Best Essential macOS Features in Hearing-Impaired Users

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Best Essential macOS Features in Hearing-Impaired Users

Many technology businesses made minimal attempts in the past to include accessibility features for their products. Phones and computers have become an extension of ourselves, making them more crucial than ever.

As technology advances, Apple has developed a number of features for hearing-impaired consumers. Macs may now become primary tools for more people, thanks to visual tutorials and updated versions of Siri. This tutorial focuses on many macOS settings and modifications that are ideal for anyone who suffers from hearing loss.

1. The iMessage

Communication with others via the native Messages app in macOS is a free and effective solution for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. Apple’s iMessage service is built right in, so staying in touch with family and friends who possess an iPhone, iPad, or Mac is as simple as sending a text message.

When you don’t have your iPhone with you, this preloaded software might be a great substitute. Apple’s Handoff function allows iPhone owners to receive iMessages on both their iPhone and Mac at the same time. As a result, your Mac may send and receive messages for free as long as you have a Wi-Fi or hotspot connection.

2. Mono Audio

Some people may have the capacity to hear in only one ear. And, whereas folks with normal hearing can use two headphones to hear in different directions, macOS provides an easy answer. Mono audio allows you to play both audio channels in each ear, making all sounds audible in all circumstances.

To enable this option, navigate to System Preferences > Accessibility and search for the Audio section under the Hearing category on the left pane. Check the Play stereo audio as mono box; you should now hear mono sounds in both headphones.

3. Captions that are closed

Apple works carefully with its goods to ensure that they are accessible in all forms. Closed captions are an excellent tool for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. So, when viewing your favorite movie or show on the Apple TV app, you can utilize closed captions to read the dialogue and understand exactly what’s going on throughout a scene.

It’s worth noting, however, that not all media has closed captions, so double-check. The CC icon, which is usually located right next to the title, is the best way to tell if a product has closed captions.

To utilise closed captions on your Mac, head over to System Preferences > Accessibility and click on the Captions option under Hearing. Now, tick the option next to Prefer closed captions and SDH.

Please keep in mind that this option will allow closed captions on your Mac whenever you watch compatible material. To further customise this function, you may select the size and style of the subtitles and captions from the same menu.

4. The FaceTime

While traditional phone conversations are mostly for individuals who can hear, FaceTime is ideal for everyone who can communicate using sign language. If you don’t know sign language, there are dozens of iPhone applications that can help you learn it rapidly.

Best Essential macOS Features in Hearing-Impaired Users

Given the popularity of FaceTime today, making a video chat with your loved ones should be simple, as long as they own an Apple device as well. Remember that in order to make or join FaceTime conversations with other iPhone, iPad, and Mac users, your Mac must be linked to a Wi-Fi network or hotspot.

FaceTime was designed from the bottom up by Apple to give a fast frame rate and images that function even in poor lighting—ideal for people who need to capture every detail on screen.

5. Real-Time Text

Real-time text is a function that allows you to actively converse via text while on the phone. It differs from a standard text message in that the receiver may see your messages as you type them (in real time); they don’t have to wait for you to finish a phrase and press the Return or Enter key.

As a result, Real-time text nables hearing-impaired individuals to converse successfully with the person on the other end with minimum effort. This capability is especially useful when someone wishes to exchange information with emergency personnel without saying anything.

To activate RTT on your Mac, first enable Wi-Fi calling on your iPhone. After that, go to Settings > Accessibility and look for RTT under Hearing on the left pane. Check the box next to Enable RTT when you click on it. Send Immediately is enabled by default; if not, click that box as well.

To initiate relay calls, enter an RTT relay number, which is 711 in the United States. You may now use RTT capabilities not only during FaceTime conversations, but also via the Contacts app on your Mac.

6. The Type to Siri

Siri is Apple’s answer to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and it’s available on all of its devices, including the iPhone, iPad, HomePod, and Mac. You can babble whatever request, inquiry, or alert you want with the press of a button. You normally connect with Siri via voice commands, so you may be wondering why we’ve included it here.

Type to Siri allows you to type your questions to Siri and react without using your voice—ideal for deaf or hearing-impaired Mac users. Once again, this is a hidden accessibility function in macOS.

To use it, go to System Preferences > Accessibility, scroll down to the bottom of the left pane, and select Siri. Check the option next to Enable Type to Siri, and you’re done.

Now, to activate Siri, long-press the microphone button on your keyboard or Siri in the Touch Bar (if your Mac has one), and just write your inquiry as seen in the picture above.

7. Screen Flash

To use it, go to System Preferences > Accessibility, scroll down to the bottom of the left pane, and select Siri. Check the option next to Enable Type to Siri, and you’re done.

Now, to activate Siri, long-press the microphone button on your keyboard or Siri in the Touch Bar (if your Mac has one), and just write your inquiry as seen in the picture above.

To use this function, return to the Accessibility settings box. Click the Audio tab under Hearing. Look for the option that says Flash the screen when an alarm sound happens on the right. Check the box and ensure that the screen flashes.

If the screen flash is too bright, you may increase the brightness on your Mac to make it more pleasant. You may also utilize programmers to decrease your Mac’s brightness below the minimum if necessary.