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Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2016

Speech to Text Apps for People with Hearing Loss

woman with smart phone at beach

People who have hearing challenges have long been early adapters of technology to help them communicate. It's no wonder that smart phones have become so popular among this segment of the population. One of the best ways to improve your smart phone is by adding apps. For people with hearing loss apps that convert speech to text, though not perfect, can help offset mental exhaustion or cognitive overload by serving as an extra "ear."

People with hearing loss know about difficult listening environments. These are the places where they're going to have to work hard to pay attention to hear and respond appropriately. A work meeting or lecture hall are two good examples. In these situations, today's technology can be of help. There are apps that can assist someone with hearing loss by turning speech to text that can be read in real time. This can decrease the amount of effort a person needs to put into listening and allow them to participate more fully. In order to help our PHB community, we put together a list of speech to text apps. If you know of any that should be added, please put them in the comment section!

Apps that turn Speech into Text

Dragon Dictation: Though it is far from perfect, this app on your computer or iPad can be turned on during a meeting. You can use this in conjunction with other devices, like a microphone to pick up a speaker. This allows you to make sure the you are hearing what is being said correctly by also giving a visual of the conversation on your iPad or computer.

Transcense: Although this app by AVA is not yet available, the Indiegogo has raised almost 50,000 dollars to make this a reality. If it is a success, this app will be the first real time captioning on a phone. According to the manufacturer, this is what you can expect from this app: "Zero to full engagement, under a second: Ava shows you who says what around you, in real-time, so you can answer in time, and be part of the discussion."

RogerVoice: "The wingman to your calls", the RogerVoice app allows you to see what the person on your phone call is saying in real time. Reviews are sparse, so if you use it be sure to post a review for others!

Note, Listen for Deaf for iPhone: "A handy application with speech to text translation for deaf people, allowing a deaf person to write a note for a hearing person. This note will be displayed in large type and will be clearly visible on the device screen. This application allows a deaf person to talk with a hearing person, passing the phone to each other." This app is also available here for Android!

LiveCaption: "Need help understanding the waiter at your favorite restaurant? When you download this app, they can speak directly into your phone and Live Caption transcribes in real time. To begin captioning, simply press the microphone button on the keyboard, speak normally and text results will appear. It also works with most Bluetooth devices such as headsets and in-ear microphones. Live, streaming captions as people speak into your device, only with the Live Caption app."

For more on speech to text apps, this hour long video has some interesting information to impart. To learn more about apps that are available for speech to text, start around the 16:55 minute.

Today there are many new hearing aids that work directly with your smart phone. Phones like the ReSound’s LiNX which was made to be paired with iPhone. Other manufacturers like Widex has developed COM-DEX to be paired with the hearing aids to stream music and cell phone calls directly into hearing aids. If you'd like to learn more about how hearing aids can be paired with your cell phone, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

Further Reading

Using Your Cell Phone as an ALD

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