Re: [BCAB] Using screen readers and hearing aids Terry Clasper 21 Nov 2012 11:48 GMT

Hi Matty.
From the off let me apologise for the length of this message!
I am significantly deaf, and ware two hearing aids, and have done for many
years, so have some understanding of the issues that face you.
This isn't a simple one to answer, and truth is, there's no one answer that
works for everyone.
However generally speaking the closer to you the sound from the computer is,
the less strain your likely to have hearing what your screen reader is
saying relative to the other noise in the office.
So, probably using speakers isn't the ideal answer, as the chances are the
speech from the screen reader will get mixed into the other sounds in the
If your aids can facilitate it, then possibly the best solution could be an
audio input from the computer directly into the aids.
Most aids have an audio input socket on the bottom of the aid, near to the
battery compartment, so you could get a cable with two connectors on one
end, to link into each aid, and a 3.5 jack on the other, which would plug
into the computer sound card.
Usually modern aids are good at mixing the sound from the microphones of the
aids with the audio input feed, and your audiologist should be able to
provide a mix that works for you.
Failing that you could try using a light weight pair of headphones, however
although this creates the same close proximity of sound from the screen
reader to the aid, sometimes especially if used for long periods of time the
headphones sitting on the aids can become uncomfortable.
The third possible option, and in fact the one I use, is a wireless link
between the computer and hearing aids.
So essentially I have a lead going from the output of the soundcard of the
computer to a box which I wear around my neck. This box then communicates
wirelessly with my hearing aids.
This option however requires sophisticated aids, and can sometimes take
quite a bit of time to set up properly, but again if your aids are
technologically advanced it could be worth considering.
Hope this goes some way to helping, and at least outlines a few possible

Terry Clasper.
Twitter: @terryclasper

-----Original Message-----
From: Bcab [] On Behalf Of Leach,
Sent: 21 November 2012 11:03
To: BCAB Discussion List
Subject: [BCAB] Using screen readers and hearing aids

Good morning.

The subject line says it all.  I am currently working in an open plan office
using JAWS as my screen reader with headphones.  At the moment I am wearing
one hearing aid but at some time in the next couple of months will be
wearing two.  I should appreciate guidance from those members in a similar
position, e.g. should I be plugged into the computer or have a set of
speakers to enable me to carry out my work.  Any help will be appreciated.

Many thanks.


Matthew Leach
Dickinson Dees LLP
Tel:+44 191 279 9646
Fax:+44 191 230 8501

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