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Phone and Video Calling Solutions for People with Hearing Loss

Issues in Accessibility

Janine Verge, AuD, Aud (C) is coordinating the “Issues in Accessibility,” column which will cover topics addressing issues in accessibility for people who are Deaf/deaf and hard of hearing.

Audiologists play an essential role in helping people communicate effectively. An important way that audiologists can support clients’ communicative needs is by modifying their use of telecommunications, which can be a barrier for people living with hearing loss. Solutions are unique for each person. They should be selected based on various factors, including the degree of hearing loss, type of amplification, telecommunication devices used, the listening environment, and listening needs required for each device. 

The following booklet, poster, and infographic video links follow-up in a two-part series highlighting the importance of telecommunication accessibility for people living with hearing loss. The first article in the series appeared in issue six, volume seven, in 2020:

https://canadianaudiologist.ca/issue/volume-7-issue-6-2020/column/acessibility-issues/

The booklet lists various options and features for making phone conversations on a landline, mobile device, cellphone, or video platform more accessible. Improving telephone communication skills can make a big difference for yourself and your communication partner, with or without a hearing loss.

The booklet discusses solutions for hearing the phone ring, improving clarity, managing emergencies, and offers specific solutions for people with and without hearing aids or cochlear implants. It is crucial to keep in mind that everyone’s needs are unique, and they might prefer different solutions. You should continue trying until you find out what works best for you. If you need further help, consider discussing options with your Audiologist.

May is hearing and speech month. What better time to consider how you can make your phone and video calling more accessible for yourself or other people living with hearing loss!

Links

Booklet: 12 Phone and Video Calling Solutions for People with Hearing Loss

Videographic: Phone and Video Calling Solutions for People with Hearing Loss

About the authors

Janine Verge, AuD, Aud(C), Clinical Audiologist

Janine has worked clinically as an Audiologist for over 20 years. She obtained her MSc in Audiology from Dalhousie University and her AuD from AT Still University. She is an adjunct professor at the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She has served as president of the Speech and Hearing Association of Nova Scotia and is currently serving her second term as a board member of the Canadian Academy of Audiology. As someone with single sided deafness, accessibility issues have always been of great interest to her. She is a co-founder and continuing committee member of the Dalhousie Hearing Aid Assistance Program, which provides donated hearing aids to low income seniors. She is also president and co-owner of ‘Accessible Hearing Solutions’ a consulting business specializing in hearing loop and DM system installations.

Eli Lubell, BSA, MSc Audiology

Originally from Montreal, Eli is a new Audiology graduate from Dalhousie University. He obtained his BA in Psychology from York University in 2017 and has a background in Jazz guitar performance studies from Humber College. A lover of laughter and creativity, Lubell is passionate about making the workplace a fun and innovate environment. He looks forward to making a strong and positive impact on the lives of his patients and the field of Audiology.

Lauren Peters, BA, MSc Audiology

Lauren Peters is a new graduate from the audiology program at Dalhousie University. Originally from St. John's, Newfoundland, she obtained her BA from Memorial University in 2018 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Linguistics.

Melanie Santhikumar, B.Sc. and M.Sc.

Melanie Santhihumaris a recent graduate of the audiology program at Dalhousie University. She obtained her BSc from the University of Toronto (St. George) with a double major in Human Biology and Psychology, as well as a minor in French.