Lisnen is a mobile app that provides safety and situational awareness to people with hearing loss using AI. Lisnen is modernizing adaptive technology for the d/Deaf and hard of hearing (DHH)into a digitized solution accessible for everyday needs.

COVID has affected many people who are deaf and hard of hearing across all areas of their lives. As face masks become a new normal, it has been the biggest challenge for those who lip-read and rely on facial expressions. As a result, many deaf and hard of hearing are isolating themselves more because it is difficult to have interactions when the communication has been broken.

Furthermore, many accommodations available at the workplace and the classrooms were suddenly removed or replaced with online technologies. The demand for live transcription has taken a priority as people want to engage in video chats. Not all organizations have made automated closed caption or CART – Communication Access Realtime Translation (a live transcription done by a person as opposed to a speech recognition application) accessible. These services come at a high cost for DHH. DHH are having to advocate more for their needs as it has become an oversight under these new circumstances. DHH people have taken proactive measures and are adopting the speech-to-text apps to provide an immediate solution.

“Technologies for people with a disability are not impacted by the economy or any pandemic. It’s about people and their physical needs to integrate into society, which never changes under any circumstances.” DHH has always adopted technologies very well and will continue to do so under new circumstances. Yet, there’s no substitute for safety during a pandemic or during any other times. People continue to prioritize their safety and especially when they feel more isolated and interactions. For Lisnen, as many deaf/Hard of hearing are spending more time at home, the benefit to support the DHH community at home becomes more apparent.

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