21 February 2017
Text Based Communication Aids People with Hearing Loss
Suffering from hearing loss can be devastating, whether deaf from birth and never knowing any sounds to losing your hearing over time, it can be isolating.
Action on Hearing Loss is a national charity that has been running for over 100 years; formerly known as The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), their experts provide support for people with hearing loss and tinnitus.
The charity provides daily care for people who are deaf and have additional needs; they supply communication services and training, offer practical advice to help people protect their hearing and campaign to change public policy around hearing loss issues. They also support research into a cure for hearing loss and tinnitus.
It is important that people with hearing loss or tinnitus are still able to access information they require and can interact with others. There are many forms of communication to assist, and technology has certainly played a significant role.
Lipreading is the ability to recognise the lips shapes, gestures and facial movements; it can help those managing their hearing loss to build confidence to communicate with others and develop new communication skills, helping them to regain control and independence as they are less reliant on others to help follow conversation.
British Sign Language is a fully recognised language, independent of spoken English; it is a visual form of communication using hands, facial expression and body language. Video chat may be an option for face to face communication if users prefer to lip read or sign.
Text Based Communication
Speech-to-text reporters (STTR) type word for word what is being said, with those who are deaf accessing the information in real time via a laptop or projector screen. It is most suited for those who are comfortable reading English for longer periods of time at a high-speed.
Textphones calls can be used to communicate by the person with hearing loss, speaking or typing their part of the call and then receiving a text back that displays on the textphone’s screen.
Action on Hearing Loss Implements Live Chat
Click4Assistance is a UK based live chat provider, working with charities for over 10 years, we have been helping them to support their website visitors to contact the organisation quickly and safely via live chat software.
Live chat is a text based communication channel that displays on a website, allowing the online visitor to instantly connect with the organisation’s representative. It is not an official communication service for people with hearing loss; however it certainly helps them to contact a company for help with their enquiries. With Action on Hearing Loss implementing the Click4Assistance solution, we hope to work together to promote the solution as an accessible communication service.
Since 2016 Action on Hearing Loss has been using their chat box for website on their Information Line page, this is their main page for people looking for more information about deafness, hearing loss or tinnitus, and how to get in contact. The Charity will be releasing a new website this year and with it they are planning to roll out live chat on a wider scale.
We are excited by the opportunity of this partnership and we look forward to continue working closely with Action on Hearing Loss.
For more information regarding the charity and their work visit https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk, alternatively to find out more about live chat contact our team on 01268 524628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.