Person who is hard of hearing

Survey opportunity for those who are deaf or hard of hearing – What alarm technologies work for you?

It is estimated that almost 1 out of 100 Americans over the age of twelve experience hearing loss classified as severe (>60 through 80 dBA) or profound (>80 dBA) hearing loss, and more than 14 out of 100 Americans over the age of twelve experience hearing loss to some degree. An important shortcoming of commonly used audible alarms is their inability to warn people who are deaf, and to some extent those who are hard of hearing. This effect is further enhanced when people are asleep.

It is recognized that people who are deaf or hard of hearing often have to compensate by using alternative devices such as bed shakers, pillow shakers, or portable devices that alert them of alarm activation in an emergency. Despite the critical role these devices play in life safety for people with hearing loss, their suitability, reliability, potential applications and uses in current and future buildings needed further study.

So the Fire Protection Research Foundation, NFPA’s research affiliate initiated a research study to develop resources on and provide a review of the currently available alternative alarm and detection technologies and their respective characteristics, use cases, regulations and certification and approval processes for the deaf and hard of hearing community. To meet the project objectives, it is imperative for the voice of the deaf and hard of hearing community to be heard.

Thus, we would like to inform you of an opportunity to participate in an anonymous questionnaire which has been created as part of this research study to gain insight from you, and others you may know, regarding fire alarm technologies that may be utilized for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. We are specifically interested in experiences you have had with technologies, as well as characteristics or function of these technologies that you deem the most important.

Get more information and see the survey. If interested in participating, we ask that you please provide your response by July 31, 2021.

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Victoria Hutchison
Research Project Manager, passionate about the advancement of fire protection, life safety and emerging technologies through the development of research at FPRF.

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