Technology - Archive

Portland Captioning Proposal Receives Enthusiastic PCOD Support

December 17, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Technology

 

 

PORTLAND, OR December 16, 2014, Spokespersons for Portland: Turn on the Captions Now! (PTCN) David Viers and Jim House co-presented about PTCN’s efforts to require all television sets in public places within the city to the Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) at its regular meeting on Friday, December 12, 2014. The presentation was followed by a few questions, and concluded with a resounding vote of support by the Commission.

In the presentation, David and Jim reviewed the advantages of captioning, and the lack thereof on many television sets in public places like restaurants, bars, gyms, waiting rooms, libraries and other places where people watch television outside the homes. However, many public places have become proactive in turning on the captions, simply because of the noisy environment and the fact that customers need a way to know what is being said during newscasts, sports games, and emergency announcements.

There are similar laws in San Francisco and the State of Maryland. Portland has the opportunity to take the lead and become a Model City for Individuals with Disabilities according to Portland City Council member Amanda Fritz, who is introducing the ordinance for consideration by the Portland City Council. The San Francisco ordinance required captioning at all times, but limited the scope of coverage to government facilities and sponsored events such as outdoor movies in a park. The Maryland law expanded the scope of coverage to include private businesses, but the requirement is effective only when a customer or patron makes a request, which is often unfruitful because of so-called technical difficulties or staff inexperience. The City of Portland can expand on the merits of both prior legislations while crafting its ordinance. The primary goal of enforcement would be to educate businesses of their obligations and to empower consumers by making them aware of their rights to access information on television.

After the presentation, there were some questions regarding Spanish captioning and theatrical movie captioning. At the end, the PCOD voted unanimously to support the concepts and looks forward to helping PCTN move the captioning proposal forward.

 

“With the passage of this ordinance, Portland will show everyone – both citizens and visitors — that this is a city that is welcoming to everyone, regardless of abilities or disabilities,” exclaimed Carol Studemund, who helped initiate this grassroot effort.  Carol is the founder and president of LNS Captioning, serves on the captioning committee of National Court Reporters Association, is chair of the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission, and also with Portland Community Media.

 

“With the help of PCTN, Portland has this opportunity to take the lead and blaze new trails in accessibility where everyone has full and equal access to vital information on televisions anywhere and everywhere,” proclaimed Jim House, a technology accessibility specialist who spearheaded this effort with Ms. Studenmund.  A native of Portland, Jim also serves on the accessibility committee of National Emergency Numbering Association and recently relocated here after spending more than 15 years with Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. in Washington, D.C. promoting accessible technologies for people with hearing disabilities at the Federal Communications Commission and other consumer, government, and industry forums.

 

“This proposed ordinance to turn on the captions on televisions in every public place will enhance the quality of life for both non-hearing and hearing people in the City of Roses,” said David Viers, an advocate for people who are hard of hearing who lends a hand promoting this effort .  Viers is a semi-retired nonprofit administrator with experience in two centers for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

 

Grateful appreciation is due to the following consumer organizations for their support:

  • Oregon Association of the Deaf
  • Hearing Loss Association of America – Oregon State Association (HLAA-OR)
  • Oregon Communications Access Project (OR-CAP), a local grassroot advocacy group that is credited with implementing captioning at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland Trail Blazers, and other venues.

 

To support our efforts and be informed with updates of future developments, go to:

 

Jim House

 

Nanoplug invisible hearing aid looks like an eraser

December 16, 2014 in Community News, Technology

 

 

Slash Gear
Dec 12, 2014

If you have ever known anyone that had to wear a hearing aid, you probably remember them as bulky beige devicesthat protrude obviously from the ear. A new hearing aid has been unveiled that claims to be the world’s smallest. In fact the Nanoplug is so small its makers claim that it is invisible once inside the ear.

Nanoplug is an instant fit hearing aid that works for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. It measures in at 7.1mm x 5.7mm x 4.17mm making it smaller than a typical coffee bean or peanut. In addition to helping people hear conversations, the Nanoplug is also suitable for use with mobile phones.

Read More  . . .

AZ State Journalism Student Launches Ground-breaking Deaf & Hearing Network

December 12, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Technology

 

 

collegemediamatters.com
Posted by 
Friday, December 12, 2014

Inspiration alert: A journalism student at Arizona State University launched and maintains a trailblazing news operation known as the Deaf and Hearing Network.


According to a Downtown Devil report
, DHN is “the first news broadcast to combine speaking, signing and captions.” As the network’s About page confirms, “We will give millions of deaf and hard of hearing people — as well as hearing, American Sign Language students, interpreters and generally curious people — a way to get news in the language they prefer.”

 

ASU junior Peyton Gallovich started DHN in January. Over the past 11 months, the DHN team has amassed more than 1,500 subscribers, 4,000 Facebook page likes, 140 videos and 150,000 total viewers.

For Gallovich, the professional metrics are built atop a personal passion for ASL and combining the deaf and hearing worlds. As she tells the Devil, “DHN is a great resource for becoming aware of deaf issues. We often take deaf issues and give them a hearing perspective and vice versa. … TV news or written news can be hard for [deaf] students to understand because they are still learning English as a second language. By giving them news in ASL they can be aware of their world in their language.”

Watch video learn more  . . .

FDA Approves WaterWear for MED-EL’s RONDO

December 11, 2014 in Technology

 

 

Completely submergible cover allows full moisture protection with the freedom of an all-in-one cochlear implant audio processor

Herald Online
December 11, 2014

 — MED-EL USA announced today the FDA approval of the WaterWear fully waterproof cover for the all-in-one RONDO Audio Processor. The remarkably thin WaterWear will not compromise microphone performance, so RONDO recipients can be in and around water while enjoying excellent hearing performance. The sleek, skin-tight cover is engineered for optimal comfort. WaterWear will be available in early 2015. The announcement was made at the 14thSymposium on Cochlear Implants in Children in Nashville, Tenn.

WaterWear packs include three covers, each of which can be used up to three times. The covers can be worn for up to  . . .

Cochlear implantation in patients with Meniere’s disease study results

December 11, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research, Technology

 

Maney Online
Maney Publishing’s Online Platform

Few studies have addressed the benefits of cochlear implantation for the small group of patients with bilateral, end-stage Meniere’s disease, or unilateral disease with contralateral hearing loss from another cause. Our retrospective study evaluates the effectiveness and post-operative performance in these Meniere’s disease patients and discusses these findings relative to other post-lingually deafened adults.

Read Method, Results, & Conclusion of Study

Revolutionary earphones aim to help prevent hearing loss in teenagers, musicians

December 11, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

Malay Mail Online
December 9, 2014

NEW YORK, Dec 9 — In response to increasing reports of hearing loss in teenagers and risk of hearing loss for musicians, audio engineer to the stars Stephen D. Ambrose has revolutionised earphones with his RealLoud technology, which eliminates harmful pressures.

Earphones and in-ear monitors are known to be harmful, although they offer advantages for musicians and audio engineers, such as providing a mix of audio sources to the performer.

Because they seal the ear canal, the acoustic pressure of the sound turns to pneumatic pressure, which causes tiny muscles in the ear to contract in attempts to dull the sound, making the user need an even higher volume.

The secret is a secondary eardrum in the device that absorbs pneumatic pressure that builds up as a result of sound in the ear canal that’s sealed by an ear-bud.

Ambrose has added this second drum into all his ADEL earphones and 1964ADEL in-ear monitors, which were his groundbreaking innovations of the 1960s.

– Read more at:
http://www.themalaymailonline.com/features/article/revolutionary-earphones-aim-to-help-prevent-hearing-loss-in-teenagers-music#sthash.eWXG3o0M.dpuf

 

Nanoplug Surpasses Their $80K Indiegogo Funding Goal

December 9, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

Tech Cocktail
 –  for the Munich Edition

When they started their Indiegogo campaign back in November, Nanoplug reached over $25,000 of their $80,000 goal before the first week was even over. Today, with 21 days left on the campaign clock, Nanoplug officially announced that they have surpassed their funding goal on Indiegogo.

“We have spent thousands of hours developing Nanoplug for those millions around the world with hearing impairments,” says Nevena Zivic, founder of Nanoplug. “We have hit our funding goal of $80,000 with over 300 backers who are suffering from hearing loss.”

The attraction to fund the Nanoplug is due to the fact that it’s a new age hearing aid that offers all the benefits for a hearing-impaired individual but with none of the social stigma attached. That is, it’s nearly invisible in the ear, user programmable, and offers new age sound quality without the outdated look of our grandparents’ hearing aids.

“I envisioned a world where hearing aids didn’t have to be medical devices but instead could be a lifestyle product or accessory, where people with hearing issues didn’t stick out,” says Zivic. “Social stigma still hinders people from taking advantage of ordinary hearing aids, but with the Nanoplug, we could say goodbye to them.”Article link

 Original Article 

Demand for court and stenography reporters rising in California, nation

December 9, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Employment, Technology

 

The Bakersfield Californian
Friday, Dec 05 2014 05:29 PM

By RUTH BROWN The Bakersfield Californian rbrown@bakersfield.com

Typing quietly while catching every spoken word, court reporters are often overlooked but critical components of the judicial system.

And the demand for them is growing while the number available capable of typing the required 200-word-per-minute threshold for courtroom work is dwindling.

Read More . . .

ROGERVOICE WANTS TO GIVE DEAF PEOPLE THE GIFT OF GAB

December 5, 2014 in Technology

 

 

Fast Company
BY 

For most of us, cell phones are indispensable. But for the 70 million people with profound or severe hearing loss, it represents a crucial missed point of contact. The RogerVoice app aims to change that. The soon to be released app—which blew past its $20,000 goal on Kickstarter in just one week to ultimately collect $35,000—uses VoIP and automatic speech recognition to provide subtitles for conversations in real time, making it easy for users to communicate with anyone who calls, all with no app download required on the other end of the phone and no intermediary required.

It is the brainchild of CEO Olivier Jeannel, a Los Angeles-born expat living in Paris, who was diagnosed with severe hearing loss in both ears at the age of two. “It’s not something that I now regard as a ‘loss,’ but there are nonetheless a few aspects of daily life in which I find myself wishing I could do ‘like everyone else.’ Being able to understand a phone conversation is one of them. Since I cannot lip-read on the phone, I have to ask others to handle calls for me. SMS, email, video chat, all of these are great, but there are just moments when a simple phone call is needed,” says Jeannel, 34.

So he took on the challenge, drawing on his eight-year tenure in finance and market studies at multinational telecom Orange and knowledge accumulated over a lifetime of working with associations for handicap awareness. “I don’t recall a specific day when I thought to use voice-recognition for making phone calls accessible—the project matured slowly in my head,” he says. “I do recall the first trials in 2011, pairing together a phone with a voice-recognition system. I had asked my friend Sidney Burks to help me piece something together. I walked outside and he called me from his computer and sent the resulting text messages to my phone. I was ecstatic!” Burks now serves as RogerVoice’s CTO.

Read More . . . 

Watch Captioned Video

 

 

Research Aims to Help Veterans with Hearing Loss

December 4, 2014 in Research, Technology

 

 

Science Blog
December 1, 2014

Many combat veterans suffer hearing loss from blast waves that makes it difficult to understand speech in noisy environments – a condition called auditory dysfunction – which may lead to isolation and depression. There is no known treatment.

Building on promising brain-training research at the University of California, Riverside related to improving vision, researchers at UC Riverside and the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research are developing a novel approach to treat auditory dysfunction by training the auditory cortex to better process complex sounds.

The team is seeking public support to raise the estimated $100,000 needed to fund research and develop a computer game they believe will improve the brain’s ability to process and distinguish sounds.

“This is exploratory research, which is extremely hard to fund,” said Aaron Seitz, UCR professor of neuropsychology. “Most grants fund basic science research. We are creating a brain-training game based on our best understanding of auditory dysfunction. There’s enough research out there to tell us that this is a solvable problem. These disabled veterans are a patient population that has no other resource.”

Seitz said the research team is committed to the project regardless of funding, but donations will accelerate development of the brain-training game by UCR graduate and undergraduate students in computer science and neuroscience; pilot studies on UCR students with normal hearing; testing the game with veterans; and refining the game to the point that it can be released for public use.

Auditory dysfunction is progressive, said Alison Smith, a graduate student in neuroscience studying hearing loss in combat vets who is a disabled veteran. Nearly 8 percent of combat veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq suffer from traumatic brain injury, she said. Of those, a significant number complain about difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, even though they show no external hearing loss.

“Approximately 10 percent of the civilian population is at risk for noise-induced hearing loss, and there have been more than 20,000 significant cases of hearing loss per year since 2004,” added Smith, who served in the Army National Guard as a combat medic for five years.

Read more . . . 

 

AGB, ALDA, HLAA, NAD & NATO – Joint Recommendations to the Department of Justice

November 21, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

 

Alexander Graham Bell Association
Association of Late-Deafened Adults
Hearing Loss Association of America
National Association of the Deaf
National Association of Theatre Owners

Joint Recommendations to the Department of Justice RIN 1190-AA63, CRT Docket No. 126

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations – Movie Theatres: Movie Captioning and Audio Description

READ DOCUMENT  – Joint Recommendations to the Department of Justice

Read Press Release 11/21/14 – DOWNLOAD – Joint Press Release (PDF)

View the live press conference Archive from Friday 11/21 from 10-11 AM EST

Join ALDA at the Movie Captioning Webcast-Friday 11/21/14-10-11AM EST

November 20, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Groups and Movie Theater Owners
Joint Press Conference on Movie Captioning

National Press Club, Washington D.C.

November 21, 2014
10:00 – 11:00am ET

– WATCH Webcast –
View the live press conference Archive from Friday 11/21 from 10-11 AM EST

Read Press Conference Announcement

(Washington, D.C. – 21 November 2014) The Alexander Graham Bell Association (AG Bell), the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today announced an agreement to file joint recommendations with the Department of Justice regarding its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on captioning equipment in U.S. movie theaters.

DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING ADVOCACY GROUPS AND THEATER OWNERS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO MAKE JOINT RECOMMENDATIONS TO DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ON ADA RULE FOR MOVIE THEATERS 

Commitments To Voluntary Actions To Improve Access Also Outlined

(Washington, D.C. – 21 November 2014) The Alexander Graham Bell Association (AG Bell), the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today announced an agreement to file joint recommendations with the Department of Justice regarding its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on captioning equipment in U.S. movie theaters.

After several weeks of discussions, the five organizations agreed on a set of recommendations (attached) to the DOJ to improve access to movies for deaf and hard of hearing patrons.

Read entire Press Release – DOWNLOAD – Joint Press Release (PDF)

 

 

Did you know there’s more than one way to use Captioned Telephone?

November 20, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

 

How Do You Use CapTel?

The CapTel, or captioned telephone, has been a great way for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened folks who prefer to speak on the phone to keep in touch with their friends and family.  Whether at home or at work, keeping in touch is important.

But did you know there’s more than one way to use CapTel?

Many people are familiar with the CapTel phone, which can be used at home or in the office.  But you can also get captioned telephone calls from any place where you have a telephone and a computer with WebCapTel:  https://www.hamiltonwebcaptel.com/

Just create a free account with WebCapTel, get your Call Me #, and you’re ready to go!

Use a computer to log into the WebCapTel website, type in your telephone number (your cell phone or landline, etc.), then type in the number of the person you want to call.  The WebCapTel service calls you on the number you provided, connects you to the person you are calling, and the computer screen gives you the captions of the call.

You can also download the CapTel Mobile app to your 4G smartphone or tablet to get captioned calls on the go!  Just log into the app to get captioned calls anywhere you have 4G service.

http://www.hamiltoncaptel.com/smartphone/what_is_app.html

If  you live in the Northern Virginia Area and you’d like a demonstration of CapTel, WebCapTel, or CapTel Mobile, please contact Debbie Jones at djones@nvrc.org to set up an appointment.

 

 

 

FCC Establishes Quality Standards for TV Closed Captioning

November 18, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

 

FCC ESTABLISHES QUALITY STANDARDS FOR TELEVISION CLOSED CAPTIONING, SEEKS COMMENT ON FURTHER RULE CHANGES

The FCC recently adopted new rules regarding closed captioning quality for television programming. The new rules establish four “non-quantitative” quality standards for closed captioning, requiring captions to be (1) accurate, (2) synchronous, (3) complete, and (4) properly placed. Rules requiring compliance with these standards will take effect on January 15, 2015. The FCC also adopted new rules addressing a number of related issues, including new requirements for broadcast stations using Electronic Newsroom Technique (“ENT”). The new ENT requirements, which require broadcasters to comply with a prescribed set of ENT Best Practices, will take effect on June 30, 2014. New monitoring requirements for equipment used to provide closed captioning will take effect on April 30, 2014, and a related set of recordkeeping requirements will take effect on January 15, 2015.

See the entire Report & Order here:

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14 -12A1.doc

Metro unveils new app for visually impaired

November 11, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Technology

 

 

ABC Channel 7 – WJLA.com
By Rachel Schaerr
November 8, 2014