For the hearing impaired, the simple act of waking up at a specific time can be a challenge. With no annoying beeping or loud radio alarm clock to wake them up, getting up and ready for work on time could be a bit of a problem. But it doesn’t. So how do they do it?
3 Different Methods The Deaf Utilize
Instead of relying on an incredibly loud & annoying noise, the hearing impaired can utilize 3 different methods to wake up. Those who are deep sleepers often use all three at the same time. Alarm clocks for the hearing impaired aren’t that much different from regular alarm clocks, most even include everyone’s favorite feature, the snooze button.
The most foolproof and common method is a strong vibrating accessory attached to a regular alarm clock. The attachment is placed under a pillow, under a pillow, or attached directly to a person. Most cell phones come with a vibrate feature now and this is very similar to that, except much more powerful.
Another method, similar to a vibrating alarm clock, is bright flashing lights. A bright light is hooked up to a clock or a timer and will flash in the direction of the person to wake them up. Usually, the light feature is included with a vibrating alarm clock as those particular products are targeted towards the deaf.
The third option is simply to have someone else wake them up. A spouse, parent, child or roommate can often make a great alarm clock if they’re reliable. Though, the ‘snooze’ feature on this option can vary wildly depending on the personality of the person.
What about smoke detectors and doorbells?
These usually work the same way. In the homes of the hearing impaired, flashing lights are strategically placed throughout the house with varying degrees of color and intensity depending on the type of alert.
New products are being designed all the time to assist in such cases. Just recently made available are watches or wristbands that can constrict or tighten which will also help the blind.
Another new product invented by the Japanese is a wasabi smoke alarm. It releases a chemical compound called allyl isothiocyanate, which is what gives horseradish, mustard, and wasabi their trademark ‘sting’. Not surprisingly, in tests on sleeping people with both normal or no hearing, the device woke all subjects up within two and a half minutes. The product is off to a great start.