Hearing Impaired Access to Spoken Content


People who are hearing impaired can access and easily understand written content. However, it’s a different story for spoken content. Even if they are not entirely deaf, those who are hard of hearing may still have trouble understanding the spoken information. However, there are ways to ensure access to spoken content to those with hearing problems, including the following.

Audio and video transcriptions

Use transcriptions on audio and video content so those who have hearing concerns can read the information. You may type the recorded file yourself or hire a transcriber to do the job, especially if it’s a long recording. There are also speech-to-text applications that let you upload the audio file and turn it into text, which you can then print out, send via email, or add in the audio or video content you post.

Video captions

Think about the movies that you watch with subtitles. It is how video captioning works. It’s not only for films but for other purposes too. Some of them are news, discussions, lectures, and meetings. Besides those with hearing disabilities, it’s also helpful for those who have trouble understanding the language on the video, since you may use different languages for the captions that the users can choose.

Academic proofreading software

Another one is assistive technology for students with disabilities using academic proofreading. Proofreading software is precisely what its name says. Use it to proofread content and correct spelling or grammar errors. It’s included in this list because it also comes with speech-to-text technology, so you can use it to convert an audio recording into a text file. Those who are hard of hearing and learners who have challenges with spelling and grammar can benefit from it.

Sign language on videos

Inserting a screen on the corner of the video of a person doing a sign is not a new thing. They were present in news reports and live media coverage before. Companies and organizations may also use this strategy to make their spoken content accessible for the deaf or have poor hearing.

Hearing loops

Hearing loops are devices that strengthen the signal of hearing aids to work better. For example, students who wear hearing aids will understand the discussion better with the help of this tool. It works the same for point of sale transactions in businesses. The transaction will be smoother and quicker with hearing loops.

Translator apps

Hard-of-hearing individuals can use different apps to access spoken content. Installing these apps on their mobile device lets them see the spoken words of another person in text form. In addition, these apps perform speech-to-text translation in real time.

Oral Transliteration

Transliterators repeat the spoken words in front of the deaf person for better understanding. Some of the scenarios when oral transliteration is used are when the person is far from the speaker or it’s difficult to read the speaker.

Other ways to make it easier for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to access spoken content are providing printouts of lectures, minimizing background noise, and providing recorded materials that they can turn to text.


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