Deafness - something to be overcome

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N.B. All references to Cochlear implants have been moved to the end of this page. I became profoundly deaf by the age of 75 but got my hearing back via this amazing technology (and the NHS) Still doing well at 90 !

My dream is coming true ! HERE is a link to a Youtube presntation to Google's new Speech Recognition Glasses.  These are not yet on sale but they are also designed to translate foreign languages and display the reult fior eh wearer to see. My guess is that, if the price is reasonable, they will be ordered in their millions by the hard of hearing ! They might even ditch their hearing aids !

An interesting link from a contact :

New page on this site : Captioning and speech recognition
   A useful link to a variety of computer facilities for the hard of hearing

"Zoom success for someone with deafness :"My audiologist phoned me and I tried to chat to her via my phone. It was not very convenient so she sent me a link for us to video chat on Zoom which worked out perfectly. Have never spoken to a woman with her face so close to me! We had a long successful chat and she tested my hearing. Zoom was great"

Tinnitus : Someone's answer (they have spinal Stenosis): Two things I've started doing...I eat a few ounces of dark chocolate a calms your nervous system. Second thing I started doing is wearing a soft cervical collar for a few hours a I sleep with it on...flat on my's not comfortable at all...but I've been waking up to's been a week ( the longest I've gone withiout Tinnitus in a year. Just passing on this information in case it helps someone else. I only found out I have spinal stenosis a few weeks ago...and figured it was worth a shot.

There are various programs which may help turn speech to text or provide 'captioning'. One day this process will be automatic via speech recognition glasses. But for now, here are some suggestions

"My audiology department has finally suggested that people use apps on phones or tablets to enable people to read what is being said, even if the speaker is wearing a mask.  It only took them ten years to catch on !"

Telephone calls

Making telephone calls is often an issue for people with hearing loss. The apps presented here are options that turn the speech of the call into text that you can read.

Otter is very accurate for displaying text on an iPad or iPhone.  Just ask someone to talk to it.  Some programs require a close connection to Wifi but I have found that some apps work fine on a smartphone even with no local Wifi.

But ALL smart phones and tablets have the ability to recognise speech. Try it with e-mail
. Click on the microphone symbol. 

Relay UK

Relay UK (previously known as NGTS) is an updated replacement for the Text Relay service from BT which has been operating in the UK for several decades. The primary difference from the older service is the ability to make calls using smartphones as well as landlines enabling use of the service when away from your household phone. The calls are captioned by relay operators who sit in the middle of the call and type up the responses of the person you are calling. Calls are typically charged as part of your standard phone contract or pay as you go service.

The service is provided via an app available on both Apple and Android devices. For more detailed information about this service, please visit our Relay UK information page.


Being deaf I use this and pay the fee : It displays what people say , using ANY phone, accurately and immediately.  It is free between people who BOTH have the app but if you want to call people who don't have the app you need a special number you may have to pay a small monthly fee (via your Apple or Google account) 

One needs a smartphone or tablet (preferably) as you will be looking at the phone/tab;et.  There is a charge if you want to use it a lot. For free use try to get themcontacts to install the Roger app and phone you from their program

RogerVoice operates over an internet connection so an active WiFi or 3g/4g data service is required on your phone to make & receive phone calls. The service is free to use between users of the app which is great if you can get your family/contacts to install the app on their phones, however calls to standard phones (ie those not using the app) will require the purchase of a call plan. These advanced plans also give access to a “Roger Number” which can be given out in place of your normal number to ensure that all calls go through the RogerVoice app.

Speech to text.

I frquently use speech to text apps on my phone or laptop. Almost any text  based program can be used. These apps do this with the computer's voice recognition software and sometimes require an active internet connection to function.

With and iPhone or iPad most programs will show a microphone icon at the bottom.  Click on that and speak to it. The gadgets picks up the speech of the nearest person and accurately transcribes it for you as seen on the screen. Experiment with e-mail, Notes, Pages etc. It is generally better than human hearing in noisy environments.  So get your gadget out when inn a pub or at a party or even in a shop!  Ask people to speak into it. People soon catch on.


This is a speech to text app with some sophisticated features beyond what most other apps provide, in particular the group conversation ability. In this mode, all those involved in a conversation can add Ava to their own phones, join the Ava conversation group and speak. The text of what they say will show up on the screens of everyone involved along with their name. Ava also works in simple single display mode too.

More apps for hearing loss

Since the Coronovus pandemic, many organisation have been developing communication programs to enable people and businesses to work together. This can be a great help for people who are hard of hearing.  Most of these apps are now enabling automatic Closed Captioning (cc)  The BBC is lagging behind !

Computers, smartphones and tablets are increasingly prevalent in just about everyone’s life these days and with the use of the right websites, apps and services can be valuable tools in helping one to live well with hearing loss. See my page on some of these application e.g. Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams at    HELP14

Subtitling or Speech Recognition Glasses.  My pet suggestion. At last they are catching up !  But not quite. These glasses show subtitles at the National Theatre, London - wirelessly.
One day glasses will be developed that will pick up the speech of someone talking to you and translate it into text.  I am sure they will come from China as Google didn't think such things were profitable ! (or were sensitive to suggestions that the camera might be intrusive.  An opportunity lost.  My suggestion would nor require a camera, just a microphone. Come on someone.  If you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door !  Here are some attempts :
      Subtitle glasses     Single lense

There have been many attemps to do this.  Google left the scene as soon as the word 'voyeurism' was bandied about.  They could have omitted the camera !
Here are other attempts
Test message to contact lens    Vaunt text glasses Vaunt

If this is all a step too far for scientists, perhaps a start could be made with Speech recognition screens in banks and shops. With screens between customers and staff having become common these days wouldn't it be great if places like bank screens were LCD and contained simple speech recognition software to display what the sales/office staff said.  Even hearing people find it difficult because of the screen barrier. For confidentiality the screen would need an on/off switch.
If this is beyond the imagination of these organisation they could just stick a cheap tablet to the screen with its speech recognition software turned on !


On line Lipreading practice

This page is a compilation of what I have discovered on the road to what for me has become profound deafness. I hoped technology would come to my aid in one shape or another (and it did! I have a remarkable cochlear implant). Access to the internet and e-mail has also given me much greater opportunities than my mother or grandfather enjoyed - both of them quite deaf in their later years. Please excuse my regular reference to speech recognition on this page. I believe there is a real future for this.

The Phonak Roger Pen. is a microphone receiver which can transmit directly to a hearing aid or Cochlear implant.  It does this via the Bluetooth to a hearing aid or via the  'loop' setting on a hearing aid or cochlear implant.  Still over £700 or a bit less if you don't need the Bluetooth element.

Hearing aids: Useful article

FIRE ALARMS I saw that someone in Surrey had contacted their Fire Service, who supplied them with an alarm with a strobe light and vibrating pillow pad. They are also registered with the fire service as hearing impaired in case of emergency

I have added a Youtube of me demonstrating the use of an iPad and Bluetooth microphone as an aid for communicating with a profoundly deaf person