Questions from Visitors

Introduction

If you have a question to ask me, there is a good chance that someone else has already asked the same question and my answer can be found in this Web page.

If you do not find your question in this Web page, or the existing answer does not satisfy you, simply ask me by E-mail.


Your Web pages do not render properly when I use Internet Explorer!

The Web pages in this Web site are validated against the HTML 4.01 Transitional standard, using the W3C Markup Validation Service. I also check how they look like using the Mozilla 1.7.8 Web browser. If you do not have Mozilla or FireFox installed in your computer, I suggest that you install one of them. They are free and are better than Internet Explorer.


Do you have information about ...?

I am looking for information about ...

If you did not find it in my Web site, then I probably do not have this information. Use Google to find it.

Then, you may want to let me know know that you looked for this information, so that I can know that it will be useful to future visitors of my Web site.

I am looking for UP-TO-DATE information about ...

Most of the factual information items in my Web site are accompanied by a date. If the date indicates that an item is more than 1-2 years old, I probably do not have up-to-date information. Let me know what up-to-date information you are looking for.

I love a poem and would like to reproduce it

The poem's author name (and sometimes also contact information) accompanies the poem. Contact the author for permission. This is the only permission you need to reproduce poems, which you find in my Web site.


I am looking for ... in Israel

Where can I buy hearing aid or CI batteries?

  • Bekol sells hearing aid batteries and CI batteries to its members at discount of 60% (as of January 2006).
  • Chen Phone sell batteries, too.
  • Hearing aid dealers (can be found in all big cities in Israel) sell hearing aid and CI batteries as well.

I am looking for ... in my geographical area

So you live in USA, Europe or anywhere else outside of Israel; and are looking for a job, school, Deaf Club, support group for the hard-of-hearing or something else?

I live in Israel (the tiny country few hundred kilometers to the west from Iraq) and the chances are that I'll be unable to help you find what you are looking for in your geographical area. Sorry!


I am looking for a cool assistive device to communicate with my deaf colleague

What about speech to text (known also as ASR - automatic speech recognition) systems?

The currently available speech recognition software is not good enough for the task. It works when the speaker speaks slowly (in diction pace) and when the room is not too noisy, and when two people do not try to speak at the same time.

One way such software is used to help the deaf:
An hearing person sits next to the microphone and parrots to it words which he hears spoken by the speaker. This is called "mask reporter". The software has been trained to recognize the hearing person's voice. Also, the noise is under control (thanks to proxmity to the microphone). So the system works and is used as a lower-cost replacement for Sign Language interpreter or a stenographer.

Additional information can be found in the following links:

The above Web pages are dated from 1995-1997, but in a personal E-mail communication from December 2005, Ross Stuckless confirmed that there is still no really successful application of ASR to spontaneous speech aimed at helping the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

<plug>

I am now working on development of a novel assistive device, which is intended to help the deaf follow speech without the limitations of existing ASR software. If my project is successful, you'll know about this in due time.

I have some capital and am willing to invest in your project

</plug>


Israeli Sign Language

Where can I buy an Israeli Sign Language dictionary?

"Gateway to Israeli Sign Language" by Hava Savir © 1992 is available from the Association of the Deaf in Israel.

An older dictionary, "Dictionary of Sign Language of the Deaf in Israel" by L. Namir, I. Sella, M. Rimor and I.M. Schlesinger, is now out of print as far as I know.

For a CD based dictionary, ask the Institute for the Advancement of Deaf Persons in Israel.

There is also a booklet, prepared by Rabbi Yares, of signs of Jewish religious concepts. Currently I do not have additional information about it.


I am doing ... but have lost my hearing and am having problems

If you are studying in school or working in a profession, which relies upon hearing, you certainly need help coping with your hearing loss.

If you look around, you will probably find other people in similar condition and they will be able to advise you how to proceed. In addition, there are organizations of deafened people (people who lost their hearing like you) in several places in the world.

If you are in USA, contact ALDA - Association of Late-Deafened Adults, Inc. In Israel, contact Bekol - Organization of Hard of Hearing and Deafened People in Israel.


I read all your cochlear implant (CI) related Web pages with great interest but I still have a question about CI

Is the implant risky? My niece lost her hearing after meningitis.

Nowadays (December 2005), a lot of know-how and experience has been accumulated about the medical aspects of cochlear implants. The operation of implanting them is now considered as a low-risk operation. Nevertheless, it is recommended that the implantee get vaccinated against meningitis before the operation.

About your niece:

  1. She needs to be evaluated to determine whether she is candidate for CI. For example, if her auditory nerves were destroyed, she would be unable to benefit from CI.
  2. I recommend that your niece's family members (that's you, too!) learn a visual communication mode (such as Sign Language or cued speech) so that she'll have another way to communicate even if she has a CI. The alternate method will help her when the CI is not working (for example, when the speech processor is away for repairs).

I am looking for a medical miracle for my affliction

In general, this Web site does not have information about new medical advances.

If you are looking for gene therapy as a cure to your deafness, you'll have to wait a long time (as of January 2006). Meanwhile, you may want to get acquainted with relevant scientific literature. Google Scholar may be helpful in locating relevant information.

If you are looking for a new cure for Meniere's disease, ask your ENT specialist and also browse the relevant scientific literature.


Miscellaneous Questions

Do you know of any cinemas (movie theaters) in city ____, state ____ that provide subtitles for the deaf audience?

In Israel, most movies are in foreign languages. All such movies are subtitled except for movies for children below age 7, which are dubbed. Israeli movies (which speak in Hebrew) usually are not subtitled. Bekol - Organization of Hard of Hearing and Deafened People in Israel are active in getting subtitles into Israeli movies.

If you are asking about cinemas outside of Israel, I do not have the information. You may want to consult my Captioning Web page and Jamie Berke's Captioning Web.

What are the letters and words of Sign Language?

See also the fingerspelling article in Wikipedia.

Sign Languages are much like Chinese or Japanese kanji in that there is a separate sign for each concept. A sign can be characterized by hand shape, direction of movement, number of repetitions, position of hand relative to the body, what the other hand is doing at the same time, and even facial expression.

In order to express concepts, which have a word in the users' written language but not in Sign Language, fingerspelling is used. This system is like the Japanese hiragana or katagana in that each letter has its own hand shape. The fingerspelling system used in England employs both hands, whereas the American one uses a single hand.

The fingerspelling system used by Israeli Sign Language speakers to fingerspell Hebrew words was copied from the American one, with few extra signs for letters which exist in Hebrew but not in English.

Fingerspelling should not be confused with cued speech.

Last update date: 
2006 Jan 28