Deaf counselling can help you reach your full potential

11 05 2017

deaf counselling

Deaf counselling can help you reach your full potential

Mental health issues can affect everyone. From relationship problems to work stress, we all have stress and anxiety to deal with. However, some of us need a bit more support navigating the complexities of living in a hearing world.

Unfortunately, deaf counselling is still very rare; there are very few deaf-aware and qualified counsellors available.

To answer our counselling questions we interviewed deaf counsellor, Adrian Francis, a specialist in person-centred counselling. Person-centred counselling functions from the belief that people have the natural tendency to develop towards their full potential.

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Self help for hard of hearing people – Emotional empowerment

27 04 2017

self help for hard of hearing people

How to use the internet for self help for hard of hearing people

Hard of hearing and deaf people have a higher prevalence rate of depression, possibly due to the difficulties we experience navigating in a hearing world. Difficulties communicating can lead to lowered self-esteem, emotional distress and a feeling of hopelessness.

In 2004, there were 5,863 deaths as a result of suicide in the UK, with evidence that depression may be more common in the deaf population.

However, the internet has demonstrated to be an effective and dependable tool for self help for hard of hearing people. This is likely due to the ease with which deaf individuals can connect with other hard-of-hearing people and the variety of websites available to helping us find health information and ways to improve communication.

In this article, I’d like to share some of my favourite websites and how to use them as a source of self-help.

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Top 10 signs of hearing loss – Lost, now found

14 04 2017

signs of hearing loss

The first signs of hearing loss

I was born hearing as far as I know. I often suffered from ear infections, and I lost some hearing. However, this was on the lighter side in my early years, I would sometimes miss certain words and sounds.

I, my parents, teachers, and even my main doctor were oblivious to this. I was just a kid, I had no idea, I thought I was okay, especially since in the hearing world there is the common phrase, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

Despite the fact I said this quite often, I was simply told to focus and pay attention.

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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.

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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!





Better telephone access for deaf people

2 09 2010

A news release from TAG hit my inbox today, calling for better access to telephones for deaf people. This saga is really dragging on, but it wasn’t easy obtaining captions either. Dan offers a possible solution. Read on …..

NEWS RELEASE

Government call for improved disabled access for 2012 must include better access to the telephone for deaf people

2 September 2010

Government must take the initiative to modernise telephone relay services for deaf and hard-of-hearing people if its call for companies to improve disabled access in the run up to the 2012 London Olympics is to mean anything to deaf people, says TAG, the deaf electronic communications consortium.

The Government-commissioned report 2012 Legacy for Disabled People: Inclusive and Accessible Business shows that almost one-third of disabled people have difficulty in accessing goods and services they want to use. Because of poor access to the telephone network, the percentage of deaf and hard-of hearing people unable to access goods and services is very much higher. As a result the economy suffers and deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens are marginalised.

Ruth Myers, Chairman of TAG, said: “This Government report reflects what TAG has been saying for a very long time: deaf and hard-of-hearing people are excluded from many social and commercial opportunities because of the antiquated way that they must communicate with the hearing world via the voice telephone. Email and texting communications only meet some needs – access to voice telephony is crucial for many employment, commercial and social purposes.

“TAG is campaigning for new types of relay services, such as captioned telephony, video relay and IP relay services, all of which are already available to deaf people in some other countries. Everyone accepts that the provision of additional types of relay service is the way forward, but the trigger for action has to be a Government commitment to find the necessary funding mechanisms. The costs are not high in comparison to the economic and social benefits which will accrue.

“We call on the Government to act now to ensure that modernised telephone relay services for deaf people will be up and running in 2011, ready for use by deaf people to make their booking arrangements for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

TAG is a consortium of the main UK deaf organisations concerned with electronic communications and is campaigning for improved electronic communications for deaf, deafened, hard-of-hearing, and deafblind people, and sign language users.

Follow TAG on Twitter @DeafTAG

Telecommunications Action Group

Media Contact

Stephen Fleming at Palam Communications
t 01635 299116 (voice)
e sfleming@palam.co.uk


Dan says this one is a no-brainer to fix – for free.
  • Go to i711.com and sign up. You’ll be prompted to be assigned a relay phone number.
  • You will enter your address (for expanded 911 service); and then choose an open number in the pool from the pop-up. Write this number down.
  • Now, you can make unlimited free outbound relay calls from your web browser.
But Wait, There’s More!
  • Now, minimize the i711.com browser window — We’ll come back to it in a few moments.
  • Next, in a new browser window, go to AIM.com and get a screen name (skip this step if you already have one). Then, either download the free AIM software, or if you already use another IM service (ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, MSN, Google Chat, etc…), download the free Trillian IM software, which will funnel all of your IM services into one small app on your desktop.
  • Install & configure your AIM or Trillian software to automatically launch on startup, and also to autoconnect on launch.
  • Go back to the i711.com window and enter your AIM screen name. You can now close that window.
  • Click back on AIM or Trillian and add i711relay to your buddy list. Send an IM with “Hello” in it and you’ll get an autoreply with a couple lines of text.

You now have two additional ways to handle calls:

  1. You can place a call via AIM by sending an IM with the phone number in it.
  2. You can now also receive voice calls on the free number you received when you signed up a few minutes ago.

Now, you can give out that number to hearing friends, family, & businesses as your voice number. When someone dials this number, they will get a relay operator who will send you an IM, and initiate the call.

But Wait, There’s Still More!

Let’s say that the only internet access you have is on a mobile (Blackberry, Treo, or iPhone) via a $35/month data-only plan for the hearing impaired. Simply load the AIM or Trillian software on your mobile, and you can place and receive relay calls, just like on your PC in your home.

Now, let’s say you live in another country and work for an American company: simply enter the US address when you sign up for the i711.com service. You will now have a free phone number in the United States for your hearing business associates (and friends & family) to reach you via relay.

How is this all possible… And for free when one end of the relay call is in America?

Every phone line in the United States is taxed about 50 cents per month to fund relay services for the hearing impaired, allowing free enterprise services (such as i711.com) to thrive in the open market providing services for us. The simple fact is businesses can leverage internet and telephony technology to provide voice relay and turn a profit while doing so.

What a country!


Personally, I would love to see the return of CapTel to the UK. CapTel uses a CapTel phone handset, and WebCapTel uses the internet and any phone including a mobile phone. I was lucky to be able to use both in my job and I found it fantastic – no one realised I was deaf. Unfortunately the company supplying the CapTel service was unable to continue providing it, as it was too expensive to do this without public or government funding. Hence the campaign by TAG to improve telephone relay services in the UK, by either improving Text Relay (formerly Typetalk) or appropriately financing the provision of services such as CapTel and VRS such as SignVideo. You can see SignVideo in action here, provided by Significan’t in London. I found the screen display very clear and could lipread the person.

In the US, you have more than one CapTel provider. You can even get it for Blackberry!

CapTel
Hamilton CapTel
Sprint CapTel
Ultratec

There is also a service called PhoneCaption.





New website for hard of hearing

20 07 2010

Dear Auntie Tina

I would like some suggestions on what I can design or put on my website that people who are hard of hearing might like to see. This isn’t a business venture more of a personal desire. I’m lifelong hearing aid user and recent cochlear implant in one ear.

Thanks.
Patty

Hi Patty

The best thing is probably your life experiences and observations! Everyone has stories to tell, which often help or inform others.  I’m looking forward to reading about your experiences as I’ve been a lifelong hearing aid wearer myself and my cochlear implant was switched on 4 months ago. I’m considering wearing my hearing aid in my other ear again, but keep putting this off. The cochlear implant and hearing aid are so different, what I hear through them is a world apart, it’s a tough thing to wear both at the same time.

Let us know what your website url is when it’s up and running. Looking forward to a good read!

Tina