27 February 2023

Free workshops showcase latest products to assist hearing impaired at Narooma and Batemans Bay

| Katrina Condie
Start the conversation
man in front of screen

Joe Symons from the ACT Deafness Resource Centre will conduct information sessions on the South Coast. Photo: ACT DRC.

Modern technology is helping people with hearing loss to communicate better at home, work and school, and a range of new devices can make them feel safe and secure in their homes.

People living with a hearing impairment, from mild hearing loss to profound deafness, and their family members are invited to attend free information sessions being run by the ACT Deafness Resource Centre (DRC) at Narooma and Batemans Bay in February.

The sessions will outline how a range of assistive technology products can be life-changing for people living with hearing loss.

Joe Symons from the DRC will conduct the seminar alongside local Hear Well – Live Well audiologist Annemarie Narraway at the Baylink Community Centre in Batemans Bay on Tuesday, 28 February, from 12 pm to 1.30 pm.

READ ALSO $11.5m to build infrastructure for 1000 new housing lots at Moruya

Joe encourages anyone with older family members who are hearing impaired to attend and learn more about the latest assistive technology systems.

He says strobe lights and vibrating alerting systems for smoke alarms and doorbells can make people feel safe and secure in their homes and can also give family members peace of mind.

“The smoke alarm system, for example, connects to a vibrating disk that can be placed under the person’s mattress or pillow and will vibrate when the smoke alarm is activated,” he said.

“The system also sets off LED strobe lights designed to wake people when the alarm goes off.”

Strobe light alerts can be placed around the home. Photo: ACT DRC.

Joe says the combination of vibration and light uses people’s sense of touch and sight rather than relying on noise to wake them if there is a fire.

“When they take out their hearing aids or Cochlear at bedtime, people with hearing loss can feel at ease knowing they will be woken in case of a fire,” he added.

“Family members can sleep better at night knowing their mum, dad or nan has a system in place to ensure they’re safe if there’s a fire in their home.”

The doorbell alert system works the same way by activating a vibrating pager that can be worn on the body or kept in a pocket and a series of LED lights around the home. The doorbell lights are a different colour from the smoke alarm lights.

The doorbell can also have a camera linked to a phone or tablet so people can see who is at the door or if a parcel has been delivered.

READ ALSO New multi-day walk set to take trekkers on a stunning South Coast journey

Joe says the Bellman and Symfon assistive technology range can provide a variety of alert kits for around the home that can be configured to suit each individual’s needs.

“People can have several strobe light flash receivers around the house and keep a vibrating pager in their pocket that can alert them to the doorbell or smoke alarm. These are great if people are outside or in the garage and someone comes to the door or in the garden and forgets about dinner on the stove,” he said.

Assistive listening devices and telephone equipment can also improve communication access for people with hearing loss.

The Roger On microphone can be connected via Bluetooth to a device or hearing aids and helps people hear conversations that occur in background noise and over a distance, such as at meetings.

The microphone can be hand-held or placed near the speaker, whether that’s a teacher in the classroom, a work colleague or a community meeting.

The personal microphone is proving popular for children with auditory processing disorders who can connect their headphones and hear the teacher clearly, enabling them to focus on their school work.

READ MORE Sean Sweeney’s swift signing skills opened the door for emergency interpreters

Joe says a range of clever devices can help people with or without hearing aids of all ages and from all walks of life, including a new captioned video phone that can replace the government-funded Captell phone that is no longer available.

Joe is hearing impaired and uses the doorbell and smoke alarm alert systems, as well as the Roger On microphone, and also has his smartphone connected directly to his hearing aids.

“I live in a complex and feel a lot safer in my home, especially with the doorbell security,” he said.

“When it comes to going to sleep at night, the system gives me peace of mind knowing I will be woken up if there’s a fire.”

During the workshops, he will demonstrate the products that are changing lives, and attendees can find out what system will work best for them or their family members. To book a spot in the workshop, email [email protected].

A range of assistive technology products for home safety, including smoke alarms, doorbells and personal microphone systems are available from the ACT Deafness Resource Centre online store.


Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.