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What are Assistive Listening Devices

  • Published: 2009-01-17 (Revised/Updated 2009-01-22) : Val Bedard.
  • Synopsis: Besides hearing aids there are many assistive listening devices that can help you hear with or without your hearing aid.

Main Document

Besides hearing aids, there are many assistive listening devices that can help you hear with or without your hearing aid. You can make your life easier by getting a loud ringer or a light on your telephone in case you don't hear the ringing telephone.

Besides hearing aids, there are many assistive listening devices that can help you hear with or without your hearing aid. You can make your life easier by getting a loud ringer or a light on your telephone in case you don't hear the ringing telephone.

An alerter device can be attached to a lamp so that when the doorbell rings or the smoke detector is activated, the alerter device causes the lamp to flash thus bringing it to your attention.

You can have an infrared system installed on your television which transmits a signal to a receiver that you wear allowing you to hear every word on the TV at a volume that is comfortable for you. People will enjoy watching TV with you. No more leaving the room because the volume is too loud on the TV!

I myself use several products in my everyday life.

Along with my hearing aids, I use a product to help me talk on the telephone by amplifying the volume of the speaker's voice. I also have a personal amplification device which is great as it is portable and fits nicely in my purse. I also have used a personal FM system when taking courses which allows me to sit anywhere in the classroom and I can hear the instructor/teacher beautifully.

When giving presentations I use a personal amplification device which amplifies my voice so that my audience can hear me without having to strain my voice. Teachers love this product. I could go on and on about all the terrific products that are "out there" in today's market! As I often use these products in my business life as well as my personal life, I am so grateful to those great minds that invented them in the first place. Without them, I would not be doing as well as I am.

These devices work by bringing the source of sound directly to your ears.

Sound traveling across a room sometimes fade over distance, reverberate around the room, bounce off bare floors which make it difficult for someone with a hearing loss to hear. By bringing the sound directly to the listener allows for a good and clear sound for easy understanding. Communication is after all when the speaker and the listener are able to hear and understand each other.

When watching TV I use a personal listening device which sends an infrared signal across the room to my receiver which picks up the signal and converts it to sound. I have watched movies and shows that I saw when I was a child and because I can hear all the dialog properly, I have gained an understanding so it's like I never saw the show or movie before. How wonderful!

The farther away you are from the source of sound, the lower the sound volume is in your ears.

This distance can be eliminated by the use of assistive listening devices which is why they are so useful along with your hearing aid. Background noise can be reduced or even eliminated so that you hear a clear sound. How wonderful is that! You alone control your volume so you are not at the mercy of echoes or being too far from the person speaking. An assistive listening device is not a substitute for hearing aids but is a supplement to them. However, if you do not have a hearing aid, you can still use these products.

Technology can be and is our friend when it comes to helping us deal with our hearing loss. It is very exciting to learn about devices that can amplify sound and allows you control your own volume. I can control my environment when I am using these devices to help me in a "hearing" world.

Reference: Val Bedard has a profound hearing loss since birth. She owns her own business Hear Well Services Ltd., sells assistive listening devices for the hearing impaired, can be reached via email at or by telephone at 1-888-549-2092.

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