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2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The days are getting shorter and the mercury’s dropping. This can only mean that the holidays are approaching. In a world of constant change – especially these past two years – one thing remains the same: It’s always fun to give. Whether you have a child or loved one with hearing loss, Volta Voices has rounded up some gifts that are sure to make them smile.

Lea en Español

Written By: Lisa A. Goldstein

The days are getting shorter and the mercury’s dropping. This can only mean that the holidays are approaching. In a world of constant change – especially these past two years – one thing remains the same: It’s always fun to give. Whether you have a child or loved one with hearing loss, Volta Voices has rounded up some gifts that are sure to make them smile.

Toddlers

Safe & Snug Winter Hat, $35, 9-24 months

This adorable bomber-style hat will keep your little one warm while ensuring their hearing devices stay in place. It was created by Meghan Carey, whose now seven-year-old son Percy is profoundly deaf and received bilateral cochlear implants at 11 months. Every time she put a hat on him, his “ears” fell off, impeding his access to sound. She was inspired to create this hat, and a company called CoAmplify, which has other products that give kids with cochlear implants the freedom to be just kids.”

Carey and her husband consulted with doctors, audiologists, speech therapists, and teachers of  the deaf for their designs. All products are designed and manufactured in Maine, supporting other local artisans and their families. Bonus: Every purchase facilitates further product development and donations to parents and providers of children who are deaf and hard of hearing who use auditory assistive technology.

Children

Stuffed animal with a cochlear implant or hearing aid, $18-26

Representation is important, even in toys. This Etsy shop called CochlearApparel makes decals, capes, hats, shirts, and stuffed friends. These little buddies are figures from pop culture that can be customized with a cochlear implant or hearing aid. Frozen, Star Wars, Spider Man, Minnie Mouse, and Pokémon are all represented.

Any Age

Make the best of these challenging times by giving a gift that will help your loved one with hearing loss. 

Pin, $4.00+

In this pandemic world, it can be tough communicating with people in masks. This cute button lets others know you’re at a disadvantage: “Your mask means I can’t read your lips.” Instead of thinking you’re rude, this may help increase understanding.

In a TikTok featured on the Etsy site, Alia shares that she is 100% deaf and has a cochlear implant. This and other pins were created by her and her mom to raise awareness for many different things; they’re sold in their shop, which is called Beautifully Aware.

Clear face mask, range of prices, usually comes in bulk

Everyone benefits from clear face masks, not just those with hearing loss. People who are deaf and hard of hearing may feel they lose some of their humanity when they can’t see facial expressions, or more importantly, smiles. Some may admit that they miss wearing lipstick! Because a good clear mask is hard to come by (especially one that doesn’t fog up), some have a tendency to save them for when it’s absolutely necessary. Buying your loved one clear face masks will put them at ease. Buy some for yourself while you’re at it! The more people wear clear masks, the greater the awareness and the better the understanding.

The site in the link is by AG Bell members Jacob and Patrick deHahn; they’ve curated a list of clear masks. A couple not on the list include the BendShape Mask and the FaceView Mask. Unfortunately, the perfect clear mask doesn’t exist. Do your due diligence; read reviews and determine which one might be best for your recipient.

Face mask extenders, $2-8+ (usually come in multiples)

Wearing face masks is uncomfortable with hearing devices. The best solution is to use a mask extender. This way you can avoid putting the straps around your ears, and bypass them altogether. The article linked shows the variety of extender options. It comes down to personal preference. If you know how to crochet, you can even make your own, like this one.

Directional mike, $59

For those of us using speech-to-text apps to communicate with people in masks, a directional mike like this one comes in handy. It can be used with an Apple headphone to lightning adapter. The bracket is a phone tripod bracket with a camera shoe mount. A “shotgun” mic rather than an “omnidirectional” mic is useful for aiming at a speaker in a busy place (i.e., supermarket) instead of picking up the speech of people nearby.

Other mics plug directly into phones using USB-C, lightning, or headphone jacks that are a lot smaller, but they don’t have the ability to pick up people who are further away like a shotgun mic can. These work better for a user who expects to be in a quiet room without a lot of background noise. They’re much smaller and often cheaper, and a bracket isn’t needed to hold the mic.

For more information, please visit AG Bell here.

Guía de regalos navideños 2021

Los días se acortan y el mercurio desciende, lo que solo puede significar que se acercan las fiestas navideñas. En un mundo en constante cambio, especialmente en los últimos dos años, hay algo que no cambia: siempre es divertido regalar. En el caso de que tenga un hijo(a) o un ser querido con pérdida auditiva, Volta Voices ha seleccionado algunos regalos que seguramente les harán sonreír.

Niños pequeños

Safe & Snug Winter Hat (Gorro de invierno adaptado), 35 USD, 9-24 meses

Este adorable gorro estilo bombardero mantendrá a su pequeño abrigado, además de garantizar que sus dispositivos auditivos permanezcan en su sitio. De su creación es responsable Meghan Carey, cuyo hijo Percy, que ha cumplido siete años, tiene una sordera profunda y recibió implantes cocleares bilaterales a los 11 meses. Cada vez que le ponía un gorro, las orejas se bajaban y le impedían el acceso al sonido. Esta circunstancia le sirvió de inspiración para crear este gorro y una empresa que se llama CoAmplify, que ofrece otros productos que permiten que los niños con implantes cocleares tengan la libertad de ser lo que son, niños.

Meghan y su esposo consultaron con médicos, audiólogos, logopedas y maestros de audición/lenguaje para realizar sus diseños. Todos los productos se diseñan y fabrican en Maine, apoyando a otros artesanos locales y a sus familias. Extra: cada compra facilita el desarrollo de productos y las donaciones a progenitores y proveedores de niños con sordera e hipoacusia que utilizan tecnología de asistencia auditiva.

Niños

Stuffed animal with a cochlear implant or hearing aid (Animal de peluche con implante coclear o audífono), 18-26 USD

La representación es importante, incluso en los juguetes. Esta tienda de Etsy que se llama CochlearApparel fabrica calcomanías, capas, gorros, camisas y amigos de peluche. Estos amiguitos son figuras de la cultura pop que se pueden personalizar con un implante coclear o un audífono. Frozen, Star Wars, Spider Man, Minnie Mouse y Pokémon están todos representados.

Cualquier edad

Saque el máximo partido a estos tiempos complicados haciendo un regalo a un ser querido con pérdida auditiva y que le servirá de ayuda.

Pin, 4 USD o más

En este mundo pandémico, puede resultar difícil comunicarse con personas que llevan mascarillas. Este bonito pin permite que otras personas conozcan que se encuentra en desventaja: «Your mask means I can’t read your lips» (Con la mascarilla no puedo leerte los labios). En lugar de pensar que es una persona mal educada, podrá ayudar a que se le entienda mejor.

En un TikTok presentado en el sitio de Etsy, Alia comparte que tiene una sordera del 100% y utiliza un implante coclear. Este y otros pines fueron creados por ella y su madre para concienciar sobre numerosos aspectos; se venden en su tienda que se llama Beautifully Aware.

Clear face mask (Mascarilla facial transparente), gama de precios, generalmente se suministran a granel.

Todas las personas se pueden beneficiar de las mascarillas faciales transparentes, no solo las personas con pérdida auditiva. Las personas con sordera e hipoacusia pueden sentir que pierden algo de su humanidad cuando no pueden ver las expresiones faciales o, lo que es más importante, las sonrisas. ¡Hay quien admite que echa de menos pintarse los labios! Dado que es complicado encontrar una buena mascarilla transparente (especialmente una que no se empañe), algunas personas tienden a guardarlas para cuando sea absolutamente necesario. La compra de mascarillas faciales transparentes para su ser querido le aportará tranquilidad. De paso, ¡compre algunas para su propio uso! Cuantas más personas utilicen mascarillas transparentes, mayor será la concienciación y la comprensión.

El sitio en el enlace pertenece a Jacob y Patrick deHahn, que son afiliados de AG Bell; han seleccionado una lista de mascarillas transparentes. Un par de mascarillas que no se encuentran en la lista es la BendShape Mask y la FaceView Mask. Desafortunadamente, la mascarilla transparente perfecta no existe. Infórmese debidamente, lea las reseñas y decida cuál podría ser la mejor para su destinatario.

Face mask extenders (Extensores de mascarilla), 2-8 USD o más (generalmente se suministran en múltiplos)

El uso de mascarillas resulta incómodo con los dispositivos auditivos. La mejor solución es utilizar un extensor de mascarilla. De esta manera, se puede prescindir de las gomas alrededor de las orejas y sortearlas. En el artículo del enlace se muestra una variedad de opciones de extensor. Todo se reduce a las preferencias personales. Si sabe hacer crochet, incluso podrá hacer el suyo propio, como este.

Directional mike (Micrófono direccional), 59 USD

Para todos los que utilizamos aplicaciones de voz a texto para comunicarnos con personas que llevan mascarillas, un micrófono direccional como este resultaría útil. Se puede utilizar con un adaptador de Lightning a toma para auriculares de Apple. Utiliza un soporte de trípode de teléfono con una sujeción de zapata para cámara. Un micrófono de «escopeta» en lugar de un micrófono «omnidireccional» es útil para dirigirse a un interlocutor en un lugar concurrido (es decir, un supermercado) en lugar de captar el habla de las personas cercanas.

Otros micrófonos se conectan directamente a los teléfonos mediante conectores USB-C, Lightning o jacks de auriculares que son mucho más pequeños, pero no tienen la capacidad de captar el habla de personas que se encuentran más alejadas, tal como permite un micrófono de escopeta. Funcionan mejor en el caso de un usuario que se encuentre en una estancia silenciosa sin demasiado ruido de fondo. Son mucho más pequeños y, a menudo, más económicos y no se necesita un soporte para sujetar el micrófono.

Para mas infomación, visite a AG Bell International aquí.

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