Here at CHHA, we advocate on behalf of our members to improve awareness of hearing loss issues. Before now, we have been advocating through providing guides, hosting webinars, writing blogs, magazines and running the Mentorship program.
Never before had we hosted a podcast, where we openly discuss hearing loss issues.
Now I know what you are thinking: A podcast? How does that work? After all we are the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, hearing loss is in the name. Most of our staff and members experience hearing loss, so having a podcast –which is mainly auditory – is a disadvantage to them.
However, I believe that with CHHA using a new type of media such as podcasting, will show Canadians that every aspect of society can be accessible, including podcasts.
Individuals with hearing loss or any disability know what it feels to not be able to access a certain part of society. For instance, those with wheelchairs can’t access the beach because of the sand clogging their wheels. Those who have blindness often find themselves limited in the number of places they can enter with their guide dogs. And Individuals with hearing loss decide not to listen to podcasts because they find it difficult to understand without any visual references.
However, all it takes is proper accessibility and wheelchair users can roll out to the water, individuals with blindness can enter any building they wish, and people with hearing loss can enjoy all forms of entertainment.
So how can we make podcasts more accessible?
If there is no visual aspect of the podcast, one of the easiest ways is to have a transcript that informs the listener what is being said and at what time.
If there is limited video, captioning is another way to ensure those with hearing loss understand what is being said. This can work well great for live podcasts or regular recorded podcasts.
- Have a Video or Visual aspect
Finally, the best way to make podcasts accessible! There are two ways to do this:
The first way is having an actual video. This way, viewers will be able to lipread and understand the host’s and guest’s expression. Additionally, feel like they are a part of the conversation!
The second way is having a visual aspect. In this version, the podcast is still in a way a podcast, however, there is text, photos and lively animations on the screen that relays the important information to the listener.
Now with that said, lets actually talk about this podcast, because I can tell you’re on the edge of your seat.
On Today, CHHA is launching the first episode “Speak Up!” hosted by our Summer Students: Catherine Dumé, Jason Lee, and Kaelan Fulford. These three university students all experience hearing loss at various severities and have a lot to say regarding accommodations in university.
Just as the name suggests, Speak Up is all about advocating hearing loss issues, from accommodations, accessibility, mask wearing, talking about fun topics such as entertainment, Canadian Hearing History, and sharing personal stories in between.
Listen/Watch the podcast today!