute using a specially adapted keyboard, with free annual software upgrades. The software is available for Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh and Linux. The keyboard can be used for over 30 languages.

 

Velotype Academy

The training is free. The course can be downloaded and interactive. Learning the basics only takes a few months. Training to get to a high speed can take between 7 months and 2 years, depending on how much time you invest in the training.

velotype keyboard

 

Assessment Day

Date: 30 November 2015 9AM

Venue: PC Werth, Audiology House, 45 Nightingale Lane, London SW12 8SP

Cost: Free. Donations are welcome.

This event is led by

  • Wim Gerbecks – Velotype
  • Sander Pasveer – Velotype
  • Tina Lannin – 121 Captions

The event aims to give you an opportunity to:

  • Meet the Velotype training team
  • Try out the Velotype keyboard
  • Assess your ability to be a velotypist
  • Check out remote live captioning platforms

You will be able to find out about

  • Velotype Academy
  • Working remotely : Q&A session
  • 121 training: Remote working & deaf awareness
  • 1Fuzion remote captioning system

There will also be a short training session on Text on Top, an on-site wireless captioning system.

text on top

Booking your place

You will need to book your place for this event. Places are limited – book now!  To book, contact bookings@121captions.com  or call 020 8012 8170.

When you book, please confirm if you already have a Veloboard and if you are already working as an Electronic Notetaker.

velotype-academy-strokes-EN

Further information

Velotype Academy

How the veloboard works

Veloboard including costs and languages

VeloNote text editor software

Text on Top

121 Captions training courses

 

Venue

PC Werth, Audiology House, 45 Nightingale Lane, London SW12 8SP

PC Werth London





Lipreading the dregs of history

19 07 2015

It is with great disappointment that we have seen a video from the Royal Archives of the Queen and Queen Mother published in the newspapers with an attempted lipreading translation of the footage.

As expert witness forensic lipreaders, working with the courts and police in the UK and internationally, we are well qualified to comment on this video. Several of our expert lipreaders have examined this footage and our professional conclusion is that this footage is not lipreadable due to the very grainy resolution and distance from the video camera. This video is of such poor quality that it is not lipreadable – at all. Therefore it is not possible to have lipread and to come up with the comments that were published today.

Lipreading is a difficult skill to learn however it is subject to misinterpretation. When lipreading, only up to 30% of speech can actually be seen on the lips. The rest is inferred from the context of what is being said, therefore an excellent knowledge of the language is required.

Have a look in the mirror and say, without voice, “island view” and “I love you” – it is very common in lipreading to have such homophenes (words that look alike). This makes a lipreader’s job much more difficult, particularly so when you have very few words to work with.

Lipreading is not a reliable form of evidence in court and great care must be taken when using it. One of our lipreaders was involved in a quality check of the lipreading skills of Jessica Rees. Independently of two other lipreaders, they all came to the same conclusion, with no prior knowledge, that none of the key words matched the report created by Jessica Rees.

We have been following the reactions on the news and social media, it seems this is not a “wave”, however it must be pointed out that professional forensic lipreaders are not body language experts and it would be unprofessional to comment on this aspect.

The 121 Captions forensic lipreading team





HLAA Convention 2015

28 06 2015

We attended the HLAA convention in St Louis and we had such fun! It was great to see many old friends again and catch up on our amazing cyborg-ness.

The photo shows the Japanese delegation, I was so pleased to be able to practice my Japanese.  今日は!

Japanese delegation

One of them kept asking why Jacob had to raise money for his cochlear implants when CI recipients have insurance in the US. In Japan, the national health care system, like the UK, completely funds cochlear implants.

One of the guys in the photo is a jazz musician. He’s looking for any other jazz musician CI recipients to connect with – do leave a comment and contact link if you know of anyone or you’re a jazz musician yourself.

Every workshop at the event was captioned – which is fantastic. In Japan, they are not so fortunate with access for deaf people. Japan has turned to digital broadcasting, depending on the late night programming and region, but there are often no closed captions, and the DVDs and BluRays for Japanese movies and animation, as well as internet broadcasts are rarely closed captioned.

There are few places where Japanese films are screened with Japanese closed captions, and those screenings usually happen within a couple of days, and in many cases are only screened once. Film making in Japan often has a low budget and tight timeline, so low budget late-night broadcasting and UHF stations are rarely closed captioned. Since it costs television stations money to close caption broadcasts, they use a legal loophole. In order to escape having to add captions in any case, they will broadcast late at night or on UHF stations. And of course the country is pretending not to see this.

The process of closed captioning has been kept hidden from the country’s inhabitants, and in order for the majority of the society to be kept out of the know, they are not putting effort into developing people capable of providing captioning services. Broadcast and cable television stations are more likely to have closed captions. There is a small number of Japanese captioners working for the deaf.

The country, media, NPOs and even organizations who work with disabled people won’t consider requests for closed captioning and won’t do anything about it. The younger generation in Japan have an openly disablist attitude. However there are both disabled and non-disabled people working towards life for disabled people to become a little more enjoyable.

HLAA delegates and USA inhabitants, count yourselves very fortunate!