Assistive Listening Devices

Modern devices help you LIVE more fully.

Today’s powerful, but discrete assistive listening devices are helping people like you with hearing loss reconnect with so much that they have been missing.

If you’re not familiar with assistive listening devices, we hope this  overview will answer any questions you may have.

What Are Assistive Listening Devices?

The terms “assistive listening device” and “assistive technology” can refer to any device that helps a person with hearing loss or a voice, speech, or language disorder to communicate. These terms may refer to devices that help a person to hear and understand what is being said more clearly, as well as express thoughts more easily.

Hearing professionals use a variety of names to describe assistive devices, determined by the key intended function of the device:

  • Assistive listening devices (ALDs) help amplify the sounds you want to hear, especially where there’s a lot of background noise.
  • Augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC) help people with communication disorders to express themselves. These devices can range from a simple picture board to a computer program that synthesizes speech from text.
  • Alerting devices connect to a doorbell, telephone, or alarm that emits a loud sound or blinking light to let someone with hearing loss know that an event is taking place.

Where can I buy and shop for these devices?

We don’t sell these devices at Parker Hearing Institute, we buy from the distributor if we need them. You can shop their complete line at their website, click HERE.

Are There Assistive Listening Devices for Large Facilities?

Several types of ALDs are available to improve sound transmission in public places for people with hearing loss. Some are designed for large facilities such as classrooms, theaters, places of worship, and airports. ALD systems for large facilities include frequency-modulated (FM) systems, infrared systems, and hearing loop systems.

This logo informs people that a public area is looped.

What Is a Hearing Loop?
Hearing loop (or induction loop) systems use electromagnetic energy to transmit sound. A hearing loop system involves four parts:

  • A sound source, such as a public address system, microphone, or home TV or telephone
  • An amplifier
  • A thin loop of wire that encircles a room or branches out beneath carpeting and transmits the amplified sound

How Does a Hearing Loop System Work?
Amplified sound travels through the loop and creates an electromagnetic field that is picked up directly by a hearing loop receiver or a telecoil, a miniature wireless receiver that is built into many hearing aids and cochlear implants. For those who don’t have hearing aids with embedded telecoils, portable loop receivers may be used.

To pick up the signal, a listener must be wearing the receiver and be within or near the loop. Because the sound is picked up directly by the receiver, the sound is much clearer, without as much of the competing background noise associated with many listening environments.

At Parker Hearing Institute, we realize the benefits of looping and have our waiting room looped to the television, for comfortable TV listening.  Our main dispensing room is also looped, so that you may receive a demonstration of how looping works.

For a list of locations in California and throughout the U.S., that have public hearing loops, please visit www.loopamerica.com/Loops.aspx

 

Other types of devices to explore:

  • Telecoil
  • FM System
  • Infrared System
  • Personal Amplifiers
  • Captioning Telephones
  • TV amplifiers
  • Alarm and Alert Devices
  • SHOP HERE for the above devices

 

Where can I read more about these technologies?

Visit the National Institute of Health by clicking HERE

Shop for assistive listening devices HERE.

Shop for TTY systems HERE.

 

Text messaging has also become a popular method of communication, skipping the relay service altogether.

Another system uses voice recognition software and an extensive library of video clips depicting American Sign Language to translate a signer’s words into text or computer-generated speech in real time. It is also able to translate spoken words back into sign language or text.

Finally, for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, captioned telephones allow you to carry on a spoken conversation, while providing a transcript of the other person’s words on a readout panel or computer screen as back-up.

What Types of Alerting Devices Are Available?

Alerting or alarm devices use sound, light, vibrations, or a combination of these techniques to let someone know when a particular event is occurring. Clocks and wake-up alarm systems allow a person to choose to wake up to flashing lights, horns, or a gentle shaking.

  • Visual alert signalers monitor a variety of household devices and other sounds, such as doorbells and telephones. When the phone rings, the visual alert signaler will be activated and will vibrate or flash a light to let people know. In addition, remote receivers placed around the house can alert a person from any room.
  • SHOP HERE for these devices
  • Portable vibrating pagers can let parents and caretakers know when a baby is crying. Some baby monitoring devices analyze a baby’s cry and light up a picture to indicate if the baby sounds hungry, bored, or sleepy.

Discover how assistive listening devices can help you better deal with your hearing loss. Call for a consult appointment, we can help you sort them out.

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