Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Smart TV listening.

Image result for noisy TVs zvox
The AV200 uses hearing aid technology to make voices crystal-clear, even at low volumes. The technology lifts voices out of the sound track - and then modifies the voices to make them understandable. 

We have never heard dialogue this clear and sharp. You'll hear every word, even on poorly mixed programs or British programs. The Speaker uses patented technology to make voices clear and easy to understand when you watch a program, movie or sporting event on TV. It uses a high-speed computer processor and advanced algorithms to separate voices from the rest of the soundtrack. 

It then manipulates those voices to make them clear and understandable. The results are remarkable. "  It works well above or below your TV, or to the left or right. Hookup is simple – just one connecting wire to your TV. 

Then plug it in the wall, turn down the sound on your TV speakers, and you get high-quality sound and clear voices on every program. It’s so easy to use it has a one-page owner’s manual.  If you've ever been blasted out of your chair by a too-loud commercial - you'll love our Output Leveling (OL) feature. Just push the OL button and a sophisticated processor takes over, making soft sounds louder and loud sounds softer, so there are fewer jarring moments when switching channels or when commercials come on. This system also helps by boosting the audio levels from a DVD or Blu Ray player that are not loud enough. 

The battle goes on...

Related imageBut is the war already lost? (ATR's delving into current social media issues and comments.)  This week why aren't the deaf or disabled a united force?

#1 We need to stop fighting each other, divide and rule which is the state welfare and care approach to need and which isolates has meant we are all less tolerant even of each other with a disability.

#2 Their strategy appears to be working well! While people are scared and vulnerable they will go at getting the best for themselves or try to. The emergence of 'no one size fits all' or that ambiguous 'each according to need' gig, means no unity of approach either, we need to form the collective approach, in the long or short run '2 heads are better than 1'. 

#3 We are being picked off by bias and fear (those of us who do stand up). If the term 'we' is used then that will invite opposition from others, (No-one speaks for me.), etc.  Even established disability groups will attack their singular own who dare to 'speak in their name'. Terminological warfare used by the more able to oppress the lesser ones but who use the same terminology to endorse it.  Crazy doesn't even begin to cover it,  some sort of 'acceptable discrimination policy' against own peers fuelled by differences that should not matter at all.

#4 You need to get to grips in what holds us back, in short, we (!) are doing it to ourselves. 

#5 Aren't charities there to help?

#6 They are solely concerned with 'help/support' not to lobby, just occasional 'concerns' about how lack of care affects their situation, not ours.  The state holds them in check by allocating funds selectively.

#7 True, continuing that concept means they won't back any sort of independence from it or they would cease to exist. Even the horror that is the welfare system is geared to isolate you so you cannot call upon the help you need. Then we saw charities signing a declaration not to criticise those who abuse us in case their funding was withdrawn.  Attacking that concept invited charities attacking you for 'undermining the help they provide..'

#8  We (Are all in it together), need to get back to mass action/inclusion and stop acting as if we are the only people with an issue. Because alone we cannot win.  10m with an issue and 10m individuals tearing own hair out? and jealous if someone else gets something they don't?   What purpose does that serve?  We have the means we have the people, what we don't have is the will to unite.  Exactly what the UK state wants. (That and ridding the United Kingdom of its disabled).

The Centre that saves your hearing...

These people still have their hearing... but only thanks to 20-year-old centre 

ANYONE who has ever suffered even just temporary hearing loss will know how isolating it can feel. So patients of The Hearing Care Centre in Colchester arrived in their droves to help it celebrate 20 years of life-changing hearing treatment and to share their stories. 

The centre was founded by managing director and senior audiologist Vicki Skeels in 1998 and was based in Crouch Street in the town before it relocated to its home in Headgate, in 2002. Today it has around 6,500 patients on its books who opt for non-NHS hearing care. It also has satellite centres in Tiptree, West Mersea, Frinton, Manningtree and at the Oaks Hospital, Colchester. Patients who attended the centre’s 20th anniversary afternoon tea at the Wivenhoe House Hotel included Pamela Boulden. Pamela, 69 and from Colchester, said: “I started using The Hearing Care Centre because I became deaf when I was aged about seven or eight from measles. 

“My mum didn’t take me to the doctors and I’d picked it up from a playmate. A neighbour rang the doctor but by then the damage was done.” Pamela had lost about 60 per cent of her hearing but managed to lip read. “I got victimised at school, I hated it,” she said. “But you manage to adapt.” She left school to work as an office junior but avoided answering the phones through fear of not hearing what people said. Naturally, her confidence was affected. “People think you’re stupid but you’re not. I wouldn’t go up to people and talk to them,” Pamela added. 

Years later, having moved to Colchester, Pamela was attending lip reading classes and was advised to try The Hearing Care Centre for more advanced hearing aids than the one she had tried briefly when younger. That was 19 years ago. Pamela, who is married to John, said: “I couldn’t afford it at the time so they said I could pay in instalments and I’ve never looked back.” 

Today the grandmother-of-three continues to visit the centre for check-ups but credits it with changing her life.


Google: New automatic caption options.

Google Slides chat
Google is rolling out a new automated closed captions feature for Slides that will make the presentation tool a lot more accessible for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. 

The feature uses the microphone in a presenter's computer to detect what they're saying and transcribe it in real time as captions on the slides. The captions appear at the bottom of the screen for audience members to read. "Closed captioning in Slides can help audience members … who are deaf or hard of hearing, but it can also be useful for audience members without hearing loss who are listening in noisy auditoriums or rooms with poor sound settings,"

G Suite Accessibility Software Engineers Laura D'Aquila and Abigail Klein wrote in a Monday blog post. "Closed captioning can also be a benefit when the presenter is speaking a non-native language or is not projecting their voice."

Crowdfunding helps deaf boy to hear again.

Lister Road green, Beechdale, Walsall
A deaf boy who had his hearing aids ripped out by bullies was moved to tears after a Crowdfunding appeal topped £5,700. 

The ten-year-old was shoved to the ground before being kicked and stamped on in Lister Road, Beechdale, Walsall. A group of six older boys repeatedly kicked him before ripping out his hearing aids and stamping on them. 

Lister Road green, Beechdale, Walsall Lister Road green, Beechdale, Walsall  Heartwarming response 'shows there are more good people than bad' after deaf boy's hearing aids ripped out in brutal Walsall attack Michele Mansell had set up the JustGiving page with a target of handing over £2,500 to the boy and his family. But as of Tuesday, kindhearted donors had raised £5,700. She passed on a message from the boy's family thanking everyone for their support. The family member wrote: “I found him crying in his room the last night. I signed ‘whats the matter’ and his reply was 'why are all the people being nice to me?' 

"I tried to explain but, being deaf, he does not always understand. “Its been such an emotional time for us all... we are just so grateful to you. x"