Supplementing Hearing Aids
There are two primary categories of assistive technology that supplement the hearing aids: Assistive alerting devices and assistive listening devices.
- Assistive Alerting Devices are designed to respond to alarm situations and are used to let you know that some condition is occurring. This may include:
- Amplified ring on the telephone
- Flashing light on the doorbell or fire alarm
- Vibration of the bed for the fire alarm
- Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are designed to enable you to better understand sound and language in certain situations when the hearing aid is not enough. ALDs are amplification devices that can be used with or without hearing aids. There are ALDs that amplify sound for the telephone and television, and some are designed to amplify sound in theaters, schools, and places of worship. This may include:
- FM System: incorporates the use of a microphone that transmits the voice of a speaker (parent, teacher, lecturer) directly to the listener’s ear wirelessly.
- Hard Wired: incorporates a microphone that is attached directly to the receiver by a thin cable. This system is useful for one-on-one communication.
- Infrared: is used in the home to amplify TV and in public for movies and theaters. As it is transmitted by an infrared light signal, similar to the remote control used for TVs and VCRs it requires a clear line-of-sight from transmitter to receiver.
- Induction Loop: uses a transmitter that is attached to a wire loop placed at the outer edge of a room or around the listener’s neck. The wire loop produces an electromagnetic field. Sound signals are then transmitted to the receiver. This system can be used at home for television or in a classroom.
- BlueTooth: uses low-power radio communications to wirelessly link phones, computers and other network devices over short distances.