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Blog posts tagged with 'hearing impaired'

Discover the latest innovations in the low-vision, low-hearing, and mobility industry, as well as those must-have products to enhance your day-to-day life. Our Independent-Living Blogs will help inspire you and make your daily life a little less of a struggle and a bit more pleasurable with assistive products, suggestions, motivational stories and advice. MaxiAids Helps You Do It . . . Yourself™. We welcome you to leave a comment if you enjoyed reading a particular blog!
17 January, 2019

Theatre Performances for Blind Audiences

How the Blind experience live theatre shows...

Theatre

Blind, vision impaired, and low vision show lovers now have theatre access.  Many playhouses around the country are starting to provide tactile 'on stage' walking tours and audio described performances during a live show.

A pre-show tour may include walking on the stage, feeling the set and props, meeting the actors and touching the costumes.  Touch tours before a show give those with sight impairment opportunities to touch and feel the textured costumes, wigs, explore the sets hands on, and talk with the actors, getting a feel of what is on the stage and how the performers are dressed.  This provides a mental visualization and sets up the story for the live performance. 

Audio described shows are used with headsets so the blind or visually impaired can hear the audio describers provide a live descriptive scenario of the visual components of the performance in-between the dialogues of the performing actors.  Audio descriptions give detailed explanations of scenes and set changes through the headsets.  Select performances will provide specially trained describers who verbalize what is happening on stage during pauses in dialogue.  Individuals listen through a receiver with a single earpiece, keeping them informed throughout the show.  Some theatres invite their sight impaired audience to come on stage after a show and have an instructed dance with the performers.

When researching for accessible live plays, it's good to know what theatres provide these individual services depending on the disability challenges.  There are many symbols to look for when trying to book show tickets.  Some of these include Open and Closed Captioning, Audio Description Live and Pre-recorded, Hearing Loop Systems and Hearing Assistive Listening Devices, Autism Friendly, Sign Language and Wheelchair Accessible.  The Broadway theatre district, as well as theatres and playhouses in other states, are now starting to offer more and more accessibility to their audiences, so everyone can enjoy the show!  http://theatreaccess.nyc/how-it-works

Theatre

MaxiAids has many products to help enhance independence and accessibility so you or your loved ones can enjoy activities and entertainment to the fullest!   Explore our products for the blind, low vision aids, blind accessories, and products for the visually impaired. For the hearing impaired there are products to choose from including hearing amplification devices and hearing aids.  --Audrey Leonard

20 December, 2017

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children Sign Their Wish List to ‘Signing Santa’

 

 

Dozens of local North Carolina children who are deaf or hard of hearing got a special treat earlier this month at the Northlake Mall in Charlotte, at an event organized by the Charlotte Regional Center. Not only did the children get to sign what they want for Christmas to Santa and take a picture with him, they also got to play and bond with other deaf or hard of hearing children.

Mary Ann Franklin, who is deaf, took her 10-year-old daughter Alexis Poe to the Signing Santa event, who is hard of hearing. "It's a good experience for her to be able to understand and communicate with signing Santa,” she told WSOCTV.

Santa Claus took a photo with each child and held up the sign for “I love you” each time, which is three fingers up. About 40 children showed up to the event to participate in some holiday cheer, from local schools like Cotswold Elementary School, Cleveland County and the North Carolina School for the Deaf.

Blaire McCorkle, the manager of the Charlotte Regional Center, said she remembers Signing Santa events as a child. “I've had this experience myself and to see the kids for them to be able to see Santa using the same language. It is just amazing," she said.

McCorkle and her team help deaf and hard of hearing families all throughout the year, but this special event helps get kids who often feel alone this time of year feel a sense of community.

Check out these products that are also improving the lives of people who are hearing impaired.

05 December, 2017
05 October, 2017

OSU Research: Gene Therapy for Deafness

Researchers at Oregon State University have been working on what could lead to the development of gene therapies for those born deaf. Mutations in a protein called otoferlin, which binds to calcium receptors in the sensory hair cells of the inner ear, can be directly linked to hearing loss. 

The team found more than 60 mutations that weaken this bond to the sensory hair cells of the ear, marking the first of many steps to identifying successful therapies. 

In a press release from OSU, Colin Johnson, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics stated that, “a lot of genes will find various things to do, but otoferlin seems only to have one purpose, and that is to encode sound in the sensory hair cells in the inner ear. And small mutations in otoferlin render people profoundly deaf.”

The size of the protein has been causing problems for researchers thus far.

“The otoferlin gene is really big, and it makes a huge protein,” Johnson explains, “the traditional method for making a recombinant protein is using E. coli, but they loathe big proteins. This paper came up with a way of getting around that challenge.”

“We were trying to shorten the gene, to find a truncated form that can be used for gene therapy,” Johnson added. 

“There is a size limit in terms of what you can package into the gene delivery vehicle, and otoferlin is too large. That’s the Holy Grail; trying to find a miniature version of otoferlin that can be packaged into the delivery vehicle, and then hopefully, the patient can start hearing.” 

To get around these obstacles and find out how otoferlin mutations affected their bond to calcium receptors, the researchers developed a new way to assess that bond after identifying a truncated form of the protein that can function in the encoding of sound.

This research not only opens a door for people who are born with hearing loss, but for researchers working to solve similar problems through bioscience as well.

Johnson’s team included doctoral biochemistry student Nicole Hams, former biochemistry doctoral student Murugesh Padmanarayana, and Weihong Qiu, assistant professor of biophysics.

 

See our products that are designed for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Article courtesy of Corvallis Advocate's Andy Hahn

Image courtesy of Renae Richardson / Levana Photography