Aids for the Deaf | MySecondEar

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Aids for the deaf

Deaf people often have a hard time in our society to participate in social life and to communicate. However, there are many assistive devices that can help deaf people hear or express themselves better. This article introduces some of these aids and explains how they work and in which situations they can be useful.


For many smartphones and iPhones, there are now good apps (both free and paid) that make everyday life easier for the hearing impaired.

  • Speech recognition apps that record what is spoken, e.g. Roger Voice, LetMEhearagain, Google Speech Recognition
  • Cinema subtitle app, e.g. cinemaconnect, Greta and Starks
  • Switchable flash to ringtone and alarm clock, also possible via noise detection as a signal for doorbell and baby monitor
  • Emergency call app of the federal states: Nora


Transmission technology for short distances, mainly used for telephone, cell phone, computer, radio and television.

Interpreting services

In addition to sign language or written interpreters (on-site or online, e.g., Verbavoice), there are also various auxiliary aids and interpreting services for telephone calls. For example, Tess (also for mobile phone calls), Sign Phone (for inquiries with authorities). For written interpretation in the workplace, see the experience report).

FM system

Aids in being able to participate in meetings, seminars or lectures. Transmitter with microphone can be hung around the speaker; transmits either directly to the audio shoe on the hearing aid or to a telephone loop that the hearing aid user hangs around his or her neck. Can also be placed on the table at conferences or the like to "capture" all voices. The cost is sometimes covered by health insurance or pension plans.

Light alarm clocks/vibration alarm clocks

Alarm clocks equipped with light flashes or vibration pads instead of acoustic signals. Also comes as a travel alarm clock or wristwatch for when you're on the go.

Light signaling system

For doorbell, telephone, smoke detector, baby monitor and more. Flashes of light transmitted by radio or electricity indicate phone, doorbell, etc. Covered by most health insurance plans for doorbell, telephone and smoke detector if hearing loss is appropriate.

Emergency fax

For severely hearing impaired and deaf people, it is possible to make an emergency fax call. A corresponding form and further details can be found at

Script/Sign Language Interpreters

The payment of written and sign language interpreters is regulated in the professional field through the Integration Office or the work assistance. The advantage of the Arbeitsassistenz is that you have a fixed budget that you can dispose of yourself and thus determine your interpreter yourself.

T-coil, formerly also called telecoil

Many churches, theaters, and public facilities have designated areas where ring loops are installed that can transmit sermons/lectures and the like to the T-coil in the hearing aid. Meanwhile, train station counters, hotel reception areas, and more are also equipped with these induction loops.


Meanwhile, many TV channels offer their movies/news with subtitles. In the program guides, the subtitled programs are marked with corresponding symbols. More detailed information and a list of stations with subtitle pages can be found at Wikipedia, among other places. Also many - commercial - internet streaming services subtitle their movies, for example Netflix, Sky Online, Maxdome, Amazon Video.

Vibrate alert

See Light signal system: alarm clocks can also be equipped with vibration pads, and there are also vibration receivers (for example, on the wrist) for other incoming signals (doorbell, telephone, smoke detector)