Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Source of my new service

Thought I write a post about my service for a change since its been on my mind in the last few days.  

The last few days I have been thinking about advertising in number of places with the deaf charity , RNID, SEE Hear, Deaf News and they are all asking like lot of money to place the ads apart from see hear (emailed them 8 times but still no respond)

You may be wondering what I am doing wrong... basically I think I know why.  I grew up being in hearing world with no connection or any idea what deaf connection there were until now. I've joined the yahoo site about the cochlear implant recommend by Alison from facebook.  I thought it was interesting how people get together and talk about their experience I've never knew existed.  Its lovely to have that little connection.  

Anyway, I had few people saying that my new service with subtitles are excellent idea and only wish they had it few years ago.  Well what can I said?   I was still in Uni back then :P

How I came up with this idea is that I met a girl who used to be my best friend in primary school and had not seen her for 15 years.  She has got married a year before and were showing me her wedding album and then the DVD slideshow provided by another photographer.  
The DVD slideshow were very nice. lovely music, singing softly,  showing all the colour images  (not much effect I would say) just simple looking kind)  then half way through the DVD , it was showing the speeches. My friend, then fast forward it. 

 "Wait an minute, what are you doing?" I said
"Sorry, but I dunno what was being said. Its no point for me to watch through all that"  she says.

This got me thinking.....   She got an wedding album, a dvd slideshow with images and speeches that she will never know what was being said.    isn't that a waste of money to have speech on it if she can;t hear what was being said?   

So I went away, did some research looking for subtitles service in weddings.  nope not one.  
I believe it is time for a new change. plus  I hear there is a lack of funding for the deaf charity, deafness research. They are always looking for funding, new service, new staff, support, technology, spaces, notetakers, hospital funds.  The list just go on.  I remember growing up and i was in main stream school   and I was supposed to have a notetaker in my classes which I didn;t received.  This is coz of lack of staff and funding.  Apparently I did very well with some help from my hearing friends.  Thanks mates! :)

Subtitles test -  to be honest.... I self taught myself on how to get subtitles on the videos, movies and everything.   So now that I am ready for the challenge..... This is where I need you all to come in...

You know a lot of people who  would be interested in having subtitles on their dvd slideshow.
Please download this image which its a flyer  and you can then pass them around to people or give a link to this blogspot or to my website.  Bear in mind, that the first 100 customers will get subtitles free. So don't miss out.

I'm not doing it for me.. alright I enjoy the challenges. Thats all I want really.  
The real reason is to help people like us who will be growing up having the most available support they will be needed.  

 Together we will make the difference.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Sorry what?

Here is me sitting thinking about last night and  I feel a little glum about it.

I went to the gig taking photos of the band as requested. There were few people about, chatting sound, some young lads playing on stage making vroom , wailing sounds from their guitar and vibration loud bangs from the drums. The audience were nodding their heads as if they were agreeing with the music.   whenever the band were not playing the dj will play some music as a "break"   This is where people startled to come up to me.  

Some people never knew i had hearing loss  which in my case was nice. Some of them knew I have hearing loss but always forget as soon as they come up to me and talk to me  by my ear.  How am I suppose to lipsread that?   never mind hear! its so loud. I got echo, wailing, massive vibration going on.  what am i suppose to do? ask the sound checker and dj to turn down the volume and people would hate me.  mmm hate sound a bit harsh...     Nope ... Some of these people who knew me remember that I can only lipsread in the noises envoirnment but they couldn't hear me when I try to talk to their ear. I was "too quiet" or have "high pitch" voice.  Interesting (!)

Isn't it interesting when the background noise is so loud and my voice automatic go to quiet mode as if i was whispering,  then when the background is all clear i am loud? or normal?  whichever the case it... why is it doing this?

I was told to turn my voice  "volume up".  I don't know any difference.  especially in the noises places!

anyway, the band I took the photos for, was hoping that I would stay behind after their gigs so they could hang out with me... mind you they are bunch of 19 years old lads and I'm 27 years old.    yea go figure.  I just have a txt message that the bass player fancy me.  oooh er!   nice to have admirer! lol

As much as I love going to bars and gigs, its always difficult to hear what people says.  I switched my hearing aids to setting 2  ie cutting off the background but its doesn't always turn down the background noise enough.  My mate and I went out looking for a nice place with controllable volume background. So we found Kro bar in Manchester,  lots of people but the background noise wasn't too bad. At least I could hear my voice!!   

I even had some guys went up to me and said   "Nice camera, can I have your number?"       geez  I get this alot

So here is me thinking......   implant....   how will i compare this to what i have just experienced..
Will this improve when i have the implant... (I know  lots of practices )   
if a person speak to my ear where the implant will be... will I hear?
so many questions  and i just can not wait to compare it.

Have patience Manda... The force is with you ..... always...

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Test yourself

At last a challenge that I would like you all to test yourself. even I test my own hearing.
I said I would challenge you, so here is it.

Few months ago I met this young lad called Steve and he is my third person who have the implant and probably the only one who have the harmony product.   I've arranged my hearing friends and Steve to come along to the pub..  now I'm getting dangerous here.  PUB =  Noise   lots of it!   

In the Pub  we normally hear lots of crashing sound coming from the kitchen or shouting,  tv, loudspeaker ----  very common for us as its drown all the speeches.  anyway... My friends were questioning Steve about what he hears from his implant and were very keen to know. Hearing people tend to find it shocking and have no idea how sound would sound like to us.  its impossible to explain.     
so this test I was saying,  imagine yourself in the pub or in a noisy place.  Close your eyes.   and get someone to say some simple word...  not "Can you hear me?" kind of crap    just random words and you will have to repeat what the person say to you.  I have tried with my hearing aids and I failed.   But steve with the implant... my goodness.... he got them all right..  my friends were very impressed..   They are keen to have me to do the test once i have the implant!  steady down my friends i said. I explained that it would take me some time to work some sound out after the implant. Steve have been implant for 8 years i think so basically he has lots of practices.

Well Done Steve.  

Let me know if any of you have tried the test and what was the outcome!  its a great test.



My view before being implanted

Hey everyone,

Thought I should start the blog  about my journey to the cochlear implant.  Some of you already know that I will be having the operation very soon. Date have not yet been confirmed.  

I wanna write about my view of sound that I do hear with my hearing aids and how i can look back to this after i had the implant switched on.  Thought its a great idea. Don't you think?  Glad you agree with me.

The sound that I can hear right now i am in my room in Manchester 2nd floor apartment. The window is open and i can hear the sound of the traffic going by all the time. mostly the sirens go off all the time. I can tell the difference between the police, ambulance and fire engine sirens.   if you don't know the difference well I could explain.  The ambulance sound like wailing  its sound goes up high and went low again in a slow pace.    fire engine is nee naw nee naw most of the time. the police was tricky one  to explian really  they have two sort of sounds.  one of them is waazz wazz and its very loud. very annoying. i had to shut my window to block it.  the other one   .... i can't remember ...  need the police siren to come back so i could tell you.   i will come back to you on this.  
my door to the hallway is behind me and i could hear my flatmate and my neighbour (both hearing) chatting in the kitchen.  don't ask me what they said coz i dunno.  i just know who is talking by the tone of their voice. thats how i can managed to hear things set by tone.

the more i am used to that tone the more i understand it.

I am very much a music lover. music is a great passion of mine. I do hear music but hearing the lyrics for the first time is very hard to understand so bascially most of my life i had to learn the lyrics over and over til i knew all the words. its may be annoying to some people hearing same song all the time but in the long run i was tuning myself in to this song.  understandly the meaning of the song and lyrics to go with it. the tone of the lead vocal singing in low and sad or high when they are reaching out that kind of message. it gave me a shiver with the hair standing up on my neck. its that powerful. 

Oh i would love to compare how this song will be like with the implant.  Most of you called CI but i rather called them implant   as in computering term word (I'm a geek, incase you dunno.  yea a cool geek:)  )    I will let you know my view after i hear some music with the implant.  can't wait
Coldplay is really cool band and i would love to go to their concert.  most of the time in the past I went to concert to see Robbie williams, Ant & Dec, Scissor sisters and many more  I used my hearing as an excuse to get to the front.  It worked and i lipsread the artist most of the way so that I could understand what they were singing or talking about.   some i missed out of course.  

I went to music festival couple of times and i have enjoyed but  i missed out quite a lot..... :(  the sound was too loud for me to adapt what was happening and had to relies on what my friends were singing a long to.  not much fun but after few drinks and it goes in to your head   what does it matter anyway? :)  

Get down to the sound   was the quote from bill and ted movie. incase u didn't know!
its also from a song in heavy metal band. awesome!  

sound i can hear are mostly background noises but if the background is loud and a person is talking to me..... forget it  i can't hear this person no chance.    i was trying to train my brain to focus on this person with my hearing but had no luck. i have 4 settings on my hearing aids.  set one normal sound. set 2  cut off background (to make it quiet)  set 3 T loop system  mainly use this to listen to my ipod cable free T-link set 4 fm  direct connect   suppose to use ipod for this but i hate being connect to anything.   unless I am in places where t loop system will cause feedback which mean i won't hear music from my ipod.
for the first time I will be using the fm setting when i go on plane to aus in a month time.  i just hope my ears will handle the air pressure on the plane for a long time as i had many bad experience in the past. the pressure to my ears was unbearable painful and discomfort.  I switched off my hearing aids while on the plane as i find the noises too much plus the batteries seem to ran out very quickly.  

must leave a note to myself here......... Manda....... remember to bring your spare batteries!!!!! 

i could write forever about sound that i hear but i won't brag about it right now....     just looking at my blog..... its quite long to read.  ah well  I hope this doesn't bored you.  Happy Reading.

Some sample of the wedding DVD Slideshow 
images by Amanda Glasspell
caption created by  Amanda Glasspell
song by All for one

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Free subtitles on your wedding DVD. Quote caption 29 - see website for details. Don't miss out. Donate will be make to Deaf charity. http://www.aegphotos.co.uk