I rely on my phone a lot. Nowadays, smartphones go beyond just phone calls and texts, with a variety of applications on offer. With that in mind, smartphones are an interesting piece of technology for deaf people. They can make our lives easier in some aspects, but at the same time, it can make it just that little bit harder.

Smartphones can benefit the lives of deaf people, but they also have their disadvantages. Source: NOGRAN s.r.o on Flickr
Smartphones can benefit the lives of deaf people, but they also have their disadvantages. Source: NOGRAN s.r.o on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode.

For most deaf people, we are unable to use the phone to make or receive calls. Fortunately, my iPhone has a setting which amplifies mobile calls, but I’ve often struggled with landlines because the sound doesn’t quite enter my hearing aid. At home, whenever someone rang ‘the home phone’, I would have to go to the trouble of taking out my hearing aids before answering the phone. The only problem then is that my hearing is reduced because I don’t have my aids in.

But whether it’s on my mobile – where I can hear a little better – or on landline, you also have issues regarding the quality of the call itself. For example, if someone calls me from a noisy bar, or whilst in a car, then the background noise can interfere and I struggle to hear what is being said. For that reason, I prefer text when possible. As I briefly mentioned in a previous post, it is a universal way to talk to people.

Thankfully, when it comes to landlines, I have since been able to get hold of an amazing telephone adaptor. You can read my review here, but it really does work wonders for me. Technology can be incredibly useful for deaf people.

This brings me on to the title of this post: Phones are like Marmite. For deaf people, you either love them or hate them. Whilst I love the hearing aid setting on my iPhone and the Glide app (a video messaging service), I struggle with landlines and my mobile’s audio quality can dip from time to time. Basically, what I meant by phone’s being like Marmite is that they both carry advantages and disadvantages for the deaf community – but, then again, everyone within the deaf culture is different.

What do you think? Can writing messages down help break down barriers? Comment below!