Clear face mask launches in the US

I’m delighted to read on AMPHL’s website that a clear surgical face mask has received FDA approval and hit the markets there at last. There’ve been several streams of development that kept hitting road blocks, so there’s a big sigh of relief from deaf/HoH professionals in the US.

Welcome The Communicator from Safe’N’Clear!

I don’t know what this means for the UK though. I don’t know whether the UK accepts FDA approval as a proxy but am guessing there’s a whole process to go through here. So I don’t know when or even if they’re coming to the UK. But I’ve contacted the manufacturer so will let you know if I hear any good news.

Meanwhile, don’t forget there’s a safe DIY alternative.

Communications Strategies handout

Quick post as I want to get this leaflet online by morning. I’ve been invited to be a patient volunteer in a deaf awareness session our audiology department is running for medical students. I’ll be telling them something about my experiences and mentioning some communication strategies. Strategies for both the deaf/HoH person and the person speaking.

I won’t have time to go through strategies in detail, so I’ll wave this leaflet at them and suggest they download it from here. Continue reading “Communications Strategies handout”

Being up-front

“Do you have a key tip for other d/Deaf and hard of hearing health professionals?” A question I’m asked from time to time and able to answer without a moment’s thought. Because there’s one thing that I’ve found consistently makes a difference to smooth communication with my patients and colleagues. And everyone else, come to think of it! It is,

“Be up-front about your hearing …”

…about your hearing, hearing loss, hearing impairment, deafness, duff ears … whatever term you prefer. Be up-front about it. Tell people early on in the encounter.

Why? Continue reading “Being up-front”

Deaf motorbike paramedic heads for the skies

Richard Webb-Stevens is a motorcycle paramedic. Deaf since childhood, he’s persevered through knock-backs and come up with solutions to barriers. He actively promotes deaf awareness and access to emergency services and health care and is an advocate for access to healthcare for deaf/HoH people.

Richard began work with the London Ambulance Service (LAS) over sixteen years ago and has been a motorcycle paramedic for eight. He will shortly be starting a secondment with London’s Air Ambulance as a Flight Paramedic which is his career ambition. I first heard about Richard on the BBC See Hear programme featuring d/Deaf and HoH health professionals in January 2015. Continue reading “Deaf motorbike paramedic heads for the skies”

Live captions (speech-to-text) for patients too?

I posted before about using live speech-to-text reporting (aka “live captioning”) in meetings, theatre and indeed anywhere we d/Deaf and hard of hearing health professionals are working. Well, how about using it to help our deaf and hard of hearing patients?

Helen Cherry, a hearing aid wearer and NHS professional herself, uses remote captioning for work meetings. Then her own experience as a patient gave Cherry the idea of using it the other way round. How about our deaf and hard of hearing patients having access to remote captioning so they can “hear” their own healthcare staff? Continue reading “Live captions (speech-to-text) for patients too?”