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Assistive Devices for People with Hearing Loss

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In a previous post I talked about alternatives to hearing aids. Many of the devices I discussed were personal amplification systems or FM systems. Let’s talk now about some of the other assistive devices available to help those with hearing loss.

First, a variety of FM systems are available for listeners who need additional help hearing in background noise. FM systems are easily paired with hearing aids. Many churches and theaters have FM units available for listeners to use.

Churches, theaters, libraries and many other public buildings such as banks may offer another type of assistive technology, the induction loop ( These buildings have a special loop wire installed. The speaker’s message is picked up by a microphone system and transmitted as an electromagnetic signal to the induction loop wire.

Listeners pick up the electromagnetic signal and hear the speaker’s message by wearing a special receiver or selecting the telecoil (“t-coil”) setting on their hearing aids. Look for the symbol below to identify buildings fitted with a hearing loop system.

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Other devices, such as amplified telephones and television amplifiers, help in specific listening situations. Safety devices such as amplified smoke detectors and alarm clocks are also useful.

A variety of websites make assistive listening technology available. A few are listed below.


References and Resources




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