TV Listening – TV is an integral part of our daily lives conveying news, sport, major events, entertainment and more.

Without it hearing impaired people can often feel disconnected from family and the world around them.

People with hearing impairment require the sound to be louder than do other viewers. When a family, which includes a hearing impaired person, is watching TV; the sound sufficient for the hearing impaired person to hear, probably find it too loud for everyone else, sometimes to the point of actual discomfort.

This is where a captioned programme makes a difference. While the captioning selections are increasing they continue to be limited. We are working hard in our membership of the Captioning Working Group to champion the use of captioning to support a much wider range of programming. Other family members watching a captioned programme can find it distracting.

To obtain maximum benefit viewers need a reasonably good command of English and the ability, at times, to speed read.

Another option is the use of TV Headphones or other assistive devices where the wearer can adjust the sound to their own requirements leaving others to view at a different sound level. People with mild to moderate hearing loss do not even need to use their hearing aids. More recent models allow hearing aids to be worn along with the headphones. The feedback problem of previous older models, is largely now overcome. Some people, especially rest home residents, use an assistive device, such as a Bellman, instead of hearing aids. Headphones and assistive devices means all programmes on all channels can be viewed.

A further option is to install a loop system connected to the TV which then allows the use of the T switch on the hearing aids or by using bluetooth if available in your hearings.

A Hearing Association near you can offer advice about devices that may be suitable for you to explore and trial as well as being able to connect you with captioning information.

Please visit our website for an association nearest you or phone: 0800 23 34 45.

Captioning information for NZ television and movies can be found on:

www.freeviewnz.tv/help-support/captions.aspx or

www.captionmovies.co.nz