Re: Deaf members
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2021 09:45:11 -0700 (PDT)
> On Apr 25, 2021, at 12:09 PM, Shari Hirst <sharihirst13 [at]> wrote:
> We have a member at Sand River Cohousing that has hearing problems, and uses 
> a hearing aide.  She is able to understand zoom meetings better and asks 
> pertinent questions.  I don’t understand why she is able to understand better 
> on zoom than in person.  I would appreciate your comments.

Large groups in large rooms means lots of extraneous noise — feet scraping, 
table tapping, echoes, echoes, echoes. All of these are amplified equally by 
hearing aids. And even without hearing aids they blur sound.

With hearing aids, noises that would not be noticeable are suddenly super loud. 
A member was folding newspaper bags to use as pooper scoopers and another 
member asked her to stop. Her hearing aid was picking up the sound and making 
it so loud she couldn’t hear anything else. Same for someone in the corner 
paying bills on their laptop.

Inability to read lips. People are facing in all different directions. 
Sometimes it is even unclear who is speaking so you can’t listen better because 
you can’t predict the speaking pattern.

With Zoom sound can be raised and lowered as you need. I don’t know the 
technology but it seems that there is some modulation of voice levels on Zoom. 
People who speak very loudly don’t sound quite as loud and soft voices are 
certainly clearer and louder. — Unless people are sitting too far from their 
speakers, which does happen. They don’t want to appear as a looming head on the 

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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