We all know that hearing difficulty can create misunderstanding. It also can cause frustration and, at its worse, isolation. It can interfere with the educational process and can stand in the way of gaining and retaining employment. It can interfere with the enjoyment of leisure activities. Finally, it can be dangerous, especially if it causes you to not be able to hear important warning signals.
Let’s assume that you that you have some hearing issues. Let’s also assume that you have had your hearing tested and it has been determined that your hearing difficulty cannot be treated medically, but that you might benefit from some sort of technology. Before you decide whether or not you want to purchase any technology, the most important thing you can do is to develop a full appreciation of what your listening needs happen to be. You need to see the “big picture”, the “30,000 foot view.”
Before purchasing hearing aids or personal sound amplifiers, the most important things to consider are 1)what kinds of communication situations are causing you difficulty? and 2) what type of communication access do you have? This access can be classified into four universal listening needs. All of us, whether or not we have hearing difficulty, share these needs:
- We want to engage in face-to-face communication, whether it be one-on-one or in a group conversation.
- We want to enjoy electronic media, whether it’s listening to the TV, a radio, our stereo system, the sound track in a movie theater, or listening to a concert or play.
- We want to understand our family and friends and do business over a landline phone, a cell phone, or when conferencing on a computer.
- We need to be aware of important warning sounds such as a doorbell, a telephone ring, a smoke alarm.
We are committed to helping you meet these needs – at home, at work, at school, or when engaging in leisure activities. These needs can be met with a variety of technologies and communication strategies. In order to help you better understand these needs and how best to meet them in your daily life, this website contains a number of tutorials focused on a variety of topics. Some of these tutorials go into great detail and may require a cup of coffee before you read them. But if you take the time to do so, you will be much better equipped to understand the technology that can be used to help you as well as to appreciate why not all technologies help in all situations.
Soundstrategy.com tutorials (archive.org)