Assistive Technologies For People Who Are Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing

Individuals who are hard of hearing or deaf have access to many systems and devices that help assist them with hearing sounds. Some of these devices assist them by visually conveying information, while other devices work by enhancing information through the use of auditory technology. These devices are used by both the young and old in various environments such as theaters, churches, hospitals, social gatherings, work and at home.

FM Systems

One type of assistive hearing device is an FM system. It’s used by an individual who is speaking. Their words are transmitted through FM radio signals and sent to just one person or a group of people. There are two separate kinds of FM systems. These include a sound field and a personal system. With a personal system, the FM signal is transmitted to one person who has a hearing aid or cochlear implant. The sound field option sends a transmission to more than one person. It utilizes special speakers that are strategically placed around an open space such as a classroom, cafeteria or auditorium.

Audio Induction Loop And Infrared Systems

These assistive technologies are designed to be used in large spaces such as theaters, religious institutions, and schools. An Infrared system works by utilizing an invisible light beam that carries sound directly to a person who has a cochlear implant or who is wearing a hearing aid.

The Audio Induction Loop system works differently via a cable that is worn by individuals or circled a room. It utilizes electromagnetic technology to transmit sound. The signal that is transmitted is sent to a telecoil, which is located in a headset, cochlear implant or hearing aid. To receive music from the audio loop, a person needs to switch their telecoil on.

Coupling Accessories

Besides FM systems, Audio Induction Loop systems, and Infrared systems, coupling accessories have been created that allow for connectivity to some different media devices such as smartphones, tablets, TVs and computers. There are a large number of accessories that have been created for cochlear implants or hearing aids that have the capability of connecting to different media devices. These can range from cables that plug directly into various devices and a cochlear implant or hearing aid to couplers that use wireless technology to transmit sound between different media devices and hearing aids.