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Technology & Tools for the Hearing Impaired



Hearing impairment can be a very frustrating condition. Whatever the cause for the partial or total loss of hearing, it can make communicating, and everyday life, very difficult. The disability can even affect the hearing-impaired person’s self-esteem, but as the world continues to make technological advances there are many ways than the typical hearing aid to help bridge the gap in hearing a little bit better – and in more ways than you’d think.

Today there are many options for people with a hearing impairment  – with a wide range for people in every aspect of their life.

In the Learning Environment

For students, and even those participating in a work meeting, there have been technological advances to help hear and understand what discussions in large lecture-style meetings.

FM Systems: FM Systems allows the hearing-impaired student to receive audible transmission as if the teacher was speaking directly to him or her in a private conversation. The two-piece, the technological device is worn by both the hearing impaired person and the instructor. The teacher wears a microphone that transmits directly to the device worn by the hearing impaired, either on their clothes or it can connect directly to their hearing aid. This device can make a serious impact on the hearing impaired and works best in a range of between thirty to two-hundred feet. Perfect for a college student in a lecture situation.

C-Print: C-Print is another great tool for hearing-impaired students in your life. Developed by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), the C-Print is a technological device that takes speech and turns it into written text for the hearing impaired user. This is a wonderful tool for a deaf or hearing impaired person in a learning situation. The C-Print displays the text in real-time which is especially helpful for those who are hearing impaired.

Waking Up

The alarm clock is something most people find the necessary evil. It is the annoying machine that helps awake us for the morning so we can get where we need to on time. However, for the hearing impaired this simple, annoying machine is oftentimes not enough to help them awake. Fortunately, there is a wide range of alarm clocks that are geared to help those with a hearing disability. The special alarm clocks have alarm amplification, and many also come with a wireless vibration option to help physically awaken the hearing impaired from their slumber.

Enjoying Leisure Time

In America, music and television are often how many of us spend our leisure time – this however is a past time that the hearing impaired have a difficult time enjoying. There are tools available to help them enjoy this little piece of normalcy. Portable speakers, headphones, and earbuds provide enough amplification for the hearing impaired to relax and enjoy watching television, as well as listening to their favorite music.

Emergency & Safety Precautions

Perhaps the most important devices made for the deaf and hearing-impaired are the alert systems available; especially if they happen to live alone. The everyday safety precautions of carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, and even door alarms are made and available for those living with hearing impairments. They help transmit an alarm to the individual to alert them that danger is present, so they have the time and understanding that they must seek safety immediately. Also falling in the alert category is a baby alarm, which allows the hearing impaired parent to know their baby needs attention. Most of these devices connect to transmitters to help alert the hearing impaired person.