Born in the north east of England, Josh is in his mid-twenties, he is Sue’s middle child. Bright, hardworking and sporty. Moving to first study and then work in London, Sue never liked him being away from ‘home’. London wasn’t so bad, as he was only a couple of hours away. After working in London and a brief stint in the Far East, Josh dropped the bombshell…
One Friday evening he told his Dad that he was be going to New York, and “by the way” he was leaving the following Friday.
He asked if his Dad could tell his Mum, Sue! It was a permanent job.
Sue was, until recently, busy being a physiotherapist and full time Mum. She has a profound hearing loss and finds male voices particularly difficult to hear. Sue had probably been lip reading more than she realised over the years. Ringing friends and family has become increasing tiresome and traumatic in equal measure.
Sue has feared that the distance couple with her hearing loss, would lead to her loosing contacting with Josh.
As an iPhone user she expected there to be an ‘app for it’. Although there are indeed many apps, captions, video calling, blue tooth and ‘sound enhancing’, as well as third party relay services, none met Sues needs. She had tried voice and video calls but found calls were not a good experience and often quite disruptive. It was clear that Sue needed some help and support to enable her to enjoy talking to Josh.
Because of this, the search for HearClear began; a smartphone app that would take the trauma out of talking on the telephone for Sue and others with hearing loss. HearClear reflects how we all hear and recognises that ‘words’ are only a small part of good communication.
HearClear allows Sue to create her own hearing experience by filtering what she hears and sees through auditory and visual prompts
- Sound – listening to someone’s voice
- Speech-reading – or lip-reading, focusing on the shapes made by someone’s lips
- Subtitles – providing captioned record of what someone has said
- Signing – to ability to see someone using sign language/gesture
Sue can now not only talk with Josh, but anyone else with access to HearClear on their mobile telephone. She is in control and is able to join the conversation. HearClear exploits the capability of her smartphone, as the hearing community already can, allowing her to maintain stress free contact with Josh.