Thursday, 14 July 2016

i-phones, text and speech

i-phones, text and speech

Well, I’ve hit the 21st century – I have an i-phone. I’ve mastered LED flash and vibration for notifications, volume for speech, and even emails.

I realise why it’s taken me so long to go this way – I much prefer to communicate by speech when talking with people. I like to hear the words and the intent which is communicated by inflection, tone and volume. I like the speed at which we can convey so much by the medium of voice.

Writing can be so open to ambiguity and so much care must be taken to avoid misinterpretation. We may not realise how much our voice impacts on what we are saying until we don’t have it. Our voice tone rises at the end of a sentence to convey a question. We use our voice to intimate irony, sarcasm, humour, boredom and irritation. The same sentence can mean quite different things given a different inflection. Try saying, ‘I don’t know what you mean’ in diverse ways.

Words written and without vocal inflection, can have several interpretations and can be taken the wrong way – maybe depending on the mood of the person who is reading them. There is no voice tone to qualify the intent of the words used, and this is why I prefer to talk, not text or email.

With a hearing loss, this can have its moments. I have extra volume phones at home and work and almost always, that’s enough. (Interpreting foreign accents on telemarketers is another matter.) But my work mobile…! I have handed it to others on occasion to be my interpreter – luckily most conversations are around making an appointment, not personal counselling!

I was advised an i-phone has best accessibility for vision and hearing impairment by a friend with vision loss. I might add that the sales people in telco stores really need to brush up on the best models for those of us with less than perfect sensory systems (most of us over 40 really). They could not advise me on anything. And it seems one of the best models of phone that had extra volume (Dave) has been superseded by a quieter version (Max).

So I’m pretty happy with my purchase, though a little extra volume would be handy for those very quiet speakers. My next goal to deal with the whisperers is to find the speak-and-read feature. I know it’s in here somewhere…

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