Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hearing Loss, Vertigo... The Americans With Disabilities Act... You Tube

A gentleman associated with one of the Ward groups has expressed his occasional difficulty hearing when at Kingston City Council meetings. Therefore I thought I would put up a video with updated information about hearing loss (and associated disorders) - along with a video about the Americans With Disabilities Act - in order to promote heightened awareness - for all of us - about issues such as this.

"Overview: Our ears play an important role in our lives, not just for hearing, but also for regulating our balance. This interview covers some major health issues involving our ears...

["Hearing Loss, Vertigo and Facial Nerve Problems (Part 1)"; as submitted to You Tube by ummcvideos on 9/20/08;]

In the interim, I almost decided to put a music video here; because it demonstrated, in its way, what it is like when the music stops (what people with severe hearing problems face all of the time) and/or the stage-lights go off (applicable to severe vision problems)...

["The Americans With Disabilities Act in Practice (Helping #7)"; as submitted by illumistream on 10/16/07;']

The gentleman, mentioned above, is searching for ways in which he will be able to hear and/or understand better what is going on during City Hall meetings... So if anyone has any tips - or similar stories to tell - please post them...

And please keep this issue in mind if and when you speak in the public format!

Thank You,



Anonymous said...

Twice I started to compose a message on this topic and both times perhaps due to some sensitive things relating to the touchpad on this laptop they both shifted away and I lost both attempts which is frustrating and… Anyway if I can regain and retain my composing composure, I’ll try it again having gone to MS Word to accomplish this. About 18 or so years ago I accidentally discovered a way to get amplified sound after I purchased an inexpensive cassette recorder where I could put in a tape (or not); press record; then pause and have the ability to not have the tape actually recording and still be able to get the “ON THE AIR” feeling with both ears filled with in-ear headphones. With today’s digital recorders I imagine the same effect can be achieved and with newer earphones one ear can be left open to get the ambient sound effect so the user’s sense of the immediate surroundings is not distorted. Some companies advertise similar devices with a couple watching TV in bed where the man is watching a show and the now-happy woman is reading a book without the set blaring due to his hearing loss.
Doesn’t the city use a microphone at meetings? The method I described is more than what might be needed since simple audio enhancers/amplifiers are sold at most electronics stores or on the aforementioned infomercials but not by--Billy Mays here. If someone does use the recorder, they could have the whole meeting on tape, including him/herself, if they decide to speak their mind in this open democracy where freedom of speech must be practiced once in awhile to see how it feels at its liberating and spontaneous best; like taking an affordable fuel-efficient car out for a test drive and saying to yourself that you like the way it feels and handles and when I can do it again I certainly shall.
Freedom of speech—it is for everyone. Freedom of hearing free speech is a matter of choice but those of us should be happy we can hear and we should be willing to help enhance the ability of others who don’t hear as well as we do. Democracy being for everyone is a moot issue in an idealized world not in an ideal world where there is a distinction between the two conditions—idealized and ideal, that is. Sometimes no amount of purple-wagging fingers or purple mountain majesties automatically creates a democracy, if you get my drift. HEAR HEAR!!
Signed: Pinchas Werba

N.S. said...

Pinchas Werba,

They do utilize microphones at the City Hall Council meetings I've attended - but the only one facing the room / constituents / general public is the Council Presidents - whilst the rest of the microphones (including the open speaker's mike) are facing TOWARDS the Council and Council President - away from the constituents and general public.

That being the case, I don't know how much of a problem it is for folks (in general) to hear / comprehend what is going on - because I usually sit in one of the front rows where I catch (except when people speak softly or rapidly) most (catching full names is often difficult for me, for some reason) of what is being said...

But it is a huge room... and there are lots of people that choose, for whatever reason, to sit towards the back --- and/or HAVE to sit towards the back if a large crowd (it is probably impossible for folks in the back of the room to hear clearly in this situation...) is in attendence.

Interesting topic, all told... as it leads me to wonder how many people (including those without diagnosed hearing problems) don't attend City Council meetings due to factors such as this...

So I'm glad that someone that has a hearing issue (thank you for your input / suggestions!) has chosen to bring it to our general attention - and put some focus on "special needs" that apparently aren't (perhaps simply because they haven't been directly addressed) being met.

I would add that the parking situation at City Hall is currently pretty atrocious... and that might be a hindrance (???) to some of the folks with special needs (are there enough Handycapped Parking spaces and such?) - as well.

Thanks Again! I hope the gentleman in question stops by here to read your response!


Anonymous said...

No I don't have a hearing issue maybe a slight loss from loud music but nothing that requires an aid. I was hoping you were going to comment on the last part of my statement which you usually do address. The thing I discovered with the portable hand-held cassette recorder was by accident because I was taping musical stuff like drum sessions and spontaneous jazz things.
I was disappointed that you didn't say anything about the last few ideas regarding freedom of speech and democracy.
Same old pw also little sparrow

N.S. said...

pw / ls...

This was (in particular) great!


"Freedom of speech—it is for everyone... HEAR HEAR!!"

Glad to have you posting under whatever you choose to post under!

Have a happy!