Thursday 27 May 2010

My deafness wishlist

This morning on the bus to work, I saw a friend of mine who works for O2. He’s a great guy and always listens to my O2 rants with patience and helpful suggestions. So it was fab to let him know about my recent success with contacting O2 via the press office team on Twitter.

We chatted about technology for a while and this eventually turned into useful apps for my iPhone in terms of my deafness and other things I’d like to make life easier in my Hard-of-Hearing World.

When we were talking though, my mind went quite blank, but now I’ve had a chance to think a little bit more about it, it’s made me resolve to start compiling my Deafness Wishlist – things I want changed or services I’d like to see.

I mean I know I write about them often, but perhaps if I put them all in one place, it’ll make it easier when I bump into VIPs on the bus…

So here we go:

1. Subtitles at all cinemas for more than just one movie, at one time, once a week.
2. Accessibility email addresses for all major companies so we don’t have to call.
3. Email or online booking in all doctors’ surgeries and dentists.
4. Deaf plates for bicycles – they have these in Holland and I have one, although English drivers won’t have a clue what it means.
5. Subtitled announcements in train and tube stations.
6. All tube trains to have subtitled announcements so when stuck in a tunnel, we know what’s going on – the District line already has this.
7. Subtitled options on all movies and TV shows on iTunes.
8. Subtitled on the iPhone BBC iPlayer app.
9. Prettier vibrating alarm clocks.
10. An iPhone app that converts speech to text live – so if you’re in a meeting or at a non-subtitled, play it translates it for you.
11. An internet provider that gives deaf people a discount for their internet even if they don’t take a phone line.
12. All extras on DVDs to be subtitled.
13. Better live subtitles from the BBC. Am sick of reading ‘Urine for a nice sunny day’ when the weather forecast begins.
14. An app that links my iPhone to the unhearable things in my flat – such as the fire alarm, cooker alarm, door alarm, so it’s all in one useful place.
15. Birds that tweet lower! OK, this is one for Mother Nature, but I’d love to hear a robin sing just once.
16. Deaf-aware quiz masters in pubs. Admittedly I am normally very lucky with this, but when they’re bad, they’re very, very bad.
17. Subtitled exercise DVDs! Would love, love, love this as it’s quite hard to lipread someone when you’re bobbing about on the spot.
18. Ways to alter the pitch of the warning noises in my car.
19. More subtitled comedy shows – I know the Soho Theatre did one recently, but I want to be able to see any comedian and for some tech-savvy person to work out a way to subtitle them efficiently.
20. Deaf-friendly store alarms – am sick of setting them off and being pursued down the street by security, completely unaware I’ve done anything!

And that’s just the beginning. Please add you own at the end of this list, or let me know if you know something I don’t, and let’s see how many get ticked off by the end of this year. If just one or two could be achieved, I reckon I could live without a tenor-voiced robin – for now, anyway!!


Cazz said...

I believe one of Davina McCall's exercise DVDs is subtitled. x

Me said...

Ooh thanks for letting me know! Will head to HMV this lunch for a look! :-)

Anonymous said...

Great list. Totally agree with these, though I wish they made more of these apps for phones other than the iPhone.

The Alien said...

I agree with you about the deaf store alarm thing - and I'm not deaf. I work at a store with those, a large big-box store. We have one gentleman who is completely deaf who helps build homes and comes in at least once a week. Most of the cashiers who have been around a while know him. Whenever he sets off the door alarms, he is the ONLY customer we won't go running after. We simply let him go through, and tell the newer cashiers why we just did that. It would be stupid for us to chase him down every time and TRY to explain why he has to come back into the store, for something he can't see or hear.
I would recommend you frequent the same stores as much as possible, letting people there get to know you, and you may just find yourself less chased, lol.

Anonymous said...

(Here via FWD)

I want a true battery-powered travel (visual) alarm clock. I mean, how hard can it be to rig up a small alarm clock with a few bright LEDs, so that you can take it with you overseas?

Anonymous said...


I actually have a combination visual and noise travel alarm. The edges of it light up and it makes annoying beeping sounds. I didn't know it'd do the lighting up thing when I bought it, I'm hearing and just needed a little alarm clock.

I got it for I think $2.50 at Target in their bargain section, but that was several months ago so they probably don't have them anymore. Might have them online?


Unknown said...

Via FWD-

I'm not deaf or HoH so it's not the same, but I do have auditory processing disorder and oh my god I want 2, 3, 5, 6 and 10. Especially 2. And also the various other subtitle ones but especially those and especially especially 2. Telephones are evil, okay.

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