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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What Speech Sounds Like to the Hard of Hearing Person

I think it can be very tough for people with normal hearing to understand how it's possible to communicate as a hard of hearing person. Just last week I was asked skeptically how I could "hear anything" at a crowded public event where it appeared that I was conversing easily. Ha! What people don't get is that making sense of unclear speech is what I have to do all the time - unless I happen to be in close proximity to someone in a very quiet space.

When I read online about a new hearing loss demo, I thought perhaps it could help me explain how I manage. I played the Loss of High Frequencies clip for one of the people who had asked me how I could hear anything. She could not make out what was being said at all. She was surprised when I said I could get most of it. I told her that kind of speech is what I'm used to hearing. Then I played for her the No Hearing Loss clip. What a difference! Crystal clear clarity. It was quite easy to tell what was said. My friend was amazed. I hope that now she understands a little better that I may get by, but it's not easy.


SpeakUp Librarian said...

Um, congratulations?

I don't mean to pat myself on the back with this post. I want to clarify that the demo's sentence is a line of poetry I was familiar with and there was no competing background noise in the clip.

I simply meant to share a demo that lets someone with normal hearing get an idea of what speech sounds like to me.

Many, many times throughout the day I misunderstand speech. Without even realizing I'm doing it I often make up in my mind what I think people are talking about. If it's not cleared up, I continue with the misconception in my head.

Liz Fisher said...

Its same with me Sarah. If i don't know I have mis heard something, unless its cleard up, I continue with that misconception in my head too.