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Taking control of the morning

It’s important to give deaf children and young people the opportunity to wake up independently. Summer might be a good time to try out some deaf-friendly alarm clocks before school starts again!

Alarm clocks have long been the most popular product category on our  Technology Test Drive loan service. They can do so much more than just waking someone up! Reducing the stress of (repeatedly) making sure that your child is awake, an alarm clock can contribute to a more relaxed start to the day for the whole family. It can teach your child to be independent, take control of their own morning and help develop their time management and planning skills. The alarm clocks on our Technology Test Drive all have deaf-friendly features such as a vibrating pad to place in the bed, loud volume, or flashing lights. Mains powered alarm clocks often have stronger vibration but portable ones offer more freedom when it comes to holidays. Here we discuss some of our most popular alarm clocks.

Mains powered alarm clocks

Wake ‘n’ Shake Dynamite

The Dynamite is a new clock on our loan service, although we have several  others from the same manufacturer.
Key features:

  • Volume and tone can be changed and it can be quite loud!
  • Red flashing lights and a strong vibrating pad.
  • USB socket, so your teenager won’t have to choose between charging their phone and plugging in the alarm clock.
  • Three settings of display brightness.
  • 12 or 24 hour time formats.
  • Alarm goes off for up to one hour.
  • Can be snoozed between 5 and 60 minutes.

Sonic Bomb

The Sonic Bomb has been going strong for many years now. It’s an all-time favourite in the deaf community; a reliable clock, known to be indestructible. 
Key features:

  • Volume and tone can be changed.
  • Loud alarm and strong vibrating pad.
  • Small red flashing lights.
  • Five settings of display brightness.
  • 12 hour time format.
  • Alarm goes off for up to one hour.
  • Can be snoozed between 1 and 30 minutes.

Sonic Boom

The Sonic Boom is our only analogue alarm clock with a traditional clock face – so it could be a good way to help your child learn to tell the time.
Key features:

  • Volume and tone can be changed by dials.
  • Adjustable display backlight.
  • No flashing lights but has a pad that vibrates softly at first and gradually gets stronger, which could make waking up a bit less of a shock to the system!
  • Can be snoozed for four minutes.

Amplicomms TCL 410

The Amplicomms TCL 410 is a radio-controlled clock, so will automatically update to local time via a radio signal.
Key features:

  • Large display makes it particularly suitable for deaf children who are also vision-impaired.
  • Loud adjustable alarm with three different tone settings.
  • Vibrating pad and flashing strobe light.
  • USB socket.
  • Microphone that can pick up the sound of a nearby smoke alarm and alert  your child.
  • Three settings of display brightness.
  • 12 or 24 hour time formats.
  • Can be snoozed between 5 and 60 minutes.

Bellman & Symfon Visit alarm clock

The Visit alarm clock can be used as part of the Bellman & Symfon home alerting system to keep your child safe at night, for example by alerting them to the  smoke alarm.
Key features:

  • Loud volume that gradually gets louder and covers different frequencies.
  • Five settings of display brightness.
  • Nightlight.
  • Vibrating pad and flashing LED lights.
  • 12 or 24 hour time formats.
  • Snooze starts at nine minutes and gradually goes down to two minutes.

Portable alarm clocks

Wake ‘n’ Shake Voyager

The Voyager is a small alarm clock that runs on batteries.
Key features:

  • Fairly loud non-adjustable alarm (not as loud as mains powered ones).
  • Two sound and vibration settings.
  • The whole clock vibrates, so it can be placed under your child’s pillow like a vibrating pad.
  • Pillow clip stops it falling out of bed.
  • Buttons auto-lock so alarm isn’t accidentally changed.
  • Alarm goes off for one minute.
  • Can be snoozed

SmartShaker 2

The SmartShaker is the only ‘clock’ that doesn’t look like a clock. It’s a rechargeable vibrating disk with small speakers that connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth. It’s very popular with teenagers.
Key features:

  • Alarm can be set by a mobile phone app, which also shows how much battery the SmartShaker has left.
  • Different alarms can be set for different days of the week.
  • Alarm can be stopped or snoozed using the SmartShaker or mobile phone.
  • Three vibration settings and eight different fairly quiet ringtones.
  • Can be snoozed between 1 and 29 minutes.

(Families magazine Summer 2019)