In the weeks following Apple’s announcement that new iPhones will not have a headset jack, HLAA received more than one call from people outraged by the company’s decision. Apple did not consider the impact removing the jack would have on people with hearing loss who use and depend on a neckloop or other wired solution to hear audio on the phone. When we brought this issue to Apple they responded.
Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI) has issued a Letter of Concern to Toyota Motor Corporation about carbon monoxide poisoning incidents affecting the deaf and those with hearing loss. More than a dozen deaths have been reported due to cars with keyless ignitions not being shut off when the occupant leaves the vehicle. The obvious issue for those with hearing loss is that they can’t hear the car’s engine if it is left running.
An article in USA Today brings attention to the high risk of hearing loss in the workplace caused by loud noise. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hearing loss is the most common work-related injury, with 22 million workers exposed annually to hazardous levels of occupational noise.