New Year, New Technologies for Accessibility

New Year, New Technologies for Accessibility

Technology is continuously changing and improving. Technology greatly benefits those with hearing loss. So when new things come out on the market, you can be sure that individuals with hearing loss would be eager to try them out! Read on to find out more about apps and features to
look forward to in 2021.

Text-to-911 is slowly becoming more widely available, though it’s not implemented everywhere yet. This is a great tool for individuals who cannot call 911, as they would be able to text to 911 and still receive quick assistance. The FCC “encourages emergency call centers to begin
accepting texts, but it is up to each call center to decide the particular method in which to implement and deploy text-to-911 technology.” To see if your location is supported by Text-to-911, download this registry: Download Text 911 Master PSAP Registry.xlsx. The FCC states that this registry is updated every month.

Apple just recently released a new feature in the iOS 14 software for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals: alerts for baby cry, doorbell, water running, and more. It is a neat concept, but it’s said that it is still working on accuracy and other details before it can be truly accessible. However, the idea of the feature is beneficial as the individual’s iPhone would alert the person to sounds that a hearing person would hear on a daily basis. This can be set up by going to Settings > Accessibility > Sound Recognition. If you have an Android, you are in luck, as they have a similar feature called Sound Notifications.

An app that can be downloaded for transcribing in groups is Ava. The app is described as “an instant transcription app that transcribes in live the words of a group of people. Each participant installs the application on its smartphone and using the microphone the conversations are
transcribed. This allows people who are Deaf or hard of hearing to distinctly follow a conversation within a group without having to lip-read.” This would enable individuals to engage in conversations with their friends and coworkers.

Subtitle Viewer is another app where it uses the smartphones’ microphones, and allows viewers to watch the subtitles in different languages on the phone. RogerVoice is an app that provides a live transcription of phone conversations. Those with a hearing loss or difficulty speaking can
use the app to speak with someone and receive a typed text of what the other person is saying. Accessibility for Deaf and hard of hearing has always been important, but with new technology, it’s important to stay on top of things and be aware of new features and apps that are becoming
available. Let’s make 2021 a great year and become familiar with new resources designed to improve our lives!

Sources:
https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/what-you-need-know-about-text-911

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

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