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Old 22.04.2021, 09:04
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Language certificate with hearing loss?

A friend wishes to apply for a C permit and needs the language certificate.

Her German is good... but she is starting to experience a degree of hearing loss that makes the part of the test where you listen to a taped conversation very difficult.

Now, if one has full hearing loss one can apply for an exemption - but what about the case where hearing loss is not yet to that state?

She is not yet 'certifiably' deaf, is not disabled to the point where a doctor will write the necessary exemption, she simply can no longer hear certain registers, which makes a taped conversation very difficult, if not impossible, for her.

(Not a problem face to face - or barrier to integration in her everyday life - as she pretty much lip reads.)

She can pass the rest of the language test easily.

Do any of you know where she might go from here?


Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Old 22.04.2021, 09:39
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Re: Language certificate with hearing loss?

Has she contacted the language school to ask? Maybe they have an option. Maybe they can do a listening test spoken by a human.

Makes me wonder what one does if totally deaf - will they accept Swiss Sign language? They should!!
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Old 22.04.2021, 14:58
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Re: Language certificate with hearing loss?

I can give some advice from the 'hearing loss' perspective. First one would be - don't downplay the issue, life is so much easier when you don't need to put so much energy into listening. Every bit helps and counts.

One way for just the test is to try with headphones or personal amplifying devices, if her loss is 'just' ordinary type where she needs amplification in certain frequencies. Yes, other will be overamplified, but for one test, doable.

Or of course, hearing aids, which are more precise amplifying devices + have some more useful features.

There are also some combinations hearing aids + additional microphones that can help with situations where you cannot plug in your devices in the output device or in difficult situations eg noisy ones.

However, hearing aids are expensive.
But tech they offer now is insanely good and useful.
And with proper self-education you can get aids that give the best value for the money (eg not necessarily the most expensive ones)

I have a bit 'special' hearing loss where no amount of amplification can give me back some phonemes, my cochlea is damaged to the point it just cannot hear it, 'luckily' just on one side eg I have normal hearing on another ear. However I wear two aids + utilize external mics and bluetooth and the life is great again I don't need to lip read to follow many conversations/TV/youtube/podcasts anymore and if battery fails on good ear during the phone call, in German, I can finish it with the bad ear, brain is getting better and better in filling the gaps. Before I started with my new aids, that ear was basically useless, no comprehension of German language was possible on it. 9 months in, and a ton of streaming directly in both ears, or just bad one for training, and yeah, I can use it. Hard, but doable.

Feel free to PM/DM me if she decides to hear more about the options. Or, check http://hearingtracker.com/ forum to get a ton of info from many users (and you can also see bunch of my posts there as well)


About test tweaking besides loudness, maybe slowing down its speed is also possible.

Also, before test, I'd highly recommend good headphones and stream audiobooks and whatever in those ears, and force the brain to work. Also, use German media.
It takes some time, but only trained brain works.
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