View Full Version : Help for a Hearing Impaired Hockey Player?
12-11-2000, 02:31 PM
A friend of my dad's has a son who is hearing impaired. He wants to play hockey. I guess there is some sort of device on the market which can detect a referee whistle and then trigger a small light within a player's helmet. This way the hearing impaired player can know when the play has stopped.
I'm hunted around a little online, but haven't had much success. Anyone out there know of where I could find something like this?
Michigan State University
12-11-2000, 11:43 PM
I'm not sure where you can go about finding a device, but I'm just offering you some insight. A friend of mine knows a family with a similar situation; everyone in the family is deaf and one of the sons who is 12 years old plays hockey. As a matter of fact, he'll be joining the in-house league I direct in the winter season.
Evidently, hearing-impared people develop an uncanny feel for their surroundings and what is going on about them. I've been told that the kid can immediately sense when a whistle has blown by body language of the players and spectators, among other things. He can tell when people are around him and approaching him, such as from behind. He can sense where people are in relation to himself, which unfortunately even able-bodied kids sometimes have a hard time doing ("Center the puck..... CENTER THE PUCK!!!!!")
I don't know if you already have, but I would check to see if the situation is similar for this person. Perhaps they already have the device built in to themselves that is more comfortable than any technological contraption.
12-12-2000, 12:40 AM
the best thing to do is contact USA Hockey. If anyone knows anything about it I am sure they do. Good Luck!
There is a 10 year old deaf boy that plays ice here at the "A" level and currently they are not using anything special.
The refs are advised at the start of the game and so far they have been patient with the little things like shots on net after the whistle on off sides etc.
There was talk of using a strobe type light but it hasn't happened yet. If you feel the need is there, you can try a flash unit off of a 35mm SLR type camera, one with a test button. The ref could carry it or someone could be designated to flash it on a whistle. The light produced should be more than enough for someone who's visual senses are adjusted to compensate for a loss of hearing.
PS. This is his first year of full contact and last I heard he's doing fine.
12-13-2000, 09:02 AM
Guys, thanks for all your comments so far. I'll be passing them on to my dad to give to his friend. Thanks again!
Michigan State University
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