Hear All About It: Using Tech for HI Learners

“Hearing in noise is one of the biggest challenges for children, and the improvement in speech recognition in noise provided by Dynamic FM is unparalleled by any other advanced noise-management technology.” —Jace Wolfe, PhD. Director of Audiology, Hearts for Hearing, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

This week our task was to research and write about one technology that could support students with a specific learning disability. The disability I chose to explore is hearing impairment and the technology tool I chose to focus on is a FM transmitter. I currently work in a school district that offers the only hearing-impaired program in the county, and I work with HI students in my classroom on a daily basis, so I felt it was relevant and fitting to research technologies that support learners with hearing loss. I chose to research the FM transmitter because it is a tool that I use daily but do not know much about. Also, since hearing impairment is such a complex disability, I focused specifically on auditory oral HI learners, which means they learned to speak instead of sign.

In my white paper response, Assisting Hearing Impaired Learners with Technology, you will read about hearing impairment, how FM transmitters work, and why FM transmitters provide the best source of support for HI learners in the classroom. I provide evidence that shows students living with hearing impairment benefit significantly when a FM transmitter is used in the classroom.

As an introduction to my paper, I created a Prezi and included a YouTube video (both below) that show how one common brand of FM transmitters, Phonak’s Inspiro is used in the classroom and how it supports learning.

***to view the Prezi you will need to click the link above not the image below***


Anderson, K.L., Goldstein, H. (2004). Speech Perception Benefits of FM and Infrared Devices to Children With Hearing Aids in a Typical Classroom. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 35, 169-184.

Berg, F.S., Blair, J.C., Benson, P.V. (1996). Classroom Acoustics: The Problem, Impact, and Solution. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 27, 16-20.

Clark, C. (1998). The role of assistive listening devices in the classroom. NETAC teacher tipsheet     Northeast Technical Assistance Center, Rochester Institute of Technology, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, 52 Lomb Memorial Dr., Rochester, NY 14623-5604. Tel: 716-475-6433   (Voice/TTY); Fax: 716-475-7660; e-mail: netac@rit.edu; Web sit(TRUNCATED). Retrieved from pro quest.

Lewis, D. (1994). Assistive Devices for Classroom Listening. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 70-83.

Thibodeau, L. (2004). Maximizing Communication via Hearing Assistance Technology: Plotting beyond the Audiogram! Special Issue: Assistive Listening Devices. Hearing Journal, 57, 46– 51.



One thought on “Hear All About It: Using Tech for HI Learners

  1. Kristen, as a former audio engineer I am familiar with assisted listening devices for theatrical performances and other large venues. The device you discuss that allows the student to use the device as a hearing aid and also have the teachers voice directly sent wirelessly is really interesting. The statistics from the Thibodeau study showing improvement in student performance is quite impressive. I think it would be interesting to see if these devices would have any impact on non-HI students with learning disorders. If you could easily switch the frequency to communicate to an individual student more privately, you could try and keep them on task with a few words that only they could hear. Very interesting blog and paper this week. Kudos for the Prezi, I cannot bring myself to take the time and actually finish one.

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