Just when most people thought they had finally found a way to manage their hearing impairment, the pandemic surfaces and makes communication even more difficult. Many people didn’t realize how dependent they were on lip-reading until it was gone (and no one can clearly say when it’ll return).
Are you tired or exhausted from asking people to repeat themselves endlessly? Then, Assistive technology for the hearing impaired, also known as an assistive listening device (ALD), could be just what you need.
How The Pandemic Is Making Communication Difficult For Hearing Impaired People
The Mask: In a bid to manage the spread of the Covid-19, people have to wear a mask, which would ideally cover their mouth and nose. However, research has shown that medical masks (depending on the type) tend to weaken the high frequency of a person speaking by about 12 dB, thereby acting as a low-pass speech filter.
Since many people with hearing impairment depend on lip-reading and facial expressions to understand what the speaker is saying and interpret the emotions behind their words- these cues are no longer available because of mask-wearing.
Hence, without assistive technology for the hearing impaired, this would result in more effort to listen and communicate actively. A condition that can result in hearing loss exhaustion.
The 6-Feet Rule: Most hearing devices work best when the ‘source of the sound’ is within 6-feet from the hearer. Sadly, part of the rules for managing the pandemic is that people have to be 6-feet apart in public places.
Although these rules are helping to reduce the spread of the virus, we can see that it’s causing further strain on people who suffer from hearing impairment.
Thankfully, with assistive technology for the hearing impaired, one can live an everyday life despite the social distancing or wearing of mask rules.
Quick Tips That Can Help You Communicate With People Who Wear Masks
Ask the person speaking to use a transparent mask. The challenge, however, is that these masks are expensive and not so easy to find.
Arm yourself with a paper/notepad, boogie board device, and pen when going out to enable you to communicate. Bear in mind that this is a ‘bulky’ option compared to assistive technology.
Familiarize yourself with a speech-to-text app. Or use your smartphone as your notepad. But this also means that if you mistakenly leave your phone behind (at home, work, etc.), it could be tough to communicate effectively.
Bounce back to your everyday life with assistive technology for people with hearing loss. It’s safe, secure and can get you through these pandemic times effortlessly. Contact us today to get yours.