Wake-up Devices for People with Hearing Loss
by Curtis Dickinson
Editor: Need a good wake-up device? Wondering what kind you should
get? Or even what the various types are? Here's Curtis with answers to
those questions! He knows a lot about these devices, because he uses and
sells them. You may contact him at email@example.com or visit
his website at http://hearing-loss-help-co.com.
Which is best for being awakened from a sound sleep during an
emergency or just a regular wake-up alert: Vibrations, Incandescent
Flashing lamps, Strobe (Photo-electric) lights, or sound?
It really depends on the individual. Some swear by vibrations. The
more powerful vibrating devices are typically called bed shakers. The
smaller ones are called pillow shakers-for the obvious reason. And then
there are the wrist-shakers. Guess what that is called? A vibrating
wristwatch. Smile. Some swear by a flashing lamp. This means a regular
lamp bulb or incandescent bulb. Others say only a strobe will work. A
strobe light produces a high degree of intensity. Also in the running
for wake-up alerts are those that produce sound. Some of these types
allow different settings for volume and tone. Of course, these are for
the hard of hearing consumer-not those who are deaf. A good bed shaker
vibrator will fit between the box spring and mattress and shake the bed.
A flashing lamp can be seen through your eyelids and so can a strobe
light. A strobe light is much brighter, almost like a burning bright
white light, though no guarantee to be more effective when in a sound
sleeps. Some say no amount of flashing light works for them; both types
of light can be ineffective if your face is covered.
A good audible alerting device will have separate volume and audible
controls. You won't know which you prefer unless you try. Truth is, all
will work the first few times after they are installed because the alert
is new and you awaken through surprise, (as if it were an emergency
alert). Therefore it can be assumed if the same alert wakens you every
day, at the same time, it becomes less of an emergency, does it not?
Then it becomes easy enough to ignore the signal. Lifestyles come into
play here, too. If you pass out from a night of drinking, a screeching
alarm may wake everyone in the neighborhood but you. Not a good way to
start the morning, eh?
VIBRATION ALERT: There are some bed shakers (vibrators) that alert
you by a continuous single-phase vibration. This means it produces a
steady vibration until you either shut it off or it turns itself off.
Another type of vibrator alerts you by emitting a pulse-style vibration.
This is an on/off, on/off, and on/off type of alert. It releases a burst
of vibration. Then stops, and then vibrates again. This, too, continues
until it is shut off either by you or the alarm.
STROBE LIGHT ALERT: These are special lights producing a quick sharp
white flash, such as in a flash camera, but it's a continuous flash and
much brighter than a lamp.
LAMP LIGHT ALERT: Basically you just plug the lamp of your choice
into the device. The more expensive lamp flashing devices allow you to
use the lamp in a normal fashion. This means that the lamp will flash
when the alert is activated, regardless if the lamp is on or off. (As in
using it for reading). The less expensive alerting devices will not
allow this. In other words, if you turn on the lamp to read, and then
forget to put it back into the flash position, it will not flash. If you
purchase this type, be sure to tape the on/off switch or cover it some
other way. This will act as insurance that the light will remain in the
on/flash position and also act as a warning to visitors that it must not
AUDIBLE ALERT: These emit a sound that also can be of a constant
type, or on/off, on/off, on/off. The better ones allow separate sound
controls such as volume and tone. Some have quite a good range of
effect. Others allow for a radio station to pop on. And some have the
love-to-hate snooze. (Why do people use a snooze rather than set the
alarm for the snooze time? That makes as much sense to me as setting a
clock 10 minutes fast.)
COMBINATION ALERTS: These alerts offer sound, vibration and light
flash to go off all at once to awaken you. I suppose this is good if you
want to scare the pets or have the bodies in graves turning over!
MANUFACTURERS: The following are some of the manufacturers of these
devices. Contact these people and they will inform you where to purchase
Ameriphone: http://www.ameriphoneinc.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org,
PHONE: 800 874 3005
Silent Call: http://www.silentcall.com/ email@example.com,
PHONE/TTY 1 800 572 5227
Global Assistive Devices, Inc: http://www.globalassistive.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org,
PHONE: 1 888 778 4237, FAX: 954 784 0047
Sonic Alert: http://www.sonicalert.com/htm/main.htm email@example.com,
PHONE: 800 566 3210
Shake Awake clocks: http://www.allny.com/shakeawake/orders.html