I just recently had a personal experience that reminded me anew what an impact innovation and technology can make in our lives! I was so moved that I decided to share this story publicly in hopes of encouraging continued innovation, respect and awareness for the Deaf/HoH, and because technology is awesome!
MEGA KUDOS to Larry Guterman and his team at SonicCloud for developing one of the most impactful apps I've ever personally come across. I was so blown away with SonicCloud, I took the time to correspond with Larry (who was very gracious and cool!) and let him and his team know that their hard work truly matters and is appreciated. I hope those of you reading this today will be encouraged to continue following your passions and never give up on creating and improving our world! Here's a portion of our correspondence below:
Thanks for connecting and asking!
I just recently discovered it, but I'm so impressed. The audiological fine tuning was incredibly cool to me. My daughter was born with Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome, which causes permanent and progressive hearing loss. So, not only are we dealing with the challenge of hearing loss, but a fluctuating one at that. She's currently moderate to severe, and I fully expect she'll be severe to profound within the next year. It's tough on her and not easy to watch your kiddo go through. She's 12.
The reasons I so deeply value what you're doing is two-fold. One, I will most likely be sending her to live at the Texas School for the Deaf beginning in the fall. It's a boarding school, and while she'll be back home on weekends, it is crushing to have to make this choice. The idea that we will be able to keep verbal communication going on with her for as long as possible is so vital to me. Your app literally created "time" that I thought we were past. She was ecstatic when we tried it out and she was able to hear so much better than with her hearing aids and the phone (which is not well at all).
The second gift you've given us with your app is her absolute passion and outlet. She adores music and loves to listen to it and sing, like ALL the time, lol. The improvement you're able to produce in sound quality is significant and not only enriches her experience with it so much more but, again, also creates a space in time we thought lost. So seriously, from the bottom of my heart and every fiber of me as a mother, I can't thank you enough for that. Tears are literally streaming down my face as I write this. I can't imagine a greater thing to do for someone than support their passions, and that's what you just did!
Coincidentally, I discovered your app while doing research for an upcoming conference I'm speaking at for parents of disabled children. My topic is on technology and how it's leveling the playing field in so many ways! I will be raving about this!
My final note of praise for you is even making it here. As a co-founder of a tech-based start-up myself, I totally respect just how hard it is to do what you've done and be where you've arrived. Mad props! Never lose sight of just what an impact your hard work is truly making for the people around you. Thank you! Thank you!
PS My daughter said to also thank you because now I'm finally buying her an iPhone (Apple owes you) ; )
Larry and his team were very moved by my email, as I was by the impact their app had on myself and my daughter. Obviously, I HIGHLY recommend that anyone Deaf/HoH utilize this, but I also hope you Innovators and Dreamers feel inspired a bit today and receive an email like this in the future. Dream on, my Friends! As Nelson Mandela said, "It always seems impossible until it's done."