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Ubi Duo

Has anyone ever used the Ubi Duo?  If so, I’d love to hear what you think of it.

It seems like a great way for a deaf person to communicate with a hearing person……..but expensive – around $2,000.  If you’ve never heard of it, watch the video with Noah Buchholtz.
My first thought was, “How would this be better than a laptop or iPad?”  But, I think it would be as it has a split screen, so you can see what has been typed to you and reply without having to turn the screen around and wait for someone to read it.  In the video, Noah talks about all the many different uses he found for it in college.  But I can imagine so many more – at a doctor’s office, in the hospital, at work, hanging out with friends at a bar, and really anywhere a deaf person needs to communicate when an interpreter is not available.  If you have used one or know more about it, please leave a comment here.

Cochlear Implants

I never met anyone with a cochlear implant before joining HLAA.  I assumed that anyone with a cochlear implant (CI) was, well, kinda deaf.  Boy, was I wrong!  We have about 20 members with CI’s in our HLAA chapter and those who were late-deafened speak and hear as well (or better) as the rest of us HOH folks……..and 99% of them are extremely happy with their implant!  In fact, more and more of our members are choosing to get a CI after talking with those who have one.  The CI wearers I know feel it is nothing short of miraculous to have regained their hearing through this technology.  The results are not instantaneous.  It takes months of “mapping” by the audiologist, aural rehabilitation exercises and time to adjust to the hearing electronically.  For an excellent overview of cochlear implants, see Dr. Brad Ingrao’s article in the March/April issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, “Plugged in for Sound:  Cochlear Implants Today.”

To read more about cochlear implants, also see Hearing Loss Web and the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders.


More Simulations

I loved the simulation I posted last week (demonstrating what a person with a hearing loss actually hears), so I began exploring and found a great demo of how an FM listening system improves hearing.  It is very effective!  First you can hear what it would sound like wearing a hearing aid, then the same sound byte if listening with an FM system.
Check it out: http://facstaff.uww.edu/bradleys/radio/fm/

I’m a big fan of FM systems and in fact an FM system prompted me to start my business!  I was so impressed with the system my school district bought for me when I was teaching, that I decided I had to tell the world!   Here is the wireless FM system I recommend:  Comfort Contego FM System by Comfort Audio.

The advantage of an FM system over a personal amplifier is that you are not limited by distance.  You have 2 devices:  a transmitter and a receiver.  They can transmit and receive sound up to 150 feet apart.  So your transmitter could be on the podium and you could be sitting 30 rows back with the receiver and hear as if the speaker were 6 inches from your ear!  The above simulation is very realistic.

Do you hear what I hear?

Do you want to show your family or friends what it is like to have a hearing loss?  Check out this website:  http://www.betterhearing.org/hearing_loss/hearing_loss_simulator/index.cfm

I subscribe to Neil Bauman’s “eZine” (an online newsletter) and really enjoy his articles.  This month he wrote an article called “Hearing Loss and Hearing Loss Simulators.” The article has links to 3 simulators including the one above.  Great way to demonstrate to others what you are hearing!  You can read the whole article here:  http://www.hearinglosshelp.com/ezine/february_29_2012.htm  Scroll down to section 6.

The next time someone accuses you of not paying attention, show them what it is like!