Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are specific tools to help ease the common sources of frustration for people with hearing loss. ALDs are designed to making hearing easier by working directly with phones, televisions, and other electronics. There are also various models that amplify ambient sounds and can often work in conjunction with your hearing aids. Many people used ALDs to make hearing easier at work, on the phone, or in specific environments that need an additional boost.
You may have certain communication needs that cannot be solved using hearing aids alone. These situations may involve the use of the telephone, radio, television, and the inability to hear the door chime, telephone bell, and alarm clock.
Special devices can make sounds louder. Typically, a hearing aid makes all sounds in the environment louder. Assistive listening devices minimize or eliminate environmental noises.
Personal Listening Systems
Designed to carry sound directly to the listener. Includes FM systems and personal amplifiers.
TV Listening Systems
Designed for listening to TV, radio, or stereo without interference from surrounding noise.
Direct Audio Input Hearing Aids
Can be connected to the TV, stereo, tape and/or radio, microphones, auditory trainers, and personal FM devices.
Telephone Amplifying Devices
Telephones that are “hearing aid compatible”.
Professional musician monitors are designed for live concert sound reinforcement, film and/or video production. They work with any wireless or hardwired receiver for stereo, binaural or monaural sound quality.
Ear Molds: Swim Molds
People who do not want water in their ear canals can have floatable swimmer’s earplugs made of a water resistant material for either shower or swimming use.
Facts On Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
Each type of ALD has advantages and disadvantages. The type of ALD appropriate for an application depends on the characteristics of the setting, the nature of the program, and the intended audience.
ALDs may be installed in large areas, portable for personal use, or in the case of FM systems, built into a hearing aid.
ALDs are an example of auxiliary aids and services and reasonable accommodations required by the Americans with Disabilities act (ADA) to be provided by public facilities, state and local governments, and employers, to enable people with hearing loss to participate in their programs and services.
ALDs typically have not been covered by any public or private health insurance plans and are not available in mainstream retail outlets. Most ALDs must be purchased through catalogs of ALD distributors or from some hearing health professionals. Access, availability and therefore awareness of ALDs by consumers is a limiting factor to their acceptance and use.
Other assistive technology that can benefit people with hearing loss include alerting devices, such as special smoke detectors, doorbells, telephone ring signalers, telephones, and alarm clocks. These may produce loud signals, visual signals, or tactile signals. Captioning and CART (Computer Assisted Realtime Transcription) also provide great benefit.
Each type of ALD has its advantages and disadvantages and we’re skilled at walking you through your many options. Contact our office to see if ALDs are right for you.