Assistive Listening Devices (ALD)
People with all types and degrees of hearing loss can benefit from an assistive listening device (ALD). Since the microphone of a typical hearing aid is worn on or behind your ear, its ability to enhance the talker-to-background noise ratio is limited. However, ALDs are designed to increase the loudness of a desired voice, such as a radio, television, or a public speaker, without increasing the background noise. This is because the microphone of the assistive listening device is placed close to the talker or device of interest, while the microphone of the hearing aid is always close to the listener.
Many types of ALDs are available for home use and large public facilities. Some ALDs include alarm clocks, TV listening systems, telephone amplifying devices, and auditorium-type assistive listening systems. Many newer devices are small, wireless, and compatible with a person’s digital hearing aids. Alarms and other home ALDs may be small devices that are placed discreetly on tables, next to the TV, or on the wall.
The ALD may be something small that is:
- Attached directly to the hearing aid.
- Activated through a program in the hearing aid.
- Worn around the neck and transmits sounds wirelessly to the hearing aids.
Candidates for ALDs
Assistive listening devices (ALDs) are not only for people who use hearing aids. Individuals with all degrees and types of hearing loss can benefit from these units. Even people with normal hearing can benefit from assistive listening devices. Some ALDs are used with hearing aids, whereas others are used without hearing aids. Suitable candidates for ALDs include individuals who:
- Suffer from mild to moderate sensorineural hearing deficit secondary to presbycusis, which is age-related hearing loss.
- Were previously exposed to loud noise over a long period of time.
- Have a genetic disorder that resulted in hearing problems.
- Suffered a head injury or ear trauma that rendered them hearing impaired.
Can you Relate to These Statements?
You may be an ideal candidate for an ALD if you relate to some or any of the following statements:
- I often have to strain to hear conversations.
- I am frustrated after struggling to carry on a conversation.
- I have to turn the television and radio up to maximum volume.
- I often accuse loved ones and friends of mumbling.
- I struggle to hear strangers who speak to me.
- I often have to ask people to repeat themselves because I don't understand what they say.
- People accuse me of speaking loudly when I talk.
- I can hear better out of one ear than the other one.
- When someone is talking, it sounds like their words are jumbled together.
People who need ALDs are not just senior citizens. Rather, the age range varies from young children to older adults, as well as adults with disabilities. If your hearing is significantly impaired, an ALD may be just the type of assistance you need to communicate with the people around you.
Types of ALDs
There are numerous ALDs available today, from sophisticated systems used in theaters and auditoriums to small personal systems used by the individual in his or her daily life. ALDs allow a person to hear others speak and participate in conversations.
Personal Listening Systems
There are several types of personal listening systems available. All are designed to carry sound from the speaker (or other source) directly to the listener and to minimize or eliminate environmental noises. Some of these systems, such as auditory trainers, are designed for classroom or small group use. Personal frequency modulated (FM) systems and personal amplifiers are especially helpful for one-to-one conversations in places, such as automobiles, meeting rooms, and restaurants.
TV Listening Systems
TV listening systems are designed for hearing the TV, radio, or stereo without interference from surrounding noise or the need to use excessively high volume. Models of TV listening systems are available for use with or without hearing aids. These systems allow the family to set the volume of the TV, while the user adjusts only the volume of his or her own hearing requirements.
Direct Audio Input Hearing Aids
Direct audio input hearing aids are hearing devices with direct audio input connections, which are usually wires. These wires can be connected to the TV, stereo, and radio, as well as to microphones, auditory trainers, personal FM systems, and other assistive devices.
Telephone Amplifying Devices
Most, but not all, standard telephone receivers can be used with hearing aids. These phones are called “hearing aid compatible.” The option on the hearing aid to be utilized with landline phones is called the T-Coil. The T-coil is automatically activated on some hearing aids and manually activated on others. Basically, the telephone and the hearing aid’s T-coil communicate with each other electromagnetically, allowing the hearing aid to be used at a comfortable volume without feedback and with minimal background noise.
You should be able to get a hearing-aid-compatible telephone amplifying device from your phone company or almost any retail store that sells telephones. Not all hearing aids have “T” switch technology. Make sure your hearing aids have a T-coil switch before purchasing a new hearing-aid-compatible phone! There are dozens of T-coil and telephone coupling systems. Speak with your Hearing Health Care Provider to get the most appropriate system for your needs.
Modern hearing aids can be used with most cell phones. Importantly, digital hearing aids and digital phones may create constant noise or distortion. There may be significant problems for some hearing aids when used with particular cell phones. Regarding “hands free” cell phone systems, there are many from which to choose, and hearing-impaired users usually benefit maximally by using binaural hands-free systems.
Speak with your hearing specialist before you buy a cell phone or hearing aids.
Candidates for ALDs
Are ALDs Only for People Using Hearing Aids?
No. People with all degrees and types of hearing loss — even people with normal hearing can benefit from assistive listening devices. Some assistive listening devices are used with hearing aids; some are used without hearing aids.
Difficulty hearing on the phone?
Do you or someone you know have trouble hearing on the telephone? With CaptionCall you can understand every word of every phone call. Its large, easy-to-read screen quickly displays written captions of what your callers say. Hearing on the phone just got easier with CaptionCall. Call (936) 632-2252 for more details.
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CaptionCall® is a revolutionary new telephone and service for anyone who has trouble hearing on the phone. While hearing loss affects millions of people for many different reasons – age, illness, injury, loud working conditions, and military service among them – it doesn’t have to limit the quality of their phone conversations. With CaptionCall, it’s easy to communicate confidently with friends, family and colleagues.
Similar to captioned television, CaptionCall uses advanced technology and a communications assistant to quickly provide written captions of what callers say on a large, easy-to-read screen. It works like a regular telephone – simply dial and answer calls as usual – speak and listen using a phone handset like always. Plus, CaptionCall offers exceptional sound quality with audio and frequency settings that can be customized to each person's hearing loss.
Features of Our Captioned Telephone
This state-of-the-art yet surprisingly simple telephone empowers you to communicate more confidently with friends, family, or coworkers. With the CaptionCall phone, you’ll enjoy:
Large text – 7" screen with adjustable text sizes makes it easy to read every word of every call.
Location flexibility – set up your phone using a wired or wireless internet connection.
Touch to call – make calls quickly and easily with a simple touch of the screen.
Saved conversations – You can choose to save the captioning from conversations for later review.
Customizable audio – easily adjust ringer and handset volume - also customize frequency amplification.
Saved volume settings – Volume settings can be customized and saved to provide the best experience on every call.
Telecoil loop connection – for hearing aids with a telecoil option. Secure captioning – enjoy a safe, encrypted FCC-regulated transcription process.
Mute Button – Mute outgoing audio.
Visual Ringer – the CaptionCall phone screen can flash when the phone is ringing.
Every phone call, everywhere
CaptionCall is excited to announce our new iPad app—CaptionCall Mobile. CaptionCall Mobile enables people with hearing loss to make and receive captioned telephone calls from their iPad—so you understand every word of every call, everywhere.
Get CaptionCall Mobile
The CaptionCall Mobile application is FREE and available in the Apple App Store to download. Call us to get your CaptionCall Mobile number today!
CaptionCall Mobile requires a CaptionCall account, an Apple® iPad® 2 or later, and a Wi-Fi or cellular Internet connection.
To qualify for a FREE CaptionCall phone, contact our office to obtain certification that you have hearing loss and experience difficulty hearing on the phone.
To quality you must meet these three CaptionCall Requirements:
a. A hearing loss that necessitates the use of captioned telephone service.
b. An internet connection and a standard home phone connection
c. A Professional Certification Form certifying your hearing loss