Communication Wake-Up CallBy Davis, Cheryl D.; Hearing Loss Magazine, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 10-12
Publication Date: March/April 2004
Article discusses the use of assistive listening devices (ALD), and how they can provide more effective listening environments for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The author contends that hearing aids may simply not be enough, as they typically amplify all sounds within roughly 20 feet of the wearer, making hearing in noisy environments extremely difficult. Directional microphones can help, but noisy group environments are still difficult. The simplest of the ADLs is the personal amplifier, such as the SoundWizard, Pocketalker, and SounDirector. These personal devices are pager-sized, single-unit amplifiers that have a jack for a microphone, a jack for headphones or other listening devices, and a volume control. The devices are battery-powered, and can be put in the center of a table or passed around a car. The microphone picks up the speakers’ voices, and the individual who is hard of hearing can turn up the volume coming through his or her headphones. The devices are portable, easy to use, and relatively inexpensive. They are most useful for one-on-one meetings, as well as small groups and social visits. There are several coupling devices available that can be used to get the sound from the ALD to the ear. Headphones and earbuds provide a similar experience to wearing a walkman. Telecoils are another option. Instead of picking up acoustic sound waves the way a microphone does, the hearing aid telecoil picks up the sound being transmitted through an electromagnetic field. The hearing aid then amplifies the signal according to the user’s hearing ad prescription, coverts it to acoustic sound waves, and sends the amplified sound into the ear canal. Neckloops can be used as a coupling option with hearing aids with telecoils. A Neckloop is a loop of coated wire worn around the neck like a necklace and plugged into the receiver in the same place headphones would normally go. Silhouettes are another option, as they look like flattened, behind-the-ear hearing aids that hook over the ear. They are closer to the hearing aid than a neckloop, so they provide a much stronger signal.
Assistive Products Discussed: POCKETALKER (MODEL 10020)
SOUNDIRECTOR PERSONAL AMPLIFIER SYSTEM 3
Published by: Hearing Loss Association of America (formerly Self Help for Hard of Hearing People) (Website:http://www.hearingloss.org)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J47285