Saturday, 28 September 2019

Yoga for Hearing Loss

Have you guys heard of yoga for hearing loss? When Sabine Hobbel learned her son Aidan, now five, was born with hearing loss, she looked to yoga as one way to help him. Sabine created Little Light Yoga and Movement, an online yoga program for kids with hearing loss between the ages of four to eight years. “Hearing loss isn’t just about the ears,” she told me in a recent video call (Sabine lives in Milan, Italy). 

“There are so many areas impacted: balance, fine and gross motor skills, focus and attention, reading skills and eye strength as well as self esteem. These are all areas that can be improved through yoga.” Sabine, a former elite field hockey player in the Netherlands and Australia, turned to the healing properties of yoga after years of the sport took its toll on her body. She was certified as an instructor in 2017. 

 “While I mostly practice Hatha yoga, I adapt it for kids,” she says. Sometimes parents imagine this zen environment — which seems unrealistic for young children — but this is not my yoga. During my sessions there is a lot of laughter, jumping and being silly. I don’t care about perfection. Rather, we focus on breathing and what is happening in our bodies. It doesn’t matter how flexible your little one is or their body type. Yoga is for everyone.

Deaf Anxiety.

I learnt a new phrase recently: 'deaf anxiety'. After reading and learning more about, I realised that whenever I get anxiety, it is most likely because of my lack of ability to hear. And the more I read about it, the more I realised that it resonates with me and it's definitely a thing. It also made me aware that it's a topic that we should be talking about more often, and this is why I decided to open up about it. If you prefer to read the blog or listen to the podcast version of this video, you can do so here.

Friday, 27 September 2019

What do you expect to hear?

Workplace tips for those with hearing loss

From the Horses Mouth

Still, desperation and frustrations from Hard of Hearing media, desperate to learn to lip-read and near all failing.  Read below some comments..  Time for a new approach to hearing loss?  They must be bored sh*tless reading about online ear wax cures,  and videos like these most still cannot follow, or Hearing Aid repair tips!  Also that vlogs don't work at all, as none of it reflects real-time situations and no area in the UK operates a viable lip-SPEAKING service even if you adopt it.  The fact the vlog uses text means few of us are even looking at the lips but reading the text instead.

#1  Hmmm.... is it ok for me to say..... it drives me up the wall ? More people than..... i like to admit.............. talks this way. It brings out the worst in me. And i fear people judge me because i carry an inner frustration from this. Sometimes i worry people do it on purpose or ...... maybe it is their natural way of speaking.... by sound.. not by lips. I wonder if their voices has a clarity even when the lips does not. It's one of my greatest defeats that makes me question why i am on this earth when i cannot easily lipread. Lipreading is a battle to understand and be a part of things. i failed in one way but gained in other senses.

#2  Lipreading 8s very very hard and it's mostly guess work. Some "experts" say that the best lipreaders in the world only gets 50% accuracy. I've been lipreading 60+ years and some people I can't lipread until I've known them for years. People without English as.their first language are the worse. Personally I don't thing people do anything on purpose to make it hard they just.aren't aware of how difficult they appear. I had one head teacher who lips never moved except up and down parallel to each other, his mouth was like a letterbox!

ATR:  I don't believe lip-reading is viable for most who could benefit from it.  Those areas are mostly over 50s etc losing hearing and still reliant on HA, the way LR is taught utilises the fact they STILL have useful hearing, so whatever they do manage to learn goes out the window when the aid proves of little use.  Unless they teach LR to people with their HA OFF they won't master it to any degree of use because the reliance is still on hearing.  Far better LR and BSL classes were scrapped in favour of a more holistic approach of communication skills.  The huge variance in HA usage, the difference in ages, and ability to learn etc probably suggest a class approach as pretty useless and one on one more effective and tailored to the person.  

The sole point of LR classes seems NOT to be aimed at learning the skill but to encourage those feeling isolated to meet like afflicted people to acquire social skills again, but I believe that isn't actually helping because those really struggling still get left out of the classes, mainly because tutors cannot cope with just one really struggling pupil as it disrupts the rest via need and time they require.  LR is, an impossible aim to most as it stands and if you are failing to learn it you can get even more discouraged.  I really do not think current approaches work at all.  The worst aspect is there is NO end aim,, nobody is really meant to attain a level of skill, no course as such so learn or not? it doesn't matter?  

It's time they addressed hearing loss properly its a serious and debilitating condition that mostly gets worse, not better. As regards to 'social need' that comes with better communication skills not just moving sideways so you are just with people struggling too.  The whole LR 'course' with no aim, lasts just an hour or two for a few months a year, you can ask what is the point or value to that.  It's time HoH faced the reality very few if any are benefitting by this random approach and guesswork to attaining skills we really really need to acquire.  Nobody is taking it seriously.

#3 Brutal ATR, but I see what you are trying to say, lip-reading classes is all we have somewhere else can we go?  I didn't gain any lip-reading skill myself from 2 years of attending classes, but I made some friends so that helped.  perhaps we can justify lip-reading classes for that?

#ATR:  Erm.. no, not really, I'm being realistic perhaps.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Deaf Personalities everyone should know

Creating a safe environment with DMS.

Different Pespectives

Image result for perspectivesATR read a recent blog by a woman 'coming out' as having hearing loss and finding her hearing, mainstream 'peers' were less surprised or anti as she had always assumed.  Of course, this means too many with hearing loss are still buying into the 'everyone is against us..' messages, certain activist groups of the deaf/HoH variety and their dubious charities keep pumping out on a relentless daily basis, with quite ridiculous and misleading non-statistics to back it up, because nobody has a real clue what the need is or if there is a national system to be created to support it.

Of course, everyone's view of how hearing loss affects them is different depending on the acquisiton point of it or personal ability to cope with this 'new' situation.  Anger is the first basic response to hearing loss 'Why Me?' etc, well, they aren't alone as the UK had 10m others having the same relative worries. Where it differs is you have 10m trying to cope via own ways and failing rather miserably.  4 distinct areas appear to exist (Don't write in saying you are number 5 or 74, there aren't), that consist of the born deaf, the acquired deaf, the Hard of Hearing, and the deaf-blind.

None of these areas operate in unison, to each other or approaches their need that way either.  There is the obligatory 'sop' to the 'Deaf & HoH' remit, but it is cynical to the point areas accept that remit or they won't get funds if they oppose it, of course, you could add 'Funding Kudos' to it all by adding 'Culture' or 'Language' or something the money is the real point and given that is in £B's, it is hotly lobbied for.  The Hard Of Hearing were unable to get a handle on their Identity so settled for hearing, blaming it on ear wax,  and adopting the cupped ear image of old people.  Fact left for its holidays in 1960.  

The 'Hard Of Hearing' are a vast but totally frustrating and complacent area whose attitude is they aren't suffering hearing loss really and they are still erstwhile hearing people just hanging about for the relevant technology to put them back in the swing of things.  They aren't able to deal with the issue of that failing as they get older e.g. by then they have lost the means to campaign about it.  They quite often believe lip-reading means you can fool all the people all the time also, but less than 2% are any good at it.  Their other drive to hide whatever assistive device/Aid they use, which is passed off as some sort of fashion statement but is, in reality, a desperate attempt to hide the fact they are hearing far less then they make out, or feel if others know (They already DO!), they will get ridicule, they certainly will be, trying to fool people into believing what is apparent anyway to everyone else.

The blog I read stated some woman in a Yoga class had decided to tell her classmates what they already knew, it was only she who had assumed her contrived attempts to hide the fact of hearing loss hadn't fooled anyone at all, and they were being polite in not making a point of it.  We know the 'Deaf' rely on highlighting discrimination everywhere regardless if proven or not.  Today's media and laws put the onus on everyone else to justify.  There is always fire whether there is smoke or not.

The 'Deaf' and their respective area are a blatant go-it-alone area intent only on promoting their own ways of communicating and own social approaches and campaigns, few if any are inclusive or accepting those who cannot or won't comply at all or suggest they could make more effort to diversify as well.  They consist in part of hard-liners who want a stand-alone,  and Greta Garbo approach to how they live their lives, even if it means expressing horror or derision at those who want hearing loss addressed, as they see it as undermining their ethos.  So anything from a CI/HA, or speech is a discrimination approach or 'attack' as they see it.  They have a pathological approach to labelling themselves and others and their terminology is out of control.

The deaf-blind have no connections of any real note to the born deaf or Hard of Hearing areas.  The latter paying some sort of lip-service to the fact some can sign, and stating many blind speak or hear so are not like them.  Only our furry friends seem to have any commonality, despite concerns the deaf are not really justifying an animal in deaf terms.  Again doggy/pet lovers need not write in.  

The final area (which ATR is alleged to be a member of), is the acquired deaf one, who float in and out of all the hearing loss, hearing, and deaf areas being allegiant to none in particular.  Mostly the 'deafened' thing is rejected outright we don't approve of labels and 'deafened' suggestions something deliberate is involved.  The acquired deaf are a very influential  area having experiences (Apart from blindness), of most degrees of hearing loss from none to profound and total loss, so by definition have considerable experiences on approaches that can make inclusion work, mostly experiences gained the very hard way and without a supporting background of any kind, we aren't impressed with the Deaf or the HoH much, because of their disjointed approaches.  The approach we already know do not work for most and have polarised access campaigning.

A number of us actually run a few born deaf areas using our hearing background and our deaf one via experience, to more easily pitch in to lobby for support need and equality, most, are still having a conflict with the sign using fraternity who appear to be opposing inclusion by default.  We tend to work alongside HEARING people who run most deaf support areas and 85% of all their charities.  There are people who accuse everyone else of discrimination but who set up own barriers to prevent it being carried on.  Some too, will not include and will not provide access via communication formats that aren't strictly theirs, others could call that discrimination too, but they insist it is enablement and right.  Some sort of 'terminological Warfare' seems extant w want no part of.

It would seem many approaches to unity are doomed to failure via a surge of rights demands that in essence just enable the same isolation they claim they want to be free of, most of that is driven by the signing activists approaches and the abject apathy of the majority with hearing loss who have given up pointing out to these people the error of that approach, whilst insisting a mobile phone or a bit of lip-reading answers all their questions.

Inclusion activists are pitched against each other as they vie for own systems, so basically inclusion and awareness is a dead duck.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Are we the Solution, or the Problem?

More hand wringing and frustration online from the hearing aid users just not getting that message through when the hearing aid doesn't cut it for them.  Deaf awareness has long since failed but hearing loss awareness never got off the ground it seems.

#1  I agree that the I usually have to give the deaf awareness training! In the past couple of years I have been more assertive and open about the issues I have with hearing loss and how people can work with me so I can communicate. I would encourage everyone to have the confidence to be open about their hearing loss as I generally have had a much more positive experience when I explain it. 

#2  Most people do listen - though it is sometimes a challenge to get them to remember to follow through at all times! There are a few who think I am making excuses - something which a lot of people in this group seems to experience. The posts on this group shows that what works for one doesn't necessarily work for the next person - I just hate assumptions - the common one being that I can hear because I wear hearing aids.

#3  Absolutely. HAs are not like spectacles they don't "correct" hearing loss although they can help.

#4  I found the HA a problem, because the assumption was with an HA you can hear OK again, and if you struggled to follow they would become critical and annoyed and tell me to 'Turn it up!' or 'Get a new battery in it..' etc.  Sometimes followed by 'Are you deaf, daft or what?'

It was difficult explaining hearing aids are by definition an 'Aid', not a cure. Of course, many of my peers HID their HA behind long hair etc or bought ones that were 'invisible' or adopted the 'Nod' of assent to disguise the fact they did NOT hear what was said, I was never sure if others were the problem or we are.

Outstanding Graduate Finalist: HESTA

Amazon makes the Echo Show more helpful for the blind and visually impaired

With the new Show and Tell feature, blind and visually impaired users can ask Alexa what household pantry items they're holding. Amazon on Monday announced a new feature for the  Echo Show that should make life easier for blind and visually impaired users. With the Show and Tell feature, the smart speaker's camera can recognize household pantry items. Users simply hold the item up to the display screen and ask, "Alexa, what am I holding?"

The feature is now available to Alexa customers in the US on first and second-generation Echo Show devices.  

"We heard that product identification can be a challenge and something customers wanted Alexa's help with," Sarah Caplener, head of Amazon's Alexa for Everyone team, said in a statement. "Whether a customer is sorting through a bag of groceries, or trying to determine what item was left out on the counter, we want to make those moments simpler by helping identify these items and giving customers the information they need in that moment."

Voice to Text technology.

Mobile electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets are rapidly overtaking the desktop, laptop computers as the primary computing devices for more than 50% of the worldwide customers. Users are increasingly getting used to access the web, read and write messages and interact on social networks. The input of text on mobile devices is popular despite the fact that it is significantly more difficult by using an on-screen keyboard. 

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) is a solution to the text input on mobile devices which is gaining popularity as an alternative to typing on mobile services. Google offers the ability to search by voice on Android, iOS, and Chrome while Apple’s iOS mobile devices come with Siri, similar to a conversation assistant. On both Android and iOS mobile devices, users can also speak to fill in any text field where they can type, a feature used to dictate SMS messages and e-mail.

Voice to Text on Mobile Devices Market:  Drivers & Restraints 

Voice to text on mobile devices capabilities enhance the missed-call and voicemail offerings across VAS (value-added service) and network services. Voice-to-text on mobile devices improves customer satisfaction and generates revenue for various mobile network providers. A major limitation of the global voice to text mobile devices is that speech recognition is performed on a server. Mobile network connections are often slow which further limits the penetration of the voice to text mobile devices. The global voice to text mobile devices market has opportunities to invent techniques for building an accurate, small-footprint speech recognition system that can run in real-time on modern mobile devices.

Download sample copy of this report. 

Voice to Text on Mobile Devices Market:  Segmentation

The global voice to text on the mobile devices market is classified on the basis of type of mobile device platform and region. On the basis of the mobile device platform type segmentation, the global voice to text on mobile devices market is classified as follows:

Android-based Mobile Devices
iOS-based Mobile Devices
BlackBerry OS-based Mobile Devices
Windows-based Mobile Devices
Voice to Text on Mobile Devices Market:  Overview

With Voice-to-text on mobile devices, one can send and receive text messages, post Facebook and Twitter updates, emails, all hands-free. Voice-to-text has an incredibly accurate voice recognition technology. Other applications of Voice-to-text on mobile devices include setting reminders, making appointments, and searching the internet without lifting a finger. Currently, a new application is available for deaf people who excel at lip-reading. 

In meetings or group conversations wherein it gets difficult to follow a conversation when many people speak together, the applications aid in translating the speech into written words and transcribing it on screen in near real time. As a result, the global Voice-to-text on mobile device market growth is expected to be boosted by growing prominence of social networking websites and its hands-free feature.

999 - SMS Services

UK deaf are reluctant to use them because of the need to register first.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Glen Council Launch SignVideo

Hearing Loss resources

12 Tips to welcome the Deaf and HoH


Probably THE most misleading claim for BSL.   Today, on International Day of Sign Languages, Huawei has revealed that 95% of parents are in favour of having British Sign Language (BSL) added to the national school curriculum after 74% of British parents admitted to not knowing the difficulties some deaf children experience when learning to read.

The research comes as Huawei’s free mobile app, StorySign, which translates popular children’s books into sign language is now available on Apple iOS.

The study of 2,000 British parents, also found that 81% of people surveyed did not know how to sign in BSL or were only able to communicate in it very badly and wished they had been taught a few words when they were at school (82%). Whilst, 58% believe BSL is difficult to learn, there is an appetite to learn sign language. In fact, 98% think it would be a good idea for children to learn sign language to help them communicate with the deaf community.