Technology - Archive

ReSound® Develops First Hearing Aid App for Apple Watch

April 17, 2015 in Technology

 

ADDING MULTIMEDIA ReSound® Develops First Hearing Aid App for Apple Watch

Business Wire
April 15, 2015

COPENHAGEN, Denmark–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, ReSound introduced the first hearing aid app designed specifically for Apple Watch. Available immediately to Apple Watch wearers, the ReSound Smart™ app for Apple Watch offers a new, streamlined user experience, allowing users to take advantage of seamless, on-the-go control, right from their wrist. The ReSound Smart app for Apple Watch marks the latest of the company’s efforts to bring forward-looking solutions and greater levels of empowerment to people seeking to take control over their hearing loss.

Through the ReSound Smart app for Apple Watch, users have access to the same level of intuitive Smart Hearing personalization they have come to expect from ReSound, putting the app’s most-used features directly on their wrist. Through the app, users can:

  • Set preferred volume levels
  • Adjust treble and bass settings
  • Change audio profiles as they move though different sound environments
  • View at-a-glance details about their hearing aids, including the sound profile in use

Read more  . . . Hearing Aid App for Apple Watch

 

 

Official FCC Blog – Direct Video Communication . . .

April 17, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Emergency Preparedness, Technology

 

Direct Video Communication: Access for People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Speech Disabled in an IP World

by: Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman
April 14, 2015 – 02:27 PM

A few months ago, I received a note from a woman in New Mexico, recounting her recent experience in making a 911 call. She had fallen in her home, alone, badly hurt and bleeding.  She dialed 911, reached an emergency center, an ambulance was dispatched and she was taken to a medical facility.

You might be wondering why someone would write to the Chairman of the FCC about a 911 call. The reason is that this was an emergency for someone who is deaf and the call was made through Video Relay Service (VRS), a program administered by the FCC. The woman had never before had a reason to make an emergency call and, when she made the call, she wondered whether the technology would work.

Most of us take for granted that when we make a phone call, the call goes through. You call from any type of device to any phone number. You don’t think about how the call travels – via circuit or packet, time division or code division, copper or fiber, 1.9 GHz or 700 MHz Networks are interconnected. Telecommunications software is increasingly interoperable.

Now, imagine that you hear with your eyes. You contact friends and family by video calling and your native language is American Sign Language (ASL).  And when you call a hearing person who does not speak your language, the call is automatically routed over the Internet through a VRS sign language interpreter who conveys what you want to communicate to the hearing person.  The VRS interpreter voices everything you sign to the hearing person and signs back everything that the hearing person says.

Read more  . . .Direct Video Communication

Sound level meter apps: Do they work?

April 17, 2015 in Technology

 

 

HealthyHearing
Contributed by Lisa Packer, staff writer
April 13, 2015

With the growing popularity of smartphone apps, the newest way to measure sound level might be in your back pocket or purse. The latest statistics show that 71 percent of all people over the age of 18 own a smartphone; that means 171 million people have access to millions of apps. And with so many apps to choose from, it makes sense there would be one to measure noise levels. These apps aren’t just for fun; they are being used increasingly to measure occupational noise levels or noise in the workplace.

Hearing loss as a result of harmful noise in the workplace is a significant issue. More than 22 million workers in the U.S. are exposed to dangerous noise levels each year and there are over 20,000 cases of occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) reported each year alone. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) guidelines for occupational noise exposure, recommended noise levels should be controlled at or below 85 decibels (dB) for eight hours. Many in noisy occupations are turning to sound level meter apps, or SLMs, for noise level information.

Read entire article . . . . Sound level meter apps

 

Needed: TTY users or family/friends of TTY users

April 17, 2015 in Community News, Research, Technology

 

 

The Technology Access Program (TAP) at Gallaudet University is looking for individuals to participate in a study that will allow TTY users to communicate with friends and family members who do not use TTYs.  The study will last for up to 8 weeks, with participants making at least one call per week.

Participants who do not have TTYs will be given software to use to call their friends and family members who have TTYs, and each other.  Participants will be instructed how to use the software, and will be contacted periodically by TAP staff to answer any questions you may have.  At the end of the study, you will be interviewed about your experiences by TAP staff.

If you are interested in participating, or have questions about the study, please contact Paula Tucker by email at paula.tucker@gallaudet.edu, or by phone (voice or TTY) at 202-651-5049. To call using VP, contact Christian Vogler at 202-250-2795.

 

Mayo, Target among those developing Apple Watch apps

April 14, 2015 in Community News, Technology

 

 

Twin Cities•COM
By Julio Ojeda-Zapata
jojeda@pioneerpress.com
04/11/2015

Someday soon, when workers at Minneapolis advertising agency Space150 leave their key fobs at home, they will have another way to gain office access: the Apple Watch on their wrists.

Apple’s much-publicized smartwatch, due for release later this month, will become a kind of key for unlocking the doors with a screen tap or a wrist flick. (Intoning “Open Sesame” will be optional.)

Space150, like thousands of other companies in Minnesota and around the world, are hard at work on apps for the Apple Watch in the belief that the shiny wrist device .  – – – – –  Read entire Article  – – –

– – – – –  For Eden Prairie-based Starkey Hearing Technologies, developing for the Apple Watch is a no-brainer because a number of the company’s hearing aids already interact closely with the iPhone.

Users of such hearing aids can fine-tune their audio using a Starkey app on the iPhone, and select noise-filter presets for different environments, such as cars and restaurants.

Now they will able to make a number of those adjustments and selections on the Apple Watch as well, said Dave Fabry, Starkey’s vice president of audiology and professional relations.

Additional Apple Watch-related possibilities may exist, Fabry added, but the company won’t know for sure how these will develop until it gets the the watch later this month.

 

More efficient integrated circuits for better hearing aids

April 3, 2015 in Research, Technology

 

phys.org

Electrical engineer to build more efficient integrated circuits for better hearing aids

Herb Booth
March 31st, 2015

A University of Texas at Arlington electrical engineering researcher is developing a more efficient, low-power integrated circuit for directional hearing aids that will lead to a better quality of life for hearing impaired people.

Sungyong Jung, an associate professor of electrical engineering, received a two-year, $144,000 grant from the Korean Electrotechnology Research Institute to build an integrated circuit for a tiny microphone that would mimic the auditory system of a Ornia ochracea – a parasitic fly known for its exceptionally miniscule ear.

The work holds promise for a growing population of people around the world with hearing problems, said Khosrow Behbehani, dean of the UT Arlington College of Engineering, said.

“Dr. Jung’s research is a wonderful example of how UT Arlington engineering faculty and their students are developing solutions that address critical issues in the area of health and the human condition,” Behbehani said. “A very important element in design of implants aimed at improving hearing is miniaturization. Minimizing the size while maintaining the highest level of function is a highly rewarding challenge that Dr. Jung is undertaking.”

Read entire article . . . UofTX

Do-it-yourself healthcare is closer than you think

March 24, 2015 in Community News, Technology

 

Extreme Tech
By Ben Algaze
March 20, 2015

AUSTIN–Healthcare-related innovation was everywhere at South by Southwest Interactive this year. There were sessions on healthcare IT, big data, wearables, and innovative startups that are using technology to upend the status quo. For example, Tim O’Reilly gave a talk about adapting the same experience-focused approach used by companies such as Apple, Google, and Uber to reimagine health care delivery.

And if there is any industry ripe for disruption, it is healthcare. According to federal government statistics, healthcare expenditures in the U.S now exceed $3 trillion and represent 17% of the nation’s GDP. Yet despite consisting of such a huge slice of the economy, and incorporating large amounts of new technology for diagnosis and treatment of diseases in the past 30 years, the industry has failed at delivering cost-effective care. Compare that with the computing industry, where the million-dollar supercomputer of 20 years ago now fits in your pocket and costs $600 unsubsidized.

Read More  . . . Wearables

NYPD agrees to reform policy banning cops from wearing hearing aids

March 20, 2015 in Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
BY  THOMAS TRACY ,  STEPHEN REX BROWN
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

 

The NYPD finally listened to its officers Monday and agreed to reform a policy banning cops from wearing hearing aids.

The change is the result of a settlement reached in Manhattan Federal Court between the city and attorneys for hearing-impaired NYPD cops forced into retirement by the rule.

Disability Rights Advocate lawyer Rebecca Rodgers estimated “several hundred” cops would benefit from the agreement, though the actual number is unclear because many are likely deterred from coming forward due to the policy, she said.

“Cops did not want to disclose that they used hearing aids because they did not want to lose their jobs,” Rodgers said.

Read More  . . . . Police – hearing aids

Related Article – NY Post –  By Rich Calder – March 17, 2015

 

Stephanie Ulmer named VA Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator

March 19, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

Stephanie Ulmer Joins Hamilton Relay and VDDHH as Virginia Relay Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator

RICHMOND, VA. – The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) and Hamilton Relay, Virginia’s captioned telephone (CapTel®) service provider, recently announced that Stephanie Ulmer has been hired as Virginia Relay Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator. In her new position, Stephanie will provide outreach support and education services for the entire Commonwealth of Virginia to raise awareness of the CapTel services available through Virginia Relay. Virginia Relay is a free public service that enables people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or who have difficulty speaking to place and receive telephone calls.

Ulmer is highly experienced in business and customer service within the health care field. Previously, she worked for the District 19 Community Services Board as administrative associate in Child and Adolescent Services. She currently resides in Prince George, Va.

“I am looking forward to shifting my focus to marketing,” says Ulmer. “I am excited to have the opportunity to travel and meet people throughout Virginia and educate them about the life-changing benefits CapTel provides for individuals who have difficulty hearing over the phone.”

CapTel is designed specifically for people who have difficulty hearing over the telephone. Using a CapTel phone, users speak directly to the other person and are able to listen while reading word-for-word captions of what’s said to them during phone conversations. Behind the scenes, captions are generated by a specially-trained Captioning Assistant using state-of-the-art voice recognition software. Captions appear on the CapTel phone’s display screen nearly simultaneously to the spoken word, adding clarity and confidence in using the phone to communicate with friends, family and businesses.

Virginia residents are eligible to purchase CapTel phones at a special reduced rate of $75 through Virginia Relay. CapTel phones are also available at no cost to people who qualify medically and financially through Virginia’s Technology Assistance Program (TAP). For more information, please visit www.varelay.org or contact Stephanie Ulmer at stephanie.ulmer@hamiltonrelay.com.

About Virginia Relay

Virginia Relay and the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) provide the most up-to-date technologies and assistive devices to enable people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and speech-impaired to communicate via a standard telephone network. Virginia Relay services are easily accessible to anyone by dialing 7-1-1. For more information on Virginia Relay and its services, please visit www.varelay.org, or call VDDHH at 804-662-9502 v/t.

About Hamilton Relay

Hamilton Relay provides contracted Traditional Relay and/or Captioned Telephone services to 17 states, the District of Columbia and the Island of Saipan, and is a provider of Internet-based Captioned Telephone services nationwide. More information is available at www.hamiltonrelay.com.

 

 

Cochlear Implant Symposium-Washington DC – Oct. 15-17

March 19, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

ACI_Symposium

For more details, visit http://www.ci2015dc.org/events/ci-2015-symposium/custom-18-4bdf462ac7594bc69980161defb888c1.aspx.

The Symposium is being hosted by the American Cochlear Implant Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing access to the gift of hearing provided by cochlear implants through research, advocacy, and awareness. 

TDI Biennial Conference, in Baltimore, Maryland August 19-22, 2015

March 19, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Technology

 

 

SAVE THE DATE AND PLAN TO ATTEND!!!
Hyatt Regency Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, August 19-22, 2015

Remember to mark your calendars for the 21th TDI Biennial Conference, in Baltimore, Maryland August 19-22, 2015. Hope to see you there!
About Telecommunications for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (TDI):
TDI is a consumer advocacy organization that provides leadership in achieving equal access to telecommunications, media, and information technologies for 48 million Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing. TDI publishes the TDI World quarterly magazine and the annual TDI National Directory & Resource Guide, also known as the Blue Book. In odd numbered years, TDI hosts a biennial conference where consumers, industry leaders and government officials gather to discuss accessibility trends in technology. For more information about TDI and to support its work, visit TDI’s website at www.tdiforaccess.org.

 

Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI) | 8630 Fenton Street | Suite #121 | Silver Spring | MD | 20910-3822

Call for Nominations for TDI Board Members in Northeast, Southeast, & West Regions

March 19, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Technology

Now is your opportunity to shape the future of TDI! 

The TDI Board of Directors is composed of five (5) Regional Representatives and three (3) At-Large members.  Board members serve four-year (4-year) terms, with staggered elections for the Regional Representatives being held every two years.  

The Midwest and Central Regional Representatives were elected in 2013 to serve until 2017.  The Northeast, Southeast and West Regional Representatives are up for re-election this year to serve until 2019.

The Board meets two (2) times in even-numbered years and three (3) times in odd-numbered years.  Board meetings are held in various cities around the country and are always open to the public.

The TDI Elections Committee is soliciting nominations for the three TDI Board seats that are up for election in 2015. The three open Board seats are one each for the Northeast, Southeast and West Regions.

  • The Northeast Region consists of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
  • The Southeast Region consists of Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • The West Region consists of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Regional Board Representatives are elected by TDI members in their region only and serve for approximately a four-year term (exact term length may vary a month or so depending on when TDI conferences are held), this year the new Board members serve their term immediately when this year’s TDI Conference ends on August 22, 2015.

A Board member’s responsibilities include:

  1. Overseeing TDI’s operations to assure programs are run efficiently and effectively,
  2. Identifying telecommunications and media access needs of persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened and deaf-blind,
  3. Developing organizational policies and procedures,
  4. Evaluating the performance of the TDI Executive Director,
  5. Promoting TDI programs and services, and
  6. Communicating TDI’s mission, goals, and interests to its members, other deafness related organizations, governmental agencies, and persons in the general public.

All nominees for Regional Representatives must be current TDI members and must live in the region that they would represent.  Individuals may nominate themselves or may nominate others. Nomination forms can be found on the TDI website at: http://bit.ly/1BrtSUQ

If you prefer to fill out the printed form and send it in to us via US Postal mail, you can find and print the form here: http://bit.ly/1HWkmPo

Completed nomination forms may be:

  • Printed and mailed to TDI, 8630 Fenton Street, Suite 121, Silver Spring, MD 20910
  • Printed, scanned and sent via email to Executive.Director@TDIforAccess.org, or
  • Submitted using the online form on the TDI website.

All nominations must be postmarked, e-mailed, or submitted online no later than May 15, 2015.    

The TDI Elections Committee will contact nominees, verify their willingness to serve, and obtain a brief statement of experience and goals. The TDI Elections Committee will then select one or more final candidates from the nominees in each TDI electoral region whose Regional Representative’s term on the Board is ending. The ballots will be mailed out on or before June 18, 2015, and election results will be announced to the TDI membership at the business meeting during the TDI Biennial Conference in Baltimore, Maryland in August 22, 2015.

Please send your nominations to TDI real soon!

Thank you!

Video-on-Demand Children’s TV Programming Now Accessible

March 17, 2015 in Disability Law, Technology

 

 

Video-on-Demand Children’s TV Programming Now Accessible for Thousands of Students with Visual or Hearing Disabilities

03/16/2015 10:17 AM EDT
The U.S. Department of Education today announced the availability of free, video-on-demand children’s television programming for thousands of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing.

FCC Updates List of Nonbroadcast Networks Subject to Video Description Requirements

March 17, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law, Technology

 

 

On March 6, 2015, the FCC’s Media Bureau took the following actions in an Order and Public Notice:

(1)    Announced that, beginning July 1, 2015, the top five nonbroadcast networks that will be subject to the FCC’s video description requirements are the Disney Channel, History, TBS, TNT, and USA;

(2)    Granted a request by ESPN to be excluded from the list of networks that must provide video description because ESPN does not air at least 50 hours of prime time programming that is not live or near-live (recorded less than 24 hours before its first airing) per calendar quarter; and

(3)    Reminded broadcast stations affiliated with ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC that the obligation to provide 50 hours of video description per calendar quarter expands from the top 25 television markets to the top 60 television markets on July 1, 2015.

Background:

The FCC’s rules require multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) systems (such as cable and satellite providers) that serve 50,000 or more subscribers to provide 50 hours of video description per calendar quarter (about four hours per week) during prime time or children’s programming on each of the top five nonbroadcast networks.  The top five nonbroadcast networks that have been subject to the video description requirements since July 1, 2012 are the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, TBS, TNT and USA.  The FCC updates the list of top five nonbroadcast networks that are subject to the video description requirements every three years to account for changes in ratings.  The new list of networks reflects changes in such ratings.

Links to the Order and Public Notice:

Word:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-295A1.doc
PDF:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-295A1.pdf
Text:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-295A1.txt

For further information, contact Maria Mullarkey at (202) 418-2120 or Maria.Mullarkey@fcc.gov.

Bluetooth Earpieces Do Battle With the $3,000 Hearing Aid

March 13, 2015 in Technology

 

 

Advances in circuitry and Bluetooth have made hearing-aid alternatives cheaper and more powerful

David Gauvey Herbert
March 5, 2015

One night in June 2010, New York composer Richard Einhorn went to bed in a motel feeling stuffy and woke up almost completely deaf. At the time, Einhorn, who wrote the oratorio Voices of Light, had limited ways to deal with his nightmare condition, known as sudden sensorineural hearing loss. He visited an audiologist and bought a hearing aid for $3,000. (His insurance plan, like most, didn’t cover it.) Unhappy with the expense and the limits of the earpiece’s technology, which struggled to adapt to different noise levels, Einhorn began searching for alternative gadgets that could restore more of his hearing for less money.

Today, he has a backpack full of them. To supplement his old-school hearing aid, he favors a $350 iPhone-linked earpiece made by Sound World Solutions, a hearing-hardware maker in Park Ridge, Ill., for whom he’s begun to consult. With the Sound World device on, he can amplify phone calls and streaming music as well as his surroundings. A third, $500 earpiece was custom-made by Ultimate Ears in Irvine, Calif., to help him detect a wider range of musical tones while composing. For restaurants and theaters, he has a $45 directional microphone that pairs with a $5 app to isolate desired voices. And for especially cacophonous places, he has spare $700 microphones, made by Etymotic Research in Elk Grove Village, Ill., that he can strap to companions.

Read More  . . . hearing-aid alternatives