Birding with Hearing Impairments: How Technology Enhances the Experience for Erin Rollins-Pletsch

AI’s role in safeguarding avian species

Birding has always been a beloved hobby for many people, but the advent of bird sound identification apps has made it even more accessible to a wider range of individuals, including those with hearing loss. One such person who has benefited from this technology is Erin Rollins-Pletsch, a teacher who lost 80 percent of her hearing due to a rare disease about five years ago. Initially struggling to adjust to the quieter world around her, Rollins-Pletsch found solace in birding.

Living east of San Francisco, Rollins-Pletsch has found that focusing on birds helps her to let go of other distractions. Although she is unable to hear most bird calls, she uses the Merlin app on her smartphone to identify bird species by recording their songs. This technology allows her to track and appreciate various birds as they sing, providing her with a unique and enriching birding experience that she loves.

By using the Merlin app, Rollins-Pletsch is able to enjoy the beauty of birds in her backyard as she tends to her garden and bird feeders. This innovative tool helps her connect with nature, enhancing her birding experience despite her hearing impairment. The app reads out bird songs to her, allowing her to identify and appreciate different bird species even without being able to hear their calls. Overall, bird sound identification apps have opened up new possibilities for individuals like Rollins-Pletsch, making birding a more inclusive and enjoyable activity for everyone.

Birding has always been an excellent way for people to relax and unwind while spending time in nature. With the help of technology like Merlin app, individuals like Erin Rollins-Pletsch can fully enjoy the hobby without any limitations or barriers.

Leave a Reply