Unlocking the Power of Everyday Devices
There are many ways you can take advantage of technology that you already own to make hearing easier for you. Many devices have settings or features aimed at helping people who have difficulty hearing. These are often found under titles such as “Accessibility Settings”. Consulting your user manual is the best way to discover how to get the most out of your device.
Smartphones are more popular than ever. Over 84% of Australians own smartphones and this number is expected to rise. Many people who own smartphones do not realise that there are settings and features which can be adjusted to support people with hearing loss. The features range from adjusting the volume in just one earphone, if you are experiencing unilateral hearing loss to advanced hearing aid compatibility.
Below are links to more information for some of the more popular smartphones on the market today;
There are also many apps aimed at helping people with hearing loss. These apps have many purposes: hearing protection, sound amplification, tinnitus relief etc. It is important to remember that many of these apps make claims about their effectiveness that are not necessarily verified with medical evidence.
Reading reviews of these apps is a great way to see how useful a particular app is. Apps are most widely available through the iTunes Store and Google Play. A great list of some of the different apps available can be found through the Everyday Hearing website.
Closed captions are subtitles on television programs. Many programs have closed captions and these are accessible through most televisions. If you see the symbol below then the program you are watching has closed captioning available.
The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 ensures that most television shows, for most of the day have captions available. How to access these captions will differ according to your television type. Often there is a button on your remote that will say ‘CC’ or ‘Captions’. Once again, refer to your user manual for further information.
Many other services such as Netflix and YouTube are working to increase the number of captioned shows that they offer as well.
Some devices including smartphones and tablets have the ability to connect with existing hearing aids through Bluetooth. Not all devices or hearing aids have this capability so be sure to check your user manual or “Bluetooth Settings”.
Connectivity with telephones, televisions, hearing loops etc. are all possible through Bluetooth connection. Have a chat to your audiologist to find out more.
Home and landline phones
Many landline phones will have adjustable ringer and call volume. Some may even have flashing alerts for incoming calls. Newer phones may also have the ability to connect with Bluetooth enabled hearing aids for calls and alerts when calls come in.
Talking to your telecommunications supplier about your options for landline telephones is a great place to start if your current handset isn’t suiting your needs. Both Telstra and Optus have programs to supply their customers with more accessible handsets.
There are a huge amount of devices available and many have settings, apps or accessories that can make hearing easier. Each device is different so be sure to check user manuals for information about how to get the best out of yours. Internet searches on particular devices can also be a great way to see how other people are making the most from the technology.
Get in touch with the HearSpace team today to see how your technology can work for you!