People with hearing loss or deafness in Muskoka can transition more smoothly through Deaf Access Simcoe Muskoka.
Deaf Access of Simcoe Muskoka offers a variety of ways to assist those dealing with first time hearing loss or those who have had it for years.
The service has been in the area for 10 years but was originally partnered with the Canadian Hearing Society. As Aussa Penniall, the Community Support Services Counsellor for the organization explains, each person’s experience brings some unique problems.
“In the last year, I would say, things have changed with that program,” admits Penniall. “Deaf Access has taken over the whole program in Muskoka and the Canadian Hearing Society has taken over down south. She explains that the Ministry of Health is funding the program.
“We mainly work alongside individuals who have hearing loss to basically maintain their social connections,” she explains.
The wide use of mobile phone technology has been a great equalizer in terms of basic communications between the hearing impaired world and the rest of society.
“We help with communications strategies between partners and families,” she says. Penniall cites a recent example of a client being provided access to an app that helped immensely with the woman communicating with her family.
Items such as visual doorbells and smoke alarms are simple interfaces that help give those with hearing impairment a great deal of independence to live on their own.
One unique service offered by Deaf Access is for people with hearing loss who are having a doctor’s visit, and they don’t wish to bring a family member. Instead, a note-taker will attend the visit, providing typed notes on a laptop for the patient to see and then receive transcribed notes after the fact.