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Hearing Loss

Screaming Loud and Subtly Soft - App to Alert User of Sounds in the Environment

May 2014 – The Tecnalia Centre for Applied Research has launched an app called MyEardroid.  It. identifies “ordinary sounds that are produced in the home environment.” The app responds in real time to sounds around the individual by immediately analyzing the sound and showing an image and text on the smartphone.  The most interesting feature of the app is the user’s ability to customize the sounds relevant to his/her surroundings, for example, a dripping faucet or a knock on the bedroom door. The app is currently available free of charge in the Google Play store.

FCC Issues Final Rules for Closed Captioning

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued final rules in accordance with Section 713 of the Communications Act to enhance the quality of closed captioning.  Despite previous rules, the FCC has continually received comments noting that captions are often found to be “inaccurate, garbled, incomplete, misspelled and/or misunderstood, incomprehensible, obscure the speaker, or significantly lag behind the spoken words they are intended to convey.”  The final rules require that captions are accurate and synchronous in portraying the spoken words and background noises, are present for

Funding Awarded to Refine Visually Guided Hearing Aid

March 2014 — The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) awarded the Boston University College of Health and Rehabilitation Services with a five-year,  $2.75 million grant for the testing and refinement of a Visually Guided Hearing Aid prototype (VGHA). Typical hearing aids work by amplifying all sound in an area.  However, in many cases there may be sounds an individual would like to ignore.

Sprint Relay Partners with United Cerebral Palsy

March 2014 — United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) will partner with Sprint to promote Sprint Relay, a speech-to-speech (STS) service provided for people with hearing and speech disabilities.  Although Sprint Relay has been providing communications assistance for over 20 years, UCP’s newfound partnership with Sprint will help raise awareness of these services.  Specifically, Sprint Relay allows Sprint customers to dial *STS (*787) to directly access STS services and connect with a Communications Assistant (CA).  The service also provides customers with the ability to “email call instructions for the

Accessibility on the FCC Open Meeting Agenda

January 2014 — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the agenda for an Open Meeting to be held on February 20, 2014. The agenda includes considerations for a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to address the “quality and technical compliance of closed captioning on television programming.” Additionally, the Commission will consider a Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the accuracy of caller location information provided for wireless 911 calls.  The meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m.


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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.