Useful apps for hearing loss
Every day technology is growing and improving to be the best it’s ever been. Listed below are some of the more popular apps for both iPhones and iPads that focus on helping those who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate, network and enjoy entertainment. Volunteer Hollie Wicks reviews some of her favourites…
This app turns your phone into a hearing aid by processing sound from the microphone then delivering the processed sound over headphones in real time.
Relevance This app could be very relevant for those who believe they have a hearing loss but don’t want to fully commit to the idea of having a hearing aid. And instead use their phone to help.
Usefulness I can see how this app can be useful for others. However as I have a hearing aid it isn’t that useful for myself.
Cost FREE from itunes.
Next Generation Text Service (NGTS)
You will be able to make calls in exactly the same way as you do using your textphone, but this new service (NGTS) will give you more ways to make a call so you don’t need to rely on a textphone.
If you would like to be able to make calls via your computer or on the move, using a PC, laptop, various tablets and other mobile devices you will be able to do so with a specially designed app.
The app is free to download from the NGTS website. More information.
This app vibrates your phone and flashes the screen to draw your attention to nearby sounds.
Relevance This app would be very useful for those who need more than just a hearing aid. For example if their office phone is ringing when at work their smart phone would help indicate that.
Usefulness This app wouldn’t personally help me, but I can see how it could help others.
Cost £1.99 from app centre and itunes.
This app enables you to learn British Sign Language on the go. Within the app is a library stored with over 4000 signs which you can search through using the predictive search engine. The app will also automatically keep a list of your recently viewed signs for repeat access.
Relevance I’d rate this app 9/10 on relevance as not all people with hearing loss need to sign.
Usefulness I found this rather useful although I don’t need to know sign language I think I could easily learn with this app. So I hope others do too.
Cost FREE from app centre and mobile sign.
British Sign Language Finger Spelling
This app works to encourage and enable people to learn and practice sign language at their own pace. This is done through the medium of cartoon images of a pair of hands.
Relevance This would be very relevant for those beginning to learn how to sign.
Usefulness I’m only just starting to learn how to sign so I found this app very useful.
Cost FREE from app centre and itunes.
UHear is a hearing loss screening test which allows you to test your hearing to determine if it is within normal range or if you have a potential hearing loss. This links in with the myth that hearing loss only affects old people and is merely a sign of aging. So now people of all ages can check their hearing and discard the myth.
Relevance I find this app very useful as it helps more people become aware that hearing loss can affect everyone.
Usefulness This app is very useful, as people can check their hearing themselves.
Cost FREE from app centre and itunes.
Other free apps that we know about but have not tested
- Braci listens to sounds around you and turns them into visual and sensory alerts eg doorbell, fire alarm, intercom, baby crying and so on.
- Dragon Dictation As a person is speaking, Dragon will transcribe the words for the person who is hard of hearing to read. Though it is not perfect, it will usually give enough information to improve understanding of the conversation.
- FlightView Flight tracker with up to date details of flight arrival/departure times, delays and check-out gates.
- MyEardroid recognises common sounds (eg doorbell, fire alarm, telephone) and alerts the user.
- OtoSense allows deaf and hard of hearing people to see audio alerts and other sounds on their Smart phones eg doorbell, smoke alarm.
- Patient Access Book an appointment, send messages and request repeat prescriptions from your local GP surgery.
- Pedius allows hearing impaired people to make phone calls using speech recognition and ‘synthesis technologies’.
- Petralex is an internet radio player which automatically performs sound processing to suit individual hearing.
- Play It Down will access music files and play songs as they would be heard by someone with hearing loss. If you are in a noisy environment, it also has a handy meter to measure the decibels to see if the level could damage your hearing.
- RogerVoice World’s first subtitling phone app translating conversation into instant text using voice recognition software (not human text relay).
- SoundFocus figures out which sound frequencies you do not hear well and improves the audio output to suit your individual hearing needs.
- Ava makes group conversations between deaf and hard of hearing people and hearing people ‘possible and effortless’. Transcense connects to the Smart phones of a room to transcribe a group conversation such as a business meeting or family dinner, and shows who said what in real-time.
- Vox Sciences transcribes voicemails into text and delivers them to your mobile as a text (SMS) text or email.
For a complete list of useful apps for deaf and hard of hearing people visit SoundZ Off website.