Use an app
When I’m struggling with hearing in a noisy environment, I turn to an app called Otter. If you’re having a conversation, you can watch it turn into text in front of your eyes. Or, if you’re in an important meeting (medical or business) and want a note of what was said that you can refer to later, you can import the recording and get it automatically transcribed. Otter offers a basic plan where you can access most of the features for free. Click here to give it a try.
Look into assistive technology
If you have hearing aids, or use them as tinnitus maskers, there’s a wide range of assistive technology that can connect to them. Ask your audiologist for information. There’s also assistive technology available for people with perfect hearing, such as personal amplifiers with headphones. Take a look at the RNID catalogue for some ideas.
Learn speechreading / lipreading
Here are some national organizations that offer speechreading / lipreading classes. If you know of any others, please do send their details to me at email@example.com
Australia: https://www.betterhearingaustralia.org.au/ (and search for your nearest state branch)
If your country has no national resource, here are some ways to find classes:
- Search for Zoom classes. Thanks to the Covid pandemic many organizations have switched to running their lipreading classes via Zoom, which means you can access excellent teaching at a time to suit you and from the comfort of your armchair. Check out organizations such as CityLit
- Ask your audiologist or ENT specialist. These professionals often have information about local lipreading classes.
- Check whether your local adult education centre or college has classes.
- Ask at your local library and council/county office.
- Find hearing loss organizations in your area.
- Google, or ask in Facebook groups local to your area.
If there are still no live classes that suit you, consider doing courses on DVD or online via prerecorded video. There are many around so ask for recommendations from your local hearing loss organization, or other people you may know with hearing loss.
If you struggle making out speech on the TV, YouTube or on video calls, try captions/subtitles. Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet all now offer captions on their video platforms, and many cinemas / movie theaters and theatres offer captioned performances.