Skip to Content
3-01-2011 @ 4:39PM
This article doesn't say much about those who, like me, are hard of hearing or entirely deaf. What about us?I was born with congenital rubella syndrome, which left me deaf in my left ear and moderately to profoundly deaf in my right. Although I was mainstreamed and underwent extensive speech therapy to enable me to live a largely normal life, and I do wear a hearing aid in my "good" ear, I still do need to take advantage of assistance where it's available.Mostly, this takes the form of asking people to slow down and enunciate so I can understand them more easily, and the use of visual aids where possible. For television/movies, this means closed captioning (TV) or subtitles (Blu-Ray), no going to theaters as I don't like how their "disability discrimination" helps anyone with a wheelchair/crutches any time at any theater, yet leaves me high and dry with a limited selection of showings and titles for movies. I also use closed captioning/subtitles in games -- fortunately, that's becoming more and more common.WoW is very accessible to the deaf/HoH player, with almost all in-game dialogue printed on the screen in speech bubbles and/or in the chat box. Most cutscenes are subtitled (but not all, sadly; I remember the DK intro movie being an exception, along with a few others. Blizz needs to fix that quickly). And quest text is all written-only, so you don't need to hear to understand the plotline behind the simple "go forth and kill X of Y" and so on.Addons that are a huge help to me are things like Deadly Boss Mods, since I can elect to have a visual warning on the screen front and center where I'll see it, and I can set the alert tone to something that I can feel if I worry I might miss the on-screen warning. (DBM authors, please, please, please give us the ability to customize the alert sounds more than we can now!) This way I don't have to try to listen for a sound cue in a boss fight that I might not notice when I'm paying attention to what others are saying on vent; I hear/talk well enough to participate in that, but I have to turn background noise down a lot to do so, so I'm not going to necessarily notice, say, Sindy yelling about our pathetic magic betraying us -- but I'm going to see that alert that popped in the middle of the screen.NPCScan is another addon that does a good job of presenting visual cues -- it makes a noise, yes, but it also can flash the screen in a way that grabs attention even if you can't hear at all, and it displays a big box that has to be clicked away and also puts a marker on the mob you're looking for.One thing I would like to see more of is directional indicators for where you're being attacked from, if WoW has surround sound. (Does it? I can't hear in stereo so sounds are just "there" for me with no sense of location). That would make it easier to locate the threat. Still, that's not as important as it is for first-person shooters since you just have to generally face the target and not actually aim at it.What addons have others found that I might want to look at? Are there any other sort of events in-game that I could add visual alerts for that DBM/NPCScan aren't handling?And finally... can we please, please, please have /flirt and /silly emotes added to speech balloons and/or the chat window? I'm constantly having to ask either others in the room or others in-game what the phrase was because I can't understand them.
3-01-2011 @ 5:50PM
Yay, another deaf player! Whilst games like Assassin's Creed are virtually unplayable due to the lack of descriptive closed captioning, the fact that virtually everything's in written text is fantastic.Another deaf player and I play 2v2, and each have a pile of stuff on our desks to throw at each other to get their attention to quickly sign something. Things didn't go so well when I accidentally threw my mouse at her, though.
3-01-2011 @ 8:16PM
@Soul, use flash lights. Wave it over the other persons monitor area. no projectiles involved.
3-01-2011 @ 9:21PM
"@Soul, use flash lights. Wave it over the other persons monitor area. no projectiles involved."I was going to suggest this. We use to use this trick when I took Sign Language in High School and needed people's attention. Laser pointers work too, and are fun to annoy the cat with!
First time? A confirmation email will be sent to you after submitting.
Members enter your username and password.
Enter your AOL or AIM screenname and password.
Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.
When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password.
To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br /> tags.