Alert Systems For People with Hearing Loss

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,742
    Barbara Kelley with the Hearing Loss Association of America explains how alerting devices can be used by people with hearing loss.

    Barbara Kelley: Hi, I'm Barbara Kelly with the Hearing Loss Association of America. I would like to talk about alerting devices for people with hearing loss. If you have a hearing loss you may not be able to hear an alarm clock, your baby cry, your doorbell or your phone ring, especially if you're not wearing your hearing aids.

    All of these common home signaling systems can be equipped to alert you with a flashing light, a vibration or both. Very simple systems attach these non-auditory signalers to each device with a simple power plug.

    More comprehensive smart systems can tie all incoming devices to a routing device that sends coded signals. So for example the doorbell rings the house lights flash twice, while phone calls may flash three-times and the baby monitor makes a belt-worn pager vibrate.

    There are also simple devices like a battery operated alarm clock you place under your pillow to shake you awake. Most important, you have to be able to be alerted to fire, smoke and carbon monoxide. These alarms can also be tied into these systems as well as being standalone devices.

    Specialized devices that emit low-frequency sound alerts have been found to be most effective for people with hearing loss. In apartments, these safety signal devices can and should be wired into the main building alarm system.

    When traveling, you can either carry portable versions of some of these, but you can also ask the hotel to provide you with an ADA kit for your room. These are suitcases equipped with flashing devices such as door knocker, clock and smoke alarm.

    Remember whether in your own home, a rental apartment, a hotel or your workplace, your safety and that of your family is priceless. Don't be timid when you request that the fire and CO2 alarms are compatible with your hearing loss. Your life depends on it.