Overcoming hearing difficulties
Hearing aids are the most regular and convenient use of technology for people with hearing loss.
In addition, or instead of hearing aids, people with hearing loss can use other forms of technology to enhance listening and improve communication.
Just as important are alerting systems for emergency situations and for everyday convenience with door bells, alarm clocks and telephones.
Technology to assist hearing is known as ‘assistive technology’ and covers the following types of devices:
Auditory or assistive listening systems
To improve sound reception in the following contexts:
- One-on-one or group communication – using a wired system or frequency modulated (FM) device
- Telephone communication – amplifying the speaker’s voice or using the ‘speaker’ function on the phone
- TV devices using infrared or FM transmission to bring sound more directly to the listener:
- with hearing aids using a neck loop
- without hearing aids using a stethoset receiver, headphones or ear buds
- Some hearing aids use Bluetooth capability for TV, telephone and other listening
- Using the hearing aid telecoil with a neck loop plugged into radios, music and talking book players
- Using the hearing aid telecoil or headphones for listening in public venues equipped with audio induction loops or FM systems.
Displaying text in place of or in addition to sound in these contexts:
- Teletext to provide captions for TV (TV networks being obliged to offer this service under Equal Opportunity agreements)
- Realtime captioning for theatre performances, meetings and conferences
- Movie theatre captioning technology
- Telephone text as with telephone typewriters (TTYs) allowing text messaging to another TTY user or via the National Relay Service (NRS). The NRS also provides a speak and read service to a Uniphone (text phone) for speakers not hearing well on the phone
- CapTel phones being trialled provide more immediate text with voice via the NRS
- Mobile phone text messaging
- Flashing light/strobe light signalling to alert to the door bell, telephone ring, baby cry or smoke alarm.
Receiving a vibration response:
- Vibrating alarm clocks
- Wireless systems to provide a vibration response with a vibrating pager for alerting to the door bell, telephone ring, baby cry or smoke alarm
- Bed shakers for smoke alarm response.
For further information on technology that may help you, kindly contact us or your nearest provider.