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The most typical adaptation for a house occupied by people with hearing loss is the use of signalers, or additional alerting systems that tell occupants when the phone is ringing, a visitor is at the door, smoke or a fire has started, or baby is crying. Signalers flash strobe lights, make a loud sound, vibrate, shake the bed, or a combination of these. A basic unit is used for one room only. Deluxe models facilitate signalers in multiple rooms and many are wireless. Alarm clocks with bed-shakers are available where alerting systems and listening devices are sold. Here is a website that identifies wireless doorbells for hearing impaired and provides product reviews.
Hard-wired capability is recommended in the home with a smoke alarm so that a fire starting in the basement will activate smoke alarms on all floors. A strobe light alerts the house occupants. Another choice is a wireless system, however this system is not activated until smoke/noise reaches the smoke alarm on any given floor. The type of home (apartment, house, town home, etc, (along with personal preferences) are factors in determining which system is most appropriate.
Since a person with hearing loss may not be able to hear a visitor's voice on the other side of his or her door, a view panel (a window or side panel) helps identify visitors. A view panel is preferable to a typical peephole because it's easier to see through. One should be installed in an entry door or beside it—away from the lock so as not to invite burglaries. It may be easiest to buy a new door that already has a view panel or window. (If you're an apartment dweller, have the other door stored with the building and take this one with you wherever you move.)
Occupants should consider personal lighting requirements to facilitate optimal communication. For instance, a person relying on sign language or lip-reading will avoid facing light directly. Glare or mirrored reflections should also be avoided. Keeping curtains and blinds open in the daytime will provide a connection to the outside environment and a way to "see" what can't be heard, including weather conditions.
Flooring is another important consideration. If background noise is problematic, wall-to-wall carpeting absorbs sound. However, if occupants depend on feeling vibrations in the floor, thin carpeting or rugs, linoleum, or hardwood floors work best.
When building a new home, it is helpful to control ambient sound by locating the HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) in a remote part of the home, as well as insulating the duct.
To facilitate lines of vision, arrange your furniture to allow for a lot of open space. Open space facilitates lip reading. Avoid tall, partitioning bookcases that block the view and look for homes or apartments with a nice flow of space. For example, look for a living room that flows into an attached dining room and then into the kitchen. But avoid loft living if ambient noise is a problem.
Siren Detectors for Cars
To find out where to get a siren detector or for other types of automobile modifications, contact NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association) at (866) 948.8341 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to locate a dealer near you.
Visor Cards for Hard of Hearing and Deaf Drivers
NOAA Weather Radio
National Fire Protection Association
Vendors and Resources
Assistech Special Needs
Global Assistive Devices, Inc.
Hitec Group International
Info to Go
LS&S (Learning, sight and sound make easier. )
Lifetone Sleep Safety
Note: Infinitec Inc. does not endorse or recommend the above-mentioned products and has no liability for the results of their use. Infinitec Inc. has received no consideration of any type for featuring this product on this Web site. The information offered herein is a summary; it is not comprehensive and should be carefully evaluated by consumers with the assistance of qualified professionals. The intention of Infinitec Inc. is to offer consumers a brief overview of various assistive technology devices and their applications.