Technology - Archive


November 24, 2015 in Community Events, Technology



There are countless free and low-cost applications that people with hearing loss can download and use in their daily lives. Everything from ordering a cab, to finding a health care provider, to finding that song people are singing on the radio and much more is just one click away. Come join us as we explore applications and websites that will make navigating the hearing world a better experience.

Our presenter, Mariella Paulino, has a Master’s degree from Georgetown University, and held a fellowship with Code for Progress where she learned to create software. She has a strong interest in building tools that combine resources for the hard of hearing, occasioned both by her own hearing loss and previous work at the Defense Department where she interacted with veterans, many of whom with hearing difficulties. She is currently in the process of building (which will launch in 2016) whose purpose is to create a consolidated database of tools, technology, and resources for the hard of hearing.

Date and Time: Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 2:00pm

Place: DC Public Library at Tenleytown (large meeting room), 4450 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016 (less than a block from the Tenleytown Station on Metro’s Red Line)

Real-time captioning and a looping system will be available for all attendees.

     All are welcome. There is no charge


Wearable ASL Translation Technology

November 19, 2015 in Interpreting & Transliterating, Research, Technology



Language Magazine
by admin34
November 17th, 2015

Roozbeh Jafari, Associate Professor for the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University is leading the development of a tool for American Sign Language (ASL) translation. While previous attempts for automatic ASL translation have largely relied on cameras and visual tracking technology, Jafari’s project tracks muscle movement and external motion. “The sensor is based on EMG, or electromyogram technology,” Jafari said. “Combined with the external motion sensors, which show us the overall hand movement, the EMG allows us to discriminate between gestures,” he said. “A fine-grain of interpretation […] motion sensors give us the overall sense and muscle activities give us information about the fine-grained intent.”

The prototype was revealed this past June at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 12th Annual Body Sensor Networks Conference,   . . .

Read More  . . . ASL Translation Technology

Related Article from DOGO News –  By Kim Bussing on October 30, 2015

Project AMP gives a voice to students hard of hearing

November 19, 2015 in Community News, Technology



PCAST Recommends Changes to Promote Innovation in Hearing Technologies

November 18, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology



OCTOBER 26, 2015

President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology letter report investigated age-related mild to moderate hearing loss.

Untreated, age-related hearing loss is a significant national problem. With the population 65 and older in the United States expected to reach 80 million in the next 25 years, the number of people with hearing loss will rise dramatically. Already, a quarter of adults between 60 and 69 years, more than half of adults between 70 and 79 years, and almost 80 percent of those older than 80 years have difficulty hearing – that’s almost 30 million Americans. Only a small fraction of this group seek out and use assistive hearing technologies, including hearing aids, and that rate is even smaller among low income and racial and ethnic minorities.

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) believes there is an opportunity to enhance the pace of innovation, decrease cost, and improve the capability, convenience, and use of assistive hearing devices for individuals whose hearing has diminished in a mild to moderate way with age. Today, we delivered a letter report to the President, Aging America & Hearing Loss: Imperative of Improved Hearing Technologies, that examines these issues and includes several recommendations as part of our larger study about how technologies can help Americans remain independent as they age.

Read entire Summary

Read Full report (pdf)

Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids Controversy

November 17, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology




In October 2015, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) delivered Aging America & Hearing Loss: Imperative of Improved Hearing Technologies, which targets America’s worsening hearing loss epidemic. The report proposes a number of regulatory changes, at the level of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which PCAST believes will “decrease the cost of hearing aids, spur technology innovation, and increase consumer choice options.”

One of the most controversial proposals is the creation of a new category of “basic” category of hearing aids meant for over-the-counter sale. PCAST argues that this “would allow entrepreneurs and innovators to enter the market and open a space for creative solutions to improve mild-to-moderate, age-related hearing loss with devices that can be sold ( . . . ) at the local pharmacy, online, or at a retail store for significantly less.”

Read more  . . . Hearing Aids Controversy

FCC Moves to Increase Hearing Aid Compatibility

November 17, 2015 in Technology



Nov 4, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a longstanding commitment to ensuring that Americans with hearing loss are able to access wireline and wireless communications services through a wide array of phones, including voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) telephones and wireless handsets that use advanced mobile technologies. The Commission’s actions in this area have helped enable the millions of Americans with hearing loss to have greater access to and more fully benefit from wireline and wireless communications services and emerging technologies.

In FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), they propose to amend the Commission’s hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rules for wireline handsets. Specifically, they propose to take the following actions:

(1) incorporate into the rules a revised industry standard developed by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) – ANSI/TIA-4965-2012 (2012 ANSI Wireline Volume Control Standard) – that appears likely to improve the ability of people with hearing loss to select wireline telephones with sufficient volume control to meet their communication needs and provide greater regulatory certainty for the industry; and

Accessibility tech in a hearing-centric world

November 17, 2015 in Technology


Watch The Verge video about technology to help children, and adults in a hearing-centric world.

What captioned Video

Deaf Woman Captures Remarkable Encounter At Starbucks Drive-Thru

November 5, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Technology



“It is a big deal to [the] deaf community that Starbucks has one now. We all want to have that at every drive thru in the world.”

By Dominique Mosbergen

For members of the deaf community, ordering food or drinks at a drive-thru can be a frustrating, or even impossible, experience. But as one deaf woman recently discovered, Starbucks is trying to make this feature accessible for customers with disabilities — with the help of a little technology.

On Tuesday, 28-year-old Rebecca King of St. Augustine, Florida, uploaded a video to Facebook which reveals what happened during her visit to a local Starbucks drive-thru.

The video shows King driving up to the ordering kiosk. A woman’s voice emits from the intercom.

“Hi, welcome to Starbucks,” the woman says. “What can we get started for you today?”

King does not respond and waits in her seat. A few moments later, a Starbucks barista appears on a monitor.

Read More . .  See Video

UI Study Highlights Importance of Hearing Aids in Kids with Hearing Loss

November 3, 2015 in Research, Technology




The greater degree a child’s hearing loss, the harder it is for that child to keep up with normal-hearing peers. But a new study by the University of Iowa, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, shows hearing aids can make a big difference.

The study, published in the journal Ear and Hearing, looked at 317 kids with hearing loss. It found that hearing aids are important for the language, scholastic and social development of kids with moderate-to-severe hearing loss.

“We have a lot of information on children who are deaf. But we really don’t’ know a whole lot about children who are hard of hearing.” says researcher Beth Walker.

Read More  . . . Hearing Aids

HLAA – Recent Transcripts/Replay Webinars

October 21, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology



You can find  the Hearing Loss Association of America’s listing of Webinars on the following topics from the link below.

  • A Smartphone Is a Hearing Assistive Technology
  • Introducing MED-EL’s SYNCHRONY Cochlear Implant System: In Sync with Natural Hearing
  • What a Person with Hearing Loss Needs to Know Before a Medical Encounter
  • Gaining Greater Access for People with Hearing Loss
  • Reshaping Antibiotics to Prevent Hearing Loss
  • Four Agreements for People with Hearing Loss


HLAA’s Transcripts/Replay Webinars page

Science – Jefferson Labs – Nov. 14 for grades 4 – 8 deaf & hoh

October 21, 2015 in Community Events, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology


Registration Deadline – November 5, 2015.

Science with Jefferson Labs – Saturday, November 14, 2015, 9:30 – 2:30. – This one-day Science event is for students from public schools, grades 4 – 8 who are deaf or hard of hearing using any communication method/language.  It is co-sponsored by Outreach Services, VSDB and Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility Education Services.  Science educator Brita Hampton from Jefferson Labs will be the instructor.  We are allowing each student who is deaf/hh to bring one sibling into the Science activity, if the sibling is in the same age group (grades 4 through 8).  All activities will be presented in voiced English and interpreted in American Sign Language.

Family members will be free to explore Staunton in the morning, and will rejoin the students 1:30 – 2:30.  At that time, Jennifer McDonald of the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will demonstrate equipment from the Technical Assistance Program (TAP), featuring alerting devices for the home, special telephones for people with hearing loss, etc.

This is a great opportunity for students who are deaf/hard of hearing and their families to enjoy a fun and educational experience, and to meet others in their region

Where: 104 VSDB Drive, Staunton, VA. , on the campus of the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB), Staunton, VA.

How Do We Register: Complete the registration form attached and return it before November 5, 2015. See registration form for details.

DOWNLOAD – ScienceJeff_Labs_flyer_Nov 14, 2015.pptx

DOWNLOAD – Registration Form & Agenda

Younger Adults More Likely to Use New Gadgets for Hearing Loss

October 6, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research, Technology



Consumer Reports
by Sue Byrne
October 01, 2015

If you have hearing loss, like one in six adults in the U.S., you probably haven’t done anything about it: Less than half have gone to a doctor or audiologist about the problem in the last five years, perhaps because they don’t want to wear a hearing aid or try a different technology. But that may be changing.

A new report on hearing trouble in adults released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that people age 18 to 39 with hearing loss are more likely than people age 40 and up to use some sort of assistive technology to cope with the problem, such as headsets, FM microphone systems, text messages, amplified telephones, or live video streaming.

Room for Improvement

“There’s a lot of untreated hearing loss in this country,” says Carla Zelaya, Ph.D., a survey statistician for the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics and lead author of the report, which surveyed more than 36,000 U.S. adults.

“We found that people of middle age were the least likely to use assistive technology, perhaps because their hearing loss is not that bad yet and they are uncomfortable with using the newer devices. But the younger adults seem to recognize their hearing limitation and are using new technology to help themselves.”

Read more Younger Adults


Workshop by Tina Childress, C”APP”ITALIZING, ON TECHNOLOGY – Oct 19th

October 6, 2015 in Community News, Technology



Presented by Outreach Services, VSDB VSDB_outreach

Tina Childress, MA,CCC-A,

Is a trainer for the Illinois School for the Deaf Outreach Program and the 2014 winner of the I. King Jordan Award and Phonak’s Cheryl DeConde Johnson Award for outstanding achievement in Educational and Pediatric Audiology.

As a result of this training, participants will be able to describe features of apps that can be used with children with hearing loss (and with adults), list sources for finding apps for no or low cost, and name apps that can be used to work on receptive and expressive language skills for children developing listening and spoken language skills and/or signing skills.

Target Audience: Speech and language pathologists, teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing, audiologists, Part C providers, parents, and consumers.

October 19, 2015      9:30 – 2:00

Register by October 12

(see attached registration form below)

J.F. Fick Conference Center,
1301 Sam Perry Blvd,
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

DOWNLOAD – TinaChildress-Oct_19_2015_flyer

DOWNLOAD – Childress_Registration_Form

Yahoo brings accessibility quest to Boston

October 1, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Technology



Boston Globe
by Hiawatha Bray

According to the World Health Organization, a billion people worldwide have some form of disability. The giant Internet service Yahoo wants to deliver information and entertainment to every one of them, not just because it’s good business, but also because it’s the right thing to do.

On Tuesday, Yahoo showed off an “accessibility lab” at its Boston facility in Downtown Crossing. Yahoo will use the lab to test the closed captions it attaches to its online video content, to ensure that deaf viewers can enjoy the shows.

Yahoo includes such captions on nearly all its video content, but must carefully tailor the captions for multiple devices. The same video might be viewed on a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone or a videogame console. The Boston accessibility lab will ensure that captions are modified as needed, so they’re correctly rendered on each device.

“The more we can both prove the financial value and the social value, hooray! What a double win that is!” said Larry Goldberg, Yahoo’s director of accessible media and manager of the Boston lab, one of two run by the company. Goldberg spent nearly 30 years at Boston public television station WGBH, where he led the National Center for Accessible Media, a pioneer in the use of closed captions and descriptive audio for people with vision problems.

See original article

Hiawatha Bray is a technology reporter for the Boston Globe.

New Zealand – TV subtitles for the deaf won’t be made mandatory by the Government

September 24, 2015 in Community News, Technology



Any hope of deaf and hard-of-hearing Kiwis getting television subtitles for the remaining Rugby World Cup games have been dashed because broadcasters don’t have the capability.

The Green Party are calling for the Government to make captioning mandatory on New Zealand screens and in time for Kiwis to be able to enjoy some of the remaining games.

But Cabinet Minister Nikki Kaye who fielded questions on the issue in Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams’ absence said technical issues around doing it wouldn’t be resolved within the next few weeks.

“It’s all about how you get that live feed from broadcasters overseas and that’s just not possible.”

She said the Government wouldn’t make television captioning mandatory because it would put a lot of cost on broadcasters.

Read more  . . . TV Captions