In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 360 million people worldwide have a disabling hearing loss, with 32 million of these being children. Disabling hearing loss is considered a loss of more than 40 dB in adults and 30 dB in children. Hearing loss is a result of head trauma, genetic causes, illness, chronic ear infections, excessive noise, and aging. A hearing loss can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound.
Spoken language is often delayed in children with hearing loss. Children benefit from hearing aids, cochlear implants, bahas, FM Systems, and other assistive listening devices. Closed captioning, sign language interpreters, Teachers of the Deaf/hard of hearing, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and classroom teachers are just some forms of educational and social support for children.
Advancements in technology seem to have the potential to bridge the communication gap between the Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing. Below is a look at some of the newest forms of technology.
Created by students at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf to bridge the communication gap. The software translates American Sign Language (ASL) into speech and speech into text. The more the individual uses the software, the most accurate the software becomes.
Solar Ear is a solar-powered hearing aid battery that is a fraction of the cost of traditional batteries and lasts 2-3 years.
This app captures spoken language onto a smartphone, converts it to text, and sends text to a remote user’s device.