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|What to know about Hearing Assistive Technology (AT)|
The What, When, Who and Why to Using Hearing Assistive Technology
What is Hearing Assistive Technology? Many devices have been designed and developed for people with hearing loss. Such technology enhances sound, or substitutes sound with visual or tactile signals. Hearing AT can be helpful anywhere that effective communication is needed (e.g., at home, in schools, movies, theater, the workplace, hospitals, and on the telephone)
When do I need to use them? Listening needs vary with the situation and the level of hearing loss. Some challenging environments might be: restaurants, meetings, classes, houses of worship, social gatherings, public presentations, lectures, theatres, and home environments – TV, telephone, doorbell, smoke alarm, etc.
Who needs Hearing AT? Anyone who needs help with: face-to-face communication with others, enjoyment of electronic media (radio, stereo, television, movies, etc), telephone, and awareness of environmental sounds or similar situations.
For EDUCATION: encompasses children - young and old - who are participating as a student whether at the pre-school, elementary, middle/junior/high school levels as well as institutions for higher education. The following talking points are most applicable to students in grades preschool through high school.
Situations where a child might need assistive technology for hearing:
Commonly Asked Questions for a Student Who Has Hearing Aids / Cochlear Implants
If a student wears hearing aid(s) or a cochlear implant, they may still need additional HAT / sound amplification for particular situations or settings. A common question that is asked is how does the sound amplifications system work with hearings aids or cochlear implants? There are several things you will need to identify**:
*** It is always important to consult with the audiologist or manufacture for more specific details and special circumstances.
Low Tech / No Tech Solutions for Hearing Loss
Assistive technology for hearing is listed below. Most links go to ABLE Tech's Device Loan Inventory where you can borrow AT for a 6-week trial. Other links go directly to the manufacturer's or developer's website where you can further research, or purchase, the AT:
|Students with Hearing Needs & Possible Recommendations|
Case Study Forms – SETT Framework
Case Study #1:
Solution: The student wears hearing aids but needs additional assistance with lowering the noise-to-sound ratio in both scenarios. Wide area listening systems reduce the impact of background noise, poor acoustics and distance. Also consider other conditions impacting hearing like poor room acoustics and/or lighting, too much distance, and low visual access.
AT Recommendation: A solution would be a sound amplification device that accommodates wide area listening. The transmitter and receiver are two separate units: the speaker wears a microphone/transmitter and the signal is sent through FM, digital, infrared, or induction loop to the receiver. The listener wears 1) the receiver that captures the signal, and 2) either earbuds, headphones, or a neckloop that couples with the Telecoil of the hearing aid/cochlear implant.
Case Study #2:
Solution: Provide supplemental AT that enhances the sound the student's hearing aids receive in the classroom and when using a computer. As always, consider other conditions impacting hearing like poor room acoustics and/or lighting, too much distance, and low visual access.
AT Recommendation: A solution would be a sound amplification device that accommodates his hearing aids for wide-area listening as well as computer sound or video content on the computer. Ideally, the transmitter and receiver are two separate units: the speaker wears a microphone/transmitter and there are additional microphones in the classroom to capture peer discussion. The student wears a receiver that captures the sound coming from the microphone(s) to improve the sound and lessen noise. The receiver can be used with earbuds, headphones, neckloop and Telecoil, and, in some cases, hearing aids with an ear level attachment for the hearing aid. A consultation with an audiologist is encouraged when a student wears hearing aids.
The receiver can also be used to plug directly into the audio output of computer or video replay device in the same way headphones are plugged in.
The following resources are from the OK Funding for AT and specifically give guidance on providing assistive technology for hearing devices to those with disabilities in Oklahoma: