Technology - Archive

Captioned Telephone Services Usability Assessment

February 23, 2017 in Captioning / Relay, Technology

We are seeking referrals of individuals to participate in an important study that The MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization, is conducting to assess current Internet Protocol (IP) based Captioned Telephone Services (IP CTS) and similar mobile telephone applications. IP CTS allows a person with hearing loss to speak and listen to another party while simultaneously reading captions of what the other party is saying.

We would greatly appreciate your contribution to this important research effort.  Here are three ways you can help:

  • Identify potential participant(s)
  • Share this request with your network, or
  • Sign-up yourself.

This study will assess the caption phone services, desktop telephones, and mobile devices from the user’s perspective. Data collected will include caption service performance and usability feedback from users. This information will help to determine the minimum requirements for caption phone services. Participants will be compensated for their time up to $100 for a two-hour assessment.

To participate in the assessment, one must meet the following requirements:

  • Be hard of hearing or have a hearing loss which requires the use of captioning services
  • S. Citizen
  • 21 years or older
  • Be able to participate in the assessment for up to 2 hours between March-July of 2017 at MITRE’s office in McLean, Virginia

Please forward this request to individuals who are hard of hearing, and support organizations who might propose qualified candidates for this important assessment.

You can contact us via email at CaptionServices@mitre.org

Thank you for your time, consideration, and support!

Jen McLachlan
The MITRE Corporation

MITRE operates multiple federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs).  MITRE partners with sponsors to provide innovative practical solutions for some of our nation’s most critical challenges in healthcare, defense and intelligence, aviation, civil systems, homeland security, the judiciary, and cybersecurity.

FTC – Consumer Protection Issues in Hearing Health Care – Workshop April 18th

January 26, 2017 in Community Events, Hearing Aids, Technology, Wearables

Competition, Innovation,& Consumer Protection Issues in Hearing Health Care

Workshop: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a workshop in Washington, DC on April 18, 2017 to examine several crucial issues raised by hearing health and technology, particularly hearing aids and devices with similar functions and features. The workshop will bring together researchers, health care providers, industry representatives, consumer representatives, policymakers, and others to examine ways in which enhanced competition and innovation might increase the availability and adoption of hearing aids by those consumers who need them.

The daylong workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St. SW, Washington, DC 20024. Pre-registration is advised. A detailed agenda will be published at a later date. Information about reasonable accommodations is available on the conference website. A live webcast of the workshop will be available on the day of the event.
For more information please visit the workshop website.

Source: HLAA-DC Chapter

NVRC Represented at FCC Open Meeting Dec. 15th

December 15, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Captioning / Relay, Technology

 

Transition from TTY to Real-Time Text Technology

NVRC Board Members Tom Dowling, Gary Viall, and Alexa Schriempf, and staff member Debbie Jones attended this morning’s FCC Open Meeting   There was a great turn out of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and Speech Disability consumer organizations!  There were representatives from Gallaudet University, TDI, HLAA, and NAD, to name just a few.

The first item on the agenda for this morning’s meeting was the Transition from TTY to Real-Time Text Technology:

The Commission will consider a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to help achieve the transition from TTY technology to a reliable and interoperable means of providing real-time text communication over wireless Internet protocol-enabled networks and services.

 

Real-Time Text Technology (RTT) would replace the old TTY technology for communication over telephone lines and wireless systems, providing real-time, as you type it, text communications for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and Speech Disabled consumers.  RTT would be flexible to work on all internet protocol systems and devices, as well as being retro compatible with older TTY devices, until they phase out.  It would also be compatible with 911 systems for emergency calls.

The FCC heard the report  on Real-Time Text Technology, as well as remarks from Bobbi Cordano, President of Gallaudet University. The Commissioners voted to adopt the Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

This means that, moving forward, industries will not limited to making devices compatible with the old TTY technology, and can focus on making RTT interoperable across all devices and IP networks.

(See attached press release)

DOWNLOAD (PDF) – FCC Press Release DOC-342624A1

See pictures of meeting on facebook

 

Shame on the Smithsonian Institution – The Blog – by Janice S. Lintz

November 3, 2016 in Disability Law, Technology

 

 

The Huffington Post
THE BLOG
by Janice S. Lintz
Consultant, Consumer Advocate, Foodie and Traveler

The Smithsonian Institution should be ashamed for failing to include hearing induction loops for its videos and films, for people who are hard of hearing, in the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. Twenty-six years after the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, none of the Smithsonian museums provides hearing induction loops for videos or films. Some of the museums offer loops at the service desks.

Read more  . . . Smithsonian

Deaf Influence on Consumer Technology

September 27, 2016 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

TheHuffingtonPost.com
by Lydia L. Callis
09/25/2016

When hearing people think about exciting new technologies for those who are deaf, their minds most likely jump to the latest developments in cochlear implants or hearing aids. Or perhaps they may vaguely recall reading about any number of devices being developed to translate sign language into speech (or speech into ASL, or ASL into text). When hearing people think about deafness in general, they tend to think only in terms of “problems” and “solutions.” Luxury technology now forms a cornerstone of our sleek American culture, yet very few innovations seek to enhance — or even consider — the real diversity of the modern user base.

Chris (“Phoenix”) Robinson, who has severe hearing loss in his right ear and is completely deaf in his left, and Brandon (“Zero”) Chan, who is deaf, began their Twitch.tv channel DeafGamersTV with a seemingly simple goal: break down the barrier between deaf and hearing people in the gaming world.

Read more  . . . Deaf Influence

Better TV Sound for Those With Hearing Loss

August 31, 2016 in Hearing Aids, Technology, Wearables

 

Could a sound bar speaker or the right pair of headphones help you hear the dialogue on your TV again?

Not long ago, a reader wrote to us asking for help with a common problem: Due to hearing loss, she was having a hard time watching television. Even with the volume at maximum level, she couldn’t quite make out the dialogue. What could she do?

For me, the issue hit close to home.

In the later years of his life, my dad struggled to understand what was being said on TV shows. When I called or visited him, the TV was often at full blast. And yet, he complained, that really didn’t help him follow the on-screen conversations. It simply added another layer of commotion.

Read more  . . . TV sound

Comment Deadline for Proposed Rule Amendment on VRS Interoperability and Portability Standards

August 31, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Captioning / Relay, Technology

 

 

On August 4, 2016, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM), seeking comment on strengthening the Commission’s requirements for the interoperability and portability of video relay services (VRS). 

The Bureau set the deadline for filing comments 21 days after publication of the FNPRM in the Federal Register.  A summary of the FNPRM was published in the Federal Register on August 24, 2016, which established a deadline of September 14, 2016.  The Bureau announced this deadline by Public Notice released on August 25, 2016.

Links to the Public Notice:

Word:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-973A1.doc
PDF:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-973A1.pdf
Text:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-973A1.txt

Links to the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (corrected):

Word: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-893A1.doc
PDF: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-893A1.pdf
Text:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-893A1.txt

For more information, contact:  Eliot Greenwald, Disability Rights Office, CGB, at 202-418-2235 or Eliot.Greenwald@fcc.gov, or Robert Aldrich, CGB, at 202-418-0996 orRobert.Aldrich@fcc.gov.  For those using videophones and fluent in American Sign Language, you may call the ASL Consumer Support Line at 844-432-2275.

Captioned – Assistive Listening Device Presentation at Greenspring Village

August 11, 2016 in Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

Assistive Listening Device captioned video presentation at the Greenspring Community , Springfield , VA.

Presenters include NVRC’s Debbie Jones, Resource and Technology Specialist and Bonnie O’Leary, Certified Hearing Loss Support Specialist, Outreach Manager

Produced at Greenspring Community – EricksonLiving.com‎

Published on Jul 25, 2016

Directed and Produced by Diane Gatsis Havinga

 

10 Tips for Music Appreciation With a Cochlear Implant

August 9, 2016 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

An a cappella singer and bilateral implant recipient, Keri Reynolds understands how important music appreciation is for many cochlear implant recipients. Prepared with patience and positivity, Keri began the journey of relearning how to appreciate music. Keri is part of the MED-EL USA Team and shares with us her personal top tips for music appreciation with a cochlear implant.

“Music shaped my world and adds listening beauty. It is truly the stuff of life.”

As a cochlear implant user for over 10 years, some of the most frequently asked questions I receive from new and existing CI recipients are: “What about music?” “Does music sound like you remember?” “Does it sound good?” I suppose recipients ask these questions because music is so much a part of who we are. It seems that whenever music starts, we involuntarily respond with foot tapping, fingers snapping, and hands clapping. We react because we enjoy it and music moves us to join in.

Read more . . . Music Appreciation

How New York City Hears People With Hearing Loss

August 9, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

FORBES
By Janice Schacter Lintz
AUG 8, 2016

New York City is the most accessible city in the country for people with hearing loss. Hearing access is available at many of the city’s Broadway theaters, museums, and stadiums. Even the subway information booths/call boxes as well as the new Taxis of Tomorrow have hearing access. The degree of access available varies by site, so check the individual websites for specific details.

A hearing induction loop permits a person with a telecoil-equipped hearing aid or cochlear implant to use the T-setting to hear the sound directly from the microphone through the hearing aid/implant—no receiver is needed. Background noise is blocked on the T-setting. The other types of assistive listening systems, FM and infrared, require the use of a receiver (a headset or body-worn device); telecoil users can plug in a neck loop.

Read more  . . . New York City

The Remarkable Tech Bringing the Deaf and Hearing Worlds Together

July 28, 2016 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

WIRED -BUSINESS
By MATT SIMON.
MATT SIMON
June 27, 2016

THE PIZZERIA’S PHONE rings, but it doesn’t make a sound.
Instead, on the shelf below, green lights flash. Waiters scurry by. A few paces away, a cook with a big wooden paddle shoves pizzas into a bulbous oven. The lights flash again, and Melody Stein picks up.

“Hi, this is Melody from Mozzeria,” she says. “OK, sure thing. What would you like to order?”

Melody is deaf. As are the waiters and the cooks. Yet any one of them can communicate with a hearing person over the phone.

Call Mozzeria and the system will route you, the hearing person, to an interpreter at a “video relay service.” The interpreter listens to what you say and signs it to Melody, who’s watching on the restaurant’s iPad. Then the interpreter speaks Melody’s response back to you. Back and forth, until you’ve placed your order or made your reservation. And if you don’t find that to be absolutely marvelous, then, well, I don’t know what to tell you.

Read more . . . Watch captioned/ signed Video . . . Mozzeria

 

SoundSense is a simple, open-source gadget that helps deaf people

July 28, 2016 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

Furenexo’s SoundSense is a simple, open-source gadget that helps deaf people stay aware of their surroundings

Tech Crunch
Posted 
by Devin Coldewey, Contributor

People with deafness have plenty of ways to navigate everyday situations as if they had no disability at all, but there are still situations that present dangers unique to them — not being able to hear a smoke alarm or gunshot, for instance. SoundSense is a small wearable device that listens for noises that might require immediate attention and alerts the user when it detects one.

“There’s really been an absence of innovation in technology for disabilities over the last decade or even decades,” said Brian Goral, co-founder and CEO of Furenexo, the company behind SoundSense. We talked a few weeks before today’s launch. “What we’re looking to do is bring technology that’s taken for granted, things like cell phones and driverless cars, and apply that to the disability space.”

This first device is small and simple for a reason — the company is bootstrapped and has to rely on Kickstarter for the funds to make the SoundSense. They’re also looking for grants from non-profit entities and perhaps government funds.

Read More  . . . . SoundSense

Related Links:

motherboard.vice.com

 

How the Apple Watch is changing deafblind lives

July 15, 2016 in Technology

 

 

COMPUTERWORLD
APPLE HOLIC
By Jonny Evans
Jul 6, 2016

I’ve come across a compelling story that shows how Apple Watch can make a huge difference to enable deafblind people to live more independent lives.

It’s all available in this extensive post written by Usher Syndrome sufferer, Lady Usher. The author is London-based and gets around with the aid of a cane, a guide dog and an iPhone, but Apple Watch is transforming her life.

Empowerment

“My new Apple Watch has made things so much easier,” she writes. “I simply key in my route on my phone, pop it in my bag and the watch, hidden safely on my wrist, vibrates to tell me to go left and right using two different tactile pulses. Another signal lets me know when I have arrived at my destination. It is such a simple idea and so damn enabling.”

“Just three weeks after I got the watch, my guide dog and I entered a month-long team steps challenge at my work place. Together, we walked almost 200 miles through the busy streets of London, simply by following the vibrations of the AppleWatch and the simple on screen instructions. For the first time ever, it felt like we owned the streets. The whole of London has opened up to me for the first time since I lost my sight.”

READ more  . .  deafblind- Apple Watch

WELCOME to – Eric Raff New Deputy Director of the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

July 14, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Technology

 

Please join us in welcoming Eric Raff as Deputy Director of the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH)! Eric joins us from Washington, where he was the director of the Washington State Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for 12 years.

As Deputy Director, Eric helps oversee all VDDHH technology and outreach programs, including Virginia Relay and the Technology Assistance Program (TAP). Virginia Relay is a free public service that enables people in Virginia who are deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind or who have di culty speaking to communicate with standard telephone users. TAP provides no- cost telecommunication equipment to quali ed applicants who are unable to use a standard telephone.

See complete Announcement – DOWNLOAD Flyer

 

FCC Reinstates InnoCaption Conditional Certification for IP CTS

June 23, 2016 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

 

The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lifted the suspension of the conditional certification of InnoCaption to provide Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS).

In April of 2015, CGB suspended InnoCaption’s conditional certification to provide IP CTS because InnoCaption failed to provide 911 calling to emergency services as required by the FCC’s rules.  During the period of suspension, InnoCaption took steps to fix its service so it could handle 911 calls.  In the Order adopted today, CGB concludes that InnoCaption is now capable of handling 911 calls through its IP CTS service in compliance with the FCC’s rules.  As a result, InnoCaption is permitted to resume providing IP CTS.

The link(s) for the document are as follows:

https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-699A1.docx

https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-699A1.pdf

https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-699A1.txt

For further information contact Eliot Greenwald at eliot.greenwald@fcc.gov or 202-418-2235.