This is short collection of ideas for gifts for deaf or hard of hearing people.
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I should have written this post a long time ago, because I have a LOT of ideas about what would be useful to receive as a gift! But now is a start, right? Let’s dive in.
I’m putting this first because it’s incredible useful:
- Taptic System, which includes the Taptic alarm (- it literally taps you to wake you up, no volume necessary), the Taptic alert (which also taps to tell you to turn when you are following a driving instruction, or taps to tell you a text message is in, etc)
- The breathe app: helps keep us mindful and calm
- The rings: really do get us moving and tracking. Apple watches also include the mindfulness tracker now.
Read more on how Apple watches are great for us deaf/hard of hearing people here.
I got AirPods for free with my laptop and for kicks, I tried it out. I seriously doubted I could hear anything with them, but I was wrong. Even though I am profoundly deaf, I could, if I cranked up to max.
This is obviously not going to work for everyone, but it is interesting, especially since:
- The sound in the AirPods is completely different than sound streamed through bluetooth/my hearing aids. It’s not tinny or mechanical. It is pretty amazing.
- “Live Listen” with the AirPods is perfect for people who have hearing loss but for whom hearing aids might not be an option yet (- read more on how you can use AirPods as a hearing aid here)
Both regular AirPods and AirPods Pro have the “live listen” capacity. AirPods Pro have better fit for ears. I myself can’t use the AirPods unless I attach these rubber grips and ear hook extensions to them.
Otter Voice to Text
Buying your loved one (or yourself) a subscription would make a great gift. I wrote a post on fantastic speech-to-text apps, but Otter is the one that I myself use, because:
- With a subscription, there are no time limits – I can get 3 hour long conference speeches transcribed
- It’s really accurate
- It actually saves what is recorded, so I have running notes as well (that I can download to Word/GoodNotes/Evernote and are searchable)
Get Otter on iTunes
Clear Communication Mask
I like these ones because they are not as freaky as those ones that just frame the mouth part (am I the only one?! Tell me that mouth cut out doesn’t make you shudder a little?!)
There are a ton of options out there now.
Find this on Etsy
I like these because I lipread.
Find this on Etsy, linked here.
I also liked, “I’m deaf; if I don’t respond, it’s because I don’t hear you” – linked here
Great Deaf Related Books
- Mean Little Deaf Queer
- El Deafo
- Seeing Voices
- Deaf Empowerment
- If You Could Hear What I See
- Five Flavors of Dumb
- Finding Zoe
- Signs of Attraction
Support our artists!! Lots of d/Deaf-made art out there.
Just please be sure to poke around and make sure it’s ACTUALLY made by a d/Deaf artist, and not a hearing artist who is using ASL in their art.
I used to use this (before I discovered the Apple Watch and the Taptic Systems). Sonic is the way to go if you don’t want a watch.
Just be careful, because you could wake up your entire neighborhood too! I just used the bed shaker, personally. And holy cow does that thing work!
Find Sonic on Amazon, linked here.
I love movies myself, and I think purchasing a movie as a gift is pretty sweet.
Here’s a collection of more than 20 movies with a d/Deaf focus – it’s linked here.
You get dragonfly anything, not because you want to channel your hippie boomer-Karen, but because dragonflies are deaf. How cool is that?!
- Metal dragonfly for your garden
- Dragonfly chakra pendulum (omg)
- Dragonfly earrings
- ALL THE DRAGONFLY stuff!
- Dragonfly mug (I actually have this one, a gift from my dear friend Katherine)
- Dragonfly shirt (I like how big it is)
- Dragonfly notebook
Gifts for Deaf or Hard of Hearing People
There you have it, a smattering of gift ideas… I hope you know that you don’t HAVE to give something that is specifically hearing (or deaf) related to someone who is deaf/hard of hearing! You know that, right?! (right???).
These are ideas are just for if you think it’s legit-cool, and that the person you are giving to would really like it or could use it.
If you have ideas for more cool gifts (especially if you know or have a d/Deaf-run business), please drop the link in the comments!
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.