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Go for captions!

Video calls are here to stay. Are you getting the most from them?

If you’re living with hearing loss and have been working from home during the pandemic, you may have become a regular on work video calls. In which case, you may have mastered this communication tool. However, if the nature of your work means you don’t do video calling very often, or you’re not particularly technology-savvy, here are some tips to help you get the most from this style of meeting. With so many of us video calling friends too, these tips should help you in your social life and your work life.

Go for captions

Many of the video conferencing platforms, including Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, provide free auto-caption services which help you to understand what individuals are saying.

If your work uses a platform that doesn’t offer this service, you can always generate your own by using a speech-to-text app on your smartphone. You can even plug an external microphone into your phone to boost range, so you can hear more of what’s being said.

We showcased some of the speech-to-text apps in our October blog. They include:

  • Live Transcribe is a free speech-to-text app available on Google Android which you can pair with external wireless microphones.
  • TextHearpersonal has versions for both Android and Apple devices. The Android version is free to use, the Apple version requires you to pay for blocks of time.
  • Hearing Helper is a free Apple-only app. You press a button on the screen to capture and caption what is being said, so it’s best for short bursts of use.

In the right mode?

The good thing about videocalls is that you can see the face of the person speaking, so make sure you always use Speaker mode so you can get lipreading cues from their face. Try to keep calls to a few people at a time to avoid a free-for-all of people speaking over each other.

Bring the sound to you

Get yourself some good quality noise-cancelling headphones to improve the quality of the sound from the videocall and make it easier to hear. If your hearing aids have Bluetooth connectivity, you can connect them directly to your computer.

It’s good to chat

Many video conferencing apps offer a chat function as part of the call. You can use this to clarify points and ask questions.

Let us know your tips and tricks!

If you’re living with hearing loss, we’d love to hear any tips or tricks you’ve found to make videocalls easier. We’re also here to answer any questions you may have about any aspect of living with hearing loss.

Simply call us on 01923 372101 (Radlett) or 01462 506074 (Hitchin).

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