“Warning sirens? What good do they do for the 10% of the population that is deaf or hard-of-hearing? I was incensed a year or two ago when the Mayor announced, with great pride, the siren system. No concern was given for this population.”
I recalled that when we lived in Illinois, the county had initiated, I believe, a kind of reverse 911 whereby hearing-impaired individuals and others with special needs would be notified in emergencies via TTY. I pulled up a link to Gallaudet University and found a round up of various ways deaf persons might be notified ranging from pagers to a radio with a flashing strobe light and an auditory signal as well. There’s even a pillow vibrator/bed shaker, which I swear I’m going to get for my sound sleeper son when he goes away to college next year. Being the “helicopter parent” that I am, I’ve been worried about how is he going to wake up and make it up for class without me to yell at him. The Sonic Boom alarmclock and bed shaker should do the trick.
But Jay’s point is well-taken. We don’t have a very consistent way to notify this population, and more important, we hearing folks tend to have blinders on until advocates like Jay bring up another view.