Hearing

Hearing

Hearing Assistive Technology - the What, When, Who and Why

Child wearing hearing aid in classWhat is Hearing Assistive Technology? Many devices have been designed and developed for people with hearing loss. Such technology enhances sound, or substitutes sound with visual or tactile signals. Hearing AT can be helpful anywhere that effective communication is needed (e.g., at home, in schools, movies, theater, the workplace, hospitals, and on the telephone)

When do I need to use them? Listening needs vary with the situation and the level of hearing loss. Some challenging environments might be: restaurants, meetings, classes, houses of worship, social gatherings, public presentations, lectures, theaters
, and home environments – TV, telephone, doorbell, smoke alarm, etc.

Who needs Hearing AT? Anyone who needs help with: face-to-face communication with others, enjoyment of electronic media (radio, stereo, television, movies, etc), telephone, and awareness of environmental sounds or similar situations.

Why aren’t hearing aids / cochlear implants enough? There can be environmental factors that further compromise your hearing: distance from the speaker, background noise, size and acoustics of the room.


Information on this page addresses Assistive Technology for people with hearing disabilities in...

EDUCATION   |  EMPLOYMENT  |  COMMUNITY LIVING
(click the titles above to jump to the content area)

For more information, please contact Shelley Gladden, Loan Coordinator,
at shelley.gladden@okstate.edu or 800-257-1705

EDUCATION

Three Hearing Images

Talking Points for Hearing Assistive Technology in Education

The category of Education encompasses children - young and old - who are participating as a student whether at the pre-school, elementary, middle/junior/high school levels as well as institutions for higher education. The following talking points are most applicable to students grades preschool through high school.

For children transitioning into the public school at age 3 - To ensure successful AT transitions for children turning 3 years old, it is important for any AT the child is currently using or may need to use in school, whether written into the child's Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or not, be incorporated into the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). You'll find this information in the Community section below.

For students transitioning into the community or employment settings upon high school graduation - To ensure successful AT transitions for students aging out of school services, it is important for any AT the student is currently using or may need to pursue employment outcomes, whether written into the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) or not, be incorporated into the student's Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). IPEs are developed through collaboration with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) using a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor. You'll find this information in the Employment section below.

Situations Where a Child Might Need Assistive Technology for Hearing:

School Environment

  • Teacher lectures
  • Small group activities
  • Classmate comments/engagement during lunch or play
  • Listening to computer tasks, audiobooks, or in-class movie

Socialization

  • Meeting with friends
  • Sports coaching
  • Music, games, TV
  • Groups and club activities

Family / Home Environment

  • Conversations at home
  • Meal time
  • In a stroller
  • At the park
  • In a car
  • Talking on the phone
  • Safety - smoke alarms, tornado siren, or other emergency alarm

Community

  • Church or Sunday School
  • Movie theater
  • Grocery store
  • Doctor's office
  • Plays or musicals
  • Dining out
  • Other family settings

Commonly Asked Questions for a Student Who Has Hearing Aids or Cochlear Implants

Please listen to this section and/or download a transcript here:  TXT format

Solutions for Students with Hearing Impairment
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Funding Sources for Students with Hearing Impairment

The following resources are from ABLE Tech's listing of OK Funding for AT and specifically give guidance on providing assistive technology for hearing devices to those with disabilities in Oklahoma:

EMPLOYMENT

Hearing AT for Employment

Talking Points for Computer Access Assistive Technology in Education

The category of Employment encompasses those people of working-age who are currently employed or who are seeking employment. The following talking points may be applicable to individuals with disabilities as well as employers. When matching a person to a piece of assistive technology, one can use the Human Activity Assistive Technology (HAAT) model. This model has been used below in the sample case studies.

For students transitioning into the community or employment settings upon high school graduation - To ensure successful AT transitions for students aging out of school services, it is important for any AT the student is currently using or may need to pursue employment outcomes, whether written into the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) or not, be incorporated into the student's Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). IPEs are developed through collaboration with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) using a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor.

Situations Where an Individual Might Need Assistive Technology for Hearing

Work Environment

  • Interview process
  • One to one meetings
  • Group meetings
  • Trainings in person and online
  • Daily tasks
  • Telecommunications – including customer service, conference calls, telephone on the road
  • Networking

Socialization

  • Work lunches
  • Social media
  • Telecommunications
  • Group and committee activities

Family / Home Environment

  • Talking on the phone
  • Paying bills
  • Safety - smoke alarms, tornado siren, or other emergency alarm
  • Preparing for work
  • Preparing meals
  • Waking up / alarm clock

Community

  • Doctor’s office
  • Shopping for essentials
  • Transportation to and from work
  • Healthy living activities: gym, outdoor activities

Commonly Asked Questions for an Individual Who Has Hearing Loss

Q - I am about to lose my job because of my hearing loss, what do I do?

A - Consider Vocational Rehabilitation for help with keeping or getting a job. You can find contact information in the funding section of this page.


Q - Are there any laws that help me get accommodation or prevent discrimination in the workplace based on disability?

A - Yes. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal laws that have provisions covering the workplace. The ADA, Title 1, requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee, unless such accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer. Reasonable accommodations include a wide variety of actions – making worksites accessible, modifying existing equipment providing new devices, modifying work schedules, restructuring jobs, reassigning an employee to a vacant position, and providing readers or interpreters.


Q - What is a Hearing Loop?

A - A hearing loop is a wire that circles a room and is connected to a sound system. The loop transmits the sound electromagnetically. The electromagnetic signal is then picked up by the telecoil in the hearing aid or cochlear implant.

To use a hearing loop, you flip on the t-switch on the hearing aid or cochlear implant to activate the telecoil. Usually, no additional receiver or equipment is needed. Using a telecoil and hearing loop together is seamless, cost-effective, unobtrusive, and you don't have to seek additional equipment. Hearing loops are also called audio-induction loops, audio loops, or loops. If your hearing aid doesn't have a telecoil, you will need a headset plugged into a loop receiver to achieve the same effect.

Q - Excerpt from HLAA Employment Toolkit: “Looking for a job, landing a job, and keeping a job can be difficult under the best of circumstances.

A - Whether you are a graduating student seeking employment for the first time, looking to change jobs, returning to the workplace after an absence, or you are concerned about keeping a job, you might find employment issues more challenging if you have a hearing loss. There are ways to be successful in the workplace with a hearing loss. Landing a good job, fitting into the workplace, and successfully advocating for the kind of accommodations that will make you a productive and valued employee can all be accomplished. But you need the right tools, do your homework, find out what’s right for you and for your employer, and find ways to successfully advocate for yourself.”


A - As a person with a hearing loss in the workplace, it’s your responsibility to know what works best for you and communicate that to your employer. Your employer is required to provide adjustments or modifications to enable you to perform successfully.

  • Pay attention to the situations where you do best and what causes the most difficulty – and why.
  • Maximize your residual hearing, using an Assistive Listening System (ALS) or Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) whenever possible.
  • Anticipate problems and seek to minimize them. Do you spend more time on the phone or in meetings? Webinars? Conference calls? What can you do to make each of these situations less stressful?

Solutions for Individuals with Hearing Impairments or Needs
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Funding Sources for Adults with Hearing Impairments

The following resources are from ABLE Tech's listing of OK Funding for AT and specifically give guidance on providing assistive technology for hearing devices to those with disabilities in Oklahoma:

COMMUNITY LIVING

Hearing Community Matrix

Talking Points for Assistive Technology for Hearing in Community Living

The category of Community Living encompasses infants and toddlers who are under the age of 3 and not yet in school, those people who were born with or have acquired an injury and are otherwise participating in community activities (not as students or employees) as well as those who are aging in the home.  The following talking points are applicable to individuals with disabilities as well as family members and others providing support and care to these individuals with disabilities.

Sometimes an individual will make it to adulthood and have the necessary assistive technology to participate in the community and at home.  When that is the case, these pages will show other considerations regarding accessibility and accommodations.  When the person requires additional tools to participate, the Human Activity Assistive Technology (HAAT) model will be used to show how an individual might best match up with a piece of AT to be used in the community and at home

For those children transitioning into the public school at age 3 - To ensure successful AT transitions for children turning 3 years old, it is important for any AT the child is currently using or may need to use in school, whether written into the child's Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or not, be incorporated into the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Link to Education section

Situations where an individual might need assistive technology for Hearing

Socialization

  • Lunches
  • Social media
  • Telecommunication
  • Social Activities - bridge club, coffee shop, play dates

Community

  • Doctor's office visits
  • Hospital
  • Shopping
  • Transportation to, and from, events
  • Volunteer activities
  • Entertainment - Movies, plays or musicals
  • Sports
  • Library
  • Religious activities - church, bible study
  • Eating Out

Family/Home Environment

  • Talking on the phone
  • Paying bills
  • TV/Radio
  • Doing chores
  • Games
  • Computer tasks/games
  • Safety - fire alarm, tornado, carbon monoxide

Commonly Asked Questions for a Person Who Has Hearing Loss - Impairment - Needs

Q - I have hearing aids – isn’t that enough?

A - Hearing Assistive Technology, or HAT as it is commonly referred to, is technology that can help in various listening situations.

Often, a hearing aid or an implant is not enough in certain situations. In such cases, there are technologies that are designed to help people with hearing loss. These are designed to enhance telephone communication, TV reception, ensure an effective smoke alarm, or listening in various kinds of public venues. Your hearing professional should evaluate your need for one or more of these devices and direct you to the appropriate vendor.

A Very Special Testimonial
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Solutions for Individuals with Hearing Loss - Impairment - Needs
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Funding Sources for Persons with Hearing Needs

The following resources are from ABLE Tech's listing of OK Funding for AT and specifically give guidance on providing assistive technology for hearing devices to those with disabilities in Oklahoma: