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By Chance Miller

Apple recently has filed a new document with the Federal Communications Commission in which it argues that Made for iPhone, or MFi, accessories should be acknowledged by the organization as alternatives for hearing aid compatibility compliance. Recently, the FCC has proposed that all phones and consumer wireless devices must be compatible with hearing aids.

In response to the new proposal from the FCC, Apple says that all products that fall under its MFi hearing aid standards already comply with the FCC’s hearing aid compliance regulations. Apple argues that Made for iPhone hearing aids are already available to consumers everywhere, thus making them a valid alternative to the hearing aid compatibility requirement (via MacReports).

Read more  . . . Apple

Other Related Links
See FCC Filling by APPLE
Apple urges FCC to spike rules for universal compliance with hearing aids
Apple asks FCC to have its Made for iPhone accessories recognized as hearing aid alternatives



By Max Plenke

Using one overlooked feature on her Apple Watch, a blind and deaf woman learned to navigate any city.

This is Molly Watt, a woman living with a genetic disorder called Usher syndrome that affects her sight and hearing. She began experimenting with the functionality of her Apple Watch in April.

There's been plenty of negative commentary popping up online about Apple Watch. Some reviewers have dismissed it as a luxury item — "an iPhone sales engine" — without any real, game-changing features. But Watt found one crucially important function that's been overlooked by the press, something most users take for granted.

"I was born deaf and registered blind when I was 14. The condition I have is Usher Syndrome Type 2a. I am severely deaf and have only a very small tunnel of vision in my right eye now," she explained. She ordered the Apple Watch Sport in the larger size, she said, "so I'd not lose it quite so easily."

Watt was already accustomed to using an iPhone, so navigating her Apple Watch wasn't too difficult. She had to tweak a few accessibility features first. She increased the default font size to match the settings on her phone. Then she turned on another accessibility feature, called Prominent Haptic.

Read more  . .  Apple Watch


ADDING MULTIMEDIA ReSound® Develops First Hearing Aid App for Apple Watch

Business Wire
April 15, 2015

COPENHAGEN, Denmark--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, ReSound introduced the first hearing aid app designed specifically for Apple Watch. Available immediately to Apple Watch wearers, the ReSound Smart™ app for Apple Watch offers a new, streamlined user experience, allowing users to take advantage of seamless, on-the-go control, right from their wrist. The ReSound Smart app for Apple Watch marks the latest of the company’s efforts to bring forward-looking solutions and greater levels of empowerment to people seeking to take control over their hearing loss.

Through the ReSound Smart app for Apple Watch, users have access to the same level of intuitive Smart Hearing personalization they have come to expect from ReSound, putting the app’s most-used features directly on their wrist. Through the app, users can:

  • Set preferred volume levels
  • Adjust treble and bass settings
  • Change audio profiles as they move though different sound environments
  • View at-a-glance details about their hearing aids, including the sound profile in use

Read more  . . . Hearing Aid App for Apple Watch





Twin Cities•COM
By Julio Ojeda-Zapata

Someday soon, when workers at Minneapolis advertising agency Space150 leave their key fobs at home, they will have another way to gain office access: the Apple Watch on their wrists.

Apple's much-publicized smartwatch, due for release later this month, will become a kind of key for unlocking the doors with a screen tap or a wrist flick. (Intoning "Open Sesame" will be optional.)

Space150, like thousands of other companies in Minnesota and around the world, are hard at work on apps for the Apple Watch in the belief that the shiny wrist device .  - - - - -  Read entire Article  - - -

- - - - -  For Eden Prairie-based Starkey Hearing Technologies, developing for the Apple Watch is a no-brainer because a number of the company's hearing aids already interact closely with the iPhone.

Users of such hearing aids can fine-tune their audio using a Starkey app on the iPhone, and select noise-filter presets for different environments, such as cars and restaurants.

Now they will able to make a number of those adjustments and selections on the Apple Watch as well, said Dave Fabry, Starkey's vice president of audiology and professional relations.

Additional Apple Watch-related possibilities may exist, Fabry added, but the company won't know for sure how these will develop until it gets the the watch later this month.




How to turn on subtitles and closed captions in iOS

By Allyson Kazmucha,
Friday, Aug 8, 2014

There are lots of accessibility options available in iOS that makes using an iPhone or iPad easier for those with visual and hearing impairments. If you or someone you know suffers from auditory issues, one of those features is subtitles and closed captioning while watching videos. To use them, you've just got to enable them first.

Click Here to learn how


Saturday, July 26, 2014
Article Source

Technology continues to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, as earlier this year, Resound developed a hearing aid in collaboration with Apple's products.

Users of compatible hearing aids can talk on the phone, make Facetime calls and listen to music in high quality stereo.

When Steve DeLuca was 28-years-old, he developed a brain tumor.

"It knocked out the hearing in my left ear, and then over the years, my right ear has gotten bad, and then I lost the hearing in my right ear also without the tumor," DeLuca said.

DeLuca is a firefighter for Northbrook Fire Department and has been there 22 years.

"I drive the engine," he said.

Hearing aids help him, but he learned from his audiologist about the made-for-iPhone hearing aid.

Laurel Christensen is head of audiology for GN Resound group, a Danish hearing aid manufacturer who partnered with Apple on this product.

"It's a hearing aid, professionally fitted just like any other hearing aid," Christensen said. "It's a premium high-end hearing aid with high-end sound processing. In addition to that, it will connect to an iPhone so everything that's audible from the iPhone will stream directly to the hearing aid.

"So that can be obviously a telephone call, it can be music, it van be videos, anything that is audible from the phone will go directly into the hearing aid," she said. 

It is compatible with the iPhone 5 iPad Air and the iTouch.

"It's priced like a premium hearing aid, so they can be $2,500 to $3,500 depending on where you go," Christensen said.

"The Apple hearing aid is by far much better than the other hearing aid is, the technology that Apple uses and being able to sync with the phone just opens us to so many things that I'm able to do," DeLuca said.

"There is a wow effect with the hearing aid alone, and when you connect it to the iPhone, people are able to hear things from an iPhone that they were never able to hear clearly before," Christensen said. "We are getting a lot of positive feedback and it helps hearing-impaired people in more environments than they were able to hear before."

For cochlear implants, there is no made-for-i-Phone product. But Christensen believes in the future and that they will have something like this.

For more information, visit Apple's website.





Christina Farr
Monday July 14, 2014
Article Source

SAN FRANCISCO — Advocates for the blind are debating whether to use a carrot or a stick to persuade one of their oldest allies, Apple Inc, to close an emerging digital divide in mobile technology.

As digital life increasingly moves to the world of smartphones and tablets, some disabled people with visual, hearing and other impairments are feeling more left out than ever.

As baby boomers retire and age, the number of people needing help is multiplying. Many advocates for the disabled believe federal law requires that apps be accessible, but courts have not ruled on the issue. Few disabled want to risk alienating Apple, considered a friend, by fighting it.

Mobile apps that work well can transform a blind person’s life, reading email on the go or speaking directions to a new restaurant. Some young blind people no longer feel the need to learn Braille to read with their fingers, when Siri and other computer voices can do the reading instead. Captions on videos and special hearing aids bring hearing impaired into the digital fold.

But when apps don’t work, life can grind to a stop. Jonathan Lyens, a San Francisco city employee who is legally blind, has a hard time browsing for jobs on professional networking site LinkedIn.

“The app is insane. Buttons aren’t labeled. It’s difficult to navigate,” Lyens said. When it comes to social-media apps, new problems arise with every release, he said. “I get nervous every time I hit the update button.”

Read more . . .


Rochester, NY

Updated: Tuesday, May 27 2014, 10:36 AM EDT St. Joseph, Mich. --apple

Apple has teamed up with doctors in Michigan to make it easier for hearing-impaired people to adjust to loud settings. A new kind of hearing aid syncs with an app on an iPhone or iPad. It allows users to control the volume in each ear so they can hear people in crowded restaurants or other loud settings. Users can also save settings for frequently visited places, with the device automatically adjusting by raising or lowering the volume. It also streams phone calls directly into the hearing aid instead of on the phone. The device costs about $3,000, roughly the same as other high-end hearing aids. The app needs to be purchased in order to be used with an iPhone.

Read More at:

Original Article  Posted on: 5:00 pm, March 18, 2014, by updated on: 06:11pm, March 18, 2014

Fox 4 News -

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — No matter how you slice it, Apple technology is irresistible to many.  Now the hope is that Apple can even make getting a hearing aid more “app-pealing.”

Anita Willeke resisted getting hearing aids for years. “I think it was probably a little bit of vanity,” said Willeke.

But pair the hearing aid with Apple, and Willeke was ready.  Her iPhone is the remote control for her new hearing aids called LiNX.

Need more treble or bass on one side or both?  Adjust it on your phone.

“You can go in and make those fine-tuning adjustments and in the past, there’s been no ability for patients to do that on their own,” said Linda Erickson of Associated Audiologists in Prairie Village.

Erickson says the system saves settings for specific environments such as a favorite restaurant or, in Willeke’s case, the classroom where she teaches.

Willeke really likes the streaming of phone calls directly into the earpiece.

“And I’m able to hear what’s being said more clearly without the background noises that often bother me,” Willeke said.

She’s still getting the hang of it. “How far away can I get it when you still hear me,” she said as she spoke on the phone.

Erickson says you don’t have to hold the phone. “It could still be in your pocket and you could be having a conversation,” said the audiologist.

And what if you lose a hearing aid?  The iPhone will find it for you on GPS or, if you’re really close, just look at the bars on the screen.  Red means you’re getting warm.

As you might expect, the technology isn’t cheap.  Each hearing aid costs between $2,900 and $3,500.   Most people need two.



Apple Committed to Captioning of iTunes Movies and TV Shows
From the National Association of the Deaf, 6/1/2013

For more than 20 years, Apple has been committed to accessibility across its products and services. Apple has led the industry in developing tools for networks and studios to easily deliver their content with top–quality closed captioning, which works seamlessly across various devices. Nearly all new movies and TV shows in iTunes already offer closed captioning, and by March 2014 the vast majority of the iTunes catalog will offer closed captioning. Apple is committed to working with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) to ensure that iTunes TV and movie offerings will contain closed captioning or subtitles, with every movie and TV episode in the iTunes catalog captioned or subtitled, by June 2015.

The NAD was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at thenational level. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing Americans.

Founded in 1979, by people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund(DREDF) is a national law and policy center, based in Berkeley, CA, dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities.

Lizzie Sorkin, Director of Communications
lizzie (dot) sorkin (at) nad (dot) org or 301-830-5511

Ingrid Tischer, Director of Development
itischer (at) dredf (dot) org
 or 510-644-2555 ext.5241

Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030;; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. You do not need permission to share this information, but please be sure to credit NVRC.  This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.

appleBy Steve Vrachmann, 2/12/2013

More than 30 patent applications assigned to California’s Apple Inc. were published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on Thursday. Many of the patent applications published this week describe upgrades to handheld devices manufactured by the electronics firm. A new hearing aid detection system may make iPhone use much easier for the hearing impaired. New security measures for handheld devices, including image-based user authentication, are also outlined.

Hearing Aid Detection
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130034234

Innovations to mobile phone technologies have already made it easier for hearing aid wearers to tune out background noise using telecoil induction amplification. Before hearing aid compatible (HAC) phones and T-coil hearing aids were available, microphone hearing aids would often amplify background noise as well as the telephone speaker. However, hearing aid wearers must manually engage the T-coil mode of phone operation whenever they need to place a call.

Apple’s invention consists of a proximity sensor that can detect when a T-coil hearing aid is close to the phone speaker. This sensor triggers a data processor that automatically enables the T-coil playback mode on the phone speaker. When the sensor no longer detects the hearing aid, the speaker reverts to its typical playback state.

As claim 1 of this patent application states, Apple is seeking protection for:

“A portable audio device suitable for use by a user wearing a hearing aid, comprising: a proximity sensor to detect a measure of distance of the device to an external object; a magnetic field sensor to detect a measure of external magnetic field; data processing circuitry coupled to the proximity sensor and the magnetic field sensor to compute a change in the distance of the external object and a change in the external magnetic field, and select between a normal audio mode of operation and a hearing aid compatible mode of operation, based on the computed changes in distance and magnetic field; audio processing circuitry to process an audio signal according to the selected mode of operation; and a speaker coupled to receive the processed audio signal.”

Graphical User Interface for Tracking and Displaying Views of an Application
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130036380

One of the innovations laid out in an Apple patent application published this week aims to make document and presentation software more responsive to complex sets of data. Many of these programs already include graphics to render data in different visual representations, like pie charts or bar graphs. However, software users can only typically display one view per representation method.

The system described in this patent application creates an interface element that a user interacts with to pull up a menu of graph thumbnails. In this way, a user can render one set of data in multiple ways using the same representation method and easily pull it up during a presentation. This will improve data organization for those who need to produce electronic documents or presentations for business or scientific purposes.

Claim 1 of this patent application describes:

“A method comprising: generating a graphical user interface (GUI) for displaying a selected view of an application; and generating a user interface element of the GUI, the user interface element configured for displaying groups of one or more visual representations of views of the application, where the groups of views are in a compressed or expanded display format based on whether a member of the group corresponds to the selected view, where the method is performed by one or more hardware processors.”

Debugging a Memory Subsystem
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130036254

Apple is hoping that the system and methods of debugging in this patent application will help its computer systems better monitor the status of flash memory connecting to the system. Flash devices containing non-volatile memory that stores files can connect with a computer through any number of communication ports, often the USB port. This invention would help a computer debug a flash device and test its internal connectivity, among other functions.

This intellectual property application describes a joint test action group (JTAG) interface installed on the host device that is designed to let the computer process these functions on the flash device. The JTAG can also perform boundary scans to test communication between the device and the computer, and provides other status information.

Claim 1 of Apple’s patent application protects:

“A memory subsystem comprising: non-volatile memory; a memory controller that is communicatively connected to the non-volatile memory over a first bus; a host interface through which the memory controller communicates with a host controller over a second bus; and a joint test action group (JTAG) interface that provides the host controller with access to state information associated with the memory controller; wherein the memory subsystem is configured to be coupled to a board-level memory device that includes the host controller.”

See the full article at:


Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax VA 22030; Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.