Friday, 25 September 2015

What a hard of hearing house looks like

Last week's post was about one student's inaccessibility within the educational environment. In spite of the outrage and shock, I thought to myself: hey, my home is pretty hard of hearing accessible! There is always room for improvement, but in our case this works for us.

Visibility, for the hard of hearing person is probably the most important feature of any house. Especially if one has a child. I know that if I can't see my daughter, I don't know if she's up to no good, is in trouble, or just simply gone to a corner to poop in peace. It's the quiet moments that do scare me the most! We do hope to take down the 'fake' wall separating the kitchen from the living room and create an open concept floor plan. Just need to save up for that... my guess is $50K or more, but if we can somehow figure out how to do it ourselves, then we'd save ourselves a chunk of money.
This is one reason why we chose this house. I could be in the kitchen and watching my girl play. 

The fire alarm. When we first moved into our house, we actually installed one of these strobe lights in our bedroom. It's connected to the smoke alarm - I don't think our electrician charged us much for it. It helps that he was such an awesome guy and we'd call him back anytime. Fortunately we got the strobe light alarm as a gift (Hey! That's an idea for the perfect HOH gift!), saving us about $100-something. The strobe light emits bright lights which will wake up even the deepest of sleepers. 
What the strobe light looks like.

A Foscam Baby Monitor and Bed Shaker. I wrote a post about this a while back, and people still ask me about it. So... here is the post again: How we wake up at night - Part 1.
Don't have a cow! This is our baby monitor at work during the day.
A Great Wifi Router: We'd be toast without this. It was well worth the investment ($198, I think, from Future Shop). We can access our Foscam Baby Monitor with this, access our phones to talk on whatsapp, varage sale, etc. 

Closed Captioning: If you have anyone who is a HOH living with you, PLEASE, for the love of HOHs, LEAVE THE CLOSED CAPTIONING ON!!!! We can hear, but we can't understand what's being said. The pain and agony of having to figure out how to turn the captioning on each time we turn on the TV is both frustrating and embarrassing. That can lead to unnecessary issues in marital relationships.

Lighting: Again, this goes back to the visibility feature. We need to have bedside lamps that have dimmer capability. Honestly, my husband and I cannot communicate in the dark!!! The dim light is just enough to leave us in a half-asleep mode. (I often have moments when I need to tell my husband something at 2am...)

A designated charger/dri-aid site. We have two. One in my husband's closet (we made sure that there would be an outlet in there when we built it), and one just by the door. This way we're ready to go like a superhero.

An awesome shower stall. Hey, listening is exhausting for us. What better way to relax than to take a luxurious shower???
My slice of heaven...
However, there are things we could improve on...

Getting the house looped. No, I'm not talking about going loopy doopy, but there's this company called Advanced Listening Systems who wire houses, businesses (typically at banks), and other venues. The loop system as we usually call it can tap into our hearing aids, cochlear implants as we have a telecoil switch feature. Unfortunately we're not willing to shell out the hefty cost, even though their HQ is like 15 minutes from our place.

Connecting the doorbell to our bed shaker system. Theoretically, we can hook up these two, but hey, we're lazy. We don't open the door for anyone that rings our door between 10pm and 7am.
This is the Alert Master - only used by my husband. I have my daughter to wake me up!

A TTY (or a teletypewriter). We're addicted to our smartphones, and most of our communication is done via text messaging apps. It doesn't make sense for us to get a landline at this point, which would only work for a TTY. In case you don't know, a TTY is a relay system used by those with a hearing loss or are deaf.

The universal symbol for TTYs (Photo from Wiki)

Happy Techno Friday to you all!


  1. Very cool technology and I *love* your shower!

  2. Thanks Lisa! :) The shower was worth the price tag - I can't tell you how much we love it!!