According to official data, one in eight people in the US of 12 years and older suffer from hearing loss in both ears. This is 13% of the whole population, or around 30 million people. Another examination reveals that roughly 15% of US adults over 18 years also report having some trouble hearing. They constitute another 37.5 million people.
These numbers reveal the acute problem with young adults who suffer from hearing loss in the United States. Needless to say, their health issues can get in their way to success in college and beyond. After all, modern colleges still aren’t well-equipped for students with such disabilities. Recent reports reveal that nearly 50% of deaf students who need support at school aren’t receiving it.
Of course, today, there are many tools that help students achieve success. Disabled students can delegate paper writing service on PaperWriter and other homework assignments to professionals. This way, they can boost their grades without a hassle. Also, they can hire tutors and academic advisors to help them get through college. Nevertheless, while these are great opportunities, they don’t solve the issue completely. Deaf and hard-hearing students are still facing many challenges in schools. So there is a strong need for advanced solutions to achieve success.
Challenges Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in College Face
In order to find a tangible solution, it’s crucial that we understand the challenges facing deaf students in college. Here are the top three of them that we should know about:
Difficulty in Obtaining Information
The largest part of the information given inside a classroom is provided verbally. During different classes and lectures, young people who suffer from hearing loss have a big disadvantage compared to their peers. They can’t hear the professor as well as the rest. Respectively, they can’t acquire the information in the same volume.
Lack of Interpreters or Interpreting Devices in Classrooms
So disabled students can’t obtain information the same way as their peers. Professional interpreters or interpreting devices could help. However, there is a lack of such things in modern classrooms. According to a recent study, the majority of US schools can’t provide adequate support to deaf learners.
Difficulty in Communication With Professors and Fellow Students
There is a huge gap in communication between deaf learners and their teachers and peers. According to psychologists, many people simply don’t know how to interact with people with such disabilities. Moreover, they have no idea how to prevent misunderstanding in such communication.
Closed-Caption Glasses: The Solution to Students’ Issues
Now you know about the primary challenges. The next logical question is how to solve them all. And how to help deaf students receive the same positive learning experiences as their peers. The answer to this question might’ve been just presented at CES 2023 in Las Vegas.
CES is one of the world’s major tech events. The event is organized and held by the Consumer Technology Association, and its goal is to provide a platform for the world’s biggest technology leaders to connect, exchange ideas, and collaborate to bring consumer technology to the next level.
One of the hottest discoveries of this year’s CES was a Boston-based startup, Xander. During the event in Las Vegas, Xander introduced its invention – closed-caption glasses meant to aid deaf and hard-hearing people across the globe. Based on the challenges described earlier, we can conclude that these glasses can be of great aid to young people in college.
Here is how they solve the existing problems-
Make Obtaining Information During Lectures Easier
According to the developers, these glasses can capture speech and translate it into text nearly as quickly as it’s picked up by the microphone built into the glasses. During lectures and classes, students will be able to see closed captions of everything their professors say. As a result, they won’t fall behind their peers.
Interpreters Are Not Needed
As was mentioned earlier, only very few colleges and universities employ interpreters or have advanced interpreting tools to support deaf learners. The closed-caption glasses solve this problem too. First of all, if students own them, there will be no need for interpreters anymore. And, even if not all learners will be able to afford such technology, schools can invest in these gadgets themselves to provide the needed support. Most likely, it will be even more cost-effective than keeping a team of full-time professional interpreters.
Simplify Daily Communication
The concept offered by Xander is unique. According to the startup’s team, the introduced glasses will have an embedded display on the right side, where users will be able to see text captions. Also, unlike many other similar devices, these glasses will recognize and interpret speech without the help of a smartphone. That is, there will be no wireless connection. All processing will take place within the glasses, which makes it possible to provide nearly instant, real-time captions.
For deaf and hard-hearing students, this will mean much easier everyday conversations. They will be able to communicate with their professors and peers without a hassle and remove the misunderstanding that used to be there.
As a bonus, the users of closed-caption glasses will receive more confidence. As you might know, traditional interpreting gadgets don’t look too good or stylish. Moreover, they give out the person’s disability pretty much instantly, which can cause self-insecurity. The device introduced by Xander resembles traditional glasses, not like gadgets for special needs or disabilities. Thus, they will give students more confidence.
The Bottom Line
Although there is not much buzz around this topic, the issue with the lack of support for deaf and hard-hearing students is quite big. Even today, young people with such disabilities can’t receive the same quality of education as their peers. But, hopefully, the new closed-caption glasses will change the situation.
The new device introduced during the CES 2023 in Las Vegas has the potential to change everything for young people in college. And we’re looking forward to seeing how this technology gets adopted in the educational sector.