Empowering the Deaf

18 May

Over the past 18-24 months, we have met several speech therapists, audiologists, teachers of the deaf, school teachers from deaf schools ………. The list is endless. Most people are convinced that seesoundlive is a great therapeutic tool. It does its intended job of giving speech to the deaf children and adults. It certainly improves their speech outcomes. Most people however ask, how does this help? How is this empowering the deaf?

At seesoundlive, we have a single vision. We wish to Empower the Deaf. We wish to hear each and every deaf person speak. We think we can change the disability from being deaf-mute to being Deaf. In an ideal world, we would be able to sort out and help both disabilities. We can correct both disabilities in a child under 3 years of age. But once a person has crossed this threshold, very little can be done with respect to improving hearing.

However, all is not lost. We have used seesoundlive on children who have had a cochlear implant at an older age. We find that seesoundlive augments speech therapy in this group of people. Once they have started using seesoundlive, the parents report that there is a dramatic improvement in speech outcomes. We strongly believe that seesoundlive will change the landscape of cochlear implantation and older children and adults may also benefit from the surgery and rehabilitation.

Even if we were to assume that a person does not get a cochlear implant and has no gainful hearing, seesoundlive gives them some ability to talk. It is far from ideal, but it is way better than having no speech. The children who were confined to the world of the deaf and could only communicate with sign language users are now able to communicate with talking and hearing people. Their world has suddenly got larger and more inclusive.

The benefits of seesoundlive so far:

  1. Helps develop speech in completely deaf people
  2. Improves speech outcomes in people with cochlear implants

These help the Deaf-mute person to:

  1. Integrate in society with its advantages of financial independence
  2. Their world has just got larger

We can also combine seesoundlive with tools which convert speech to text. So the Deaf person is able to understand what people are saying by using this technology, which converts speech to text. They are then able to respond with the spoken language that they have learnt by using seesoundlive. This will allow 2 way communication.

Our results so far are very exciting. We do believe that we will succeed in our mission statement: Empowering the Deaf with the Power of Speech. This would be real Empowerment of the Deaf. They will hopefully find it easier to integrate in society and get employment and live a life of their choice without being restricted by their disability.

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