One of the main problems that People with Hearing impairment face is to hear and follow the conversation of others. Because of this, they cannot partake in group talks, and as a result, feel left out and isolated.
Likewise, they at a greater danger than blind persons to be knocked down by other vehicles on busy roads, as blind people are noticed immediately, and therefore protected by others, whereas the hearing impaired are not perceived so easily, and are therefore more liable to accidents than the Blind.
Of course, the Real Cure for their deafness is through restorative surgery by repair of their ears by Biological Cochlear Implant. However, till this is possible, What is needed to help them, especially those Who are not really Mute, but rendered so because of their hearing disability, to assimilate with those having normal hearing power is an electronic device that can translate Spoken words or Audio Messages into Visual Form, i.e. either as typed messages orSign language, on a screen, to help Hearing Impaired(Deaf) people to ‘SEE’ the conversation of those with normal hearing power, And VICE VERSA, viz. translating the message conveyed through Sign language by deaf- mute persons into Voice message.
It is heard there ARE such gadgets in the market already, but they are used only for Hi- tech work, so simplified gadgets of that type need to be produced for common people, to make their life and mingling with others smoother. Hence, the needy people can rejoice to know that Right Now, a Pune Engineering Student, Abhijit Kathwate,and four Electronic andCommunications Engineering Girl students from The Holy Grace Academy of Engineering, Mala, Thrissur(‘The Hindu’),have come up with a simple invention, named ‘Digital Glove’ by Kathwate, and ‘Gesture Vocaliser’ by the Thrissur girls(using an audio-speaker and LCD Screen), fitted with Flex censors for the five fingers, with a palm-sized Controller, which can help the deaf-mute, and the blind-mute to communicate, with simple hand gestures.
(Now, a more sophisticated, electronically powered and operated gadget, called the ‘Bionic Ear’ Listening Device with Booster Sound Amplifier Set and Headphones has also been manufactured.)
A detailed account of the Pune Student Kathwate’s gadget is given in the article published by Indian Express, dated 22nd April 2015, under the title, ‘Pune Student Builds Gloves That Speak and Show To Help Those With Hearing Impairment’ !
I Also Wonder if it is possible to enable the Mute, whose Vocal chords are improperly developed or damaged, or not amenable to surgical correction, particularly those who are not deaf, to speak by using a Simple, MECHANICAL Mouth operated Instrument, like the Mouth Organ, improvised to translate whispered or mouth-blown words (made by training the Mouth and the Lips to verbalise in place of the Vocal Chords), in order to produce more clear, audible, and comprehensible speech, instead of musical tunes. This Oral device can also help patients who have undergone a Tracheostomy to speak better and will be cheaper as well as simpler to use than electronic equipments. Perhaps, if it is not going to injure the tracheotomy hole or lead to infection, the device could be designed in the shape of the mouth with artificial mobile lips, and fitted on to the hole directly,and the patients can be taught to speak through it just as he/she would speak through the mouth. Why depend solely on the ‘Hi-Fi, Wi-Fi’ Science of Electronic Technology for all remedies, when there can be simpler and inexpensive options?
(Please also refer my Status dated 4th December 2014 on my Facebook Timeline, alongwith the comment thereon).