Tech and tools in Deaf sports “It is not the physical ability to perform the task that separates Deaf from hearing athletes; it is the mode of communication,” said acclaimed Deaf athlete and coach, John Lui in his blog on techfinder.org.au. He goes on to say, “If all the information is effectively communicated to the student, whether they are hearing or Deaf, then they have the best chance to progress – that is the key and it holds true for any coach in any sport.” With that in mind, we have created a list for some of the tech and tools needed for effective communication in Deaf sports. Keeping score * Electronic scoreboards * Whiteboards or blackboards (also used for game plans, instructions during team meetings or at half time) Start/Stop * Flags (or basic gestures such as waving as visual equivalents to whistles or guns. For example, referee/starter puts an arm up, then down at the same time as the whistle/gun.) * Lights (flash on and off to gain attention. For swimming, lights on the side of the pool, under the swimmer are connected to the starters’ gun. When the gun is fired, the lights switch on to indicate the start of the race.) * Tactile stimulator (like a Fitbit) on wrist/ankle (as an equivalent to whistles or guns) Instructions * Live captioning or an Auslan interpreter if the coach is addressing a large seated group for a certain amount of time i.e. presentation * Pre-loaded videos on a tablet or smartphone with captioning and diagrams for when coaches are showing the players a video on what plays/tactics/exercises they want to execute or learn * Written game plans and instructions before games or training sessions (this could be in email with information and questions, or on a whiteboard or hand out) * Pen and paper, laptop, tablet and/or smartphone (for written notes) * FM system (to hear the umpire) * Portable loop system (around the bench and with the coach using the microphone) * Speech-to-text apps (used in smaller situations such as a brief one-on-one chat with the coach during training when hearing aids/cochlear implants have been taken off to avoid sweat/damage etc. Or if the coach gives the individual additional work to do outside of training, the player can record it on their dictation app and have it stored for when they go home.) Support for hearing devices: * Ear Band-It: Headband designed to protect the ears and hold ear plugs or ear moulds in place during water activities/sports. Worn over the cochlear implant processor or hearing aid to help prevent moisture damage and allow devices to remain stable. Note: wearing the Band-It will obstruct sound transmission and amplification of the hearing aid. For more information on Ear Band-Its, * Ear Gear: Protection for hearing aids and cochlear implants to prevent damage from dirt, moisture and protect from loss when playing sport. Note: will not alter the sound quality. For more information on Ear Gear, * Siemens Sport Clip: Attaches to a BTE hearing aid and locks onto the whole ear to help retain your device. The Aquaris fits with specific ear moulds to create a seal, which prevents water coming in, making it great for swimming. For more information on Siemens Sport Clip, For tips on participating in sports, To check out our shareable infographic, Have we missed any tech or tools used in Deaf sports? Or do you have a story you’d like to share about your Deaf sporting experience? Submit a blog or Auslan video and tell us about it.