Over 36 million Americans experience some degree of hearing loss, and hearing aids – small sound amplification devices worn inside or around a person’s ear – are one of the most common ways people manage it. Today, the need for hearing aids is growing as more people are diagnosed with hearing loss each year.
While there are many types of hearing aids and many causes of hearing loss, the purpose of a hearing aid is always the same: to amplify sound and improve the wearer’s quality of life. Hearing aids can vary in placement, features and pricing.

Tess Crowder, Executive Director of Communications Access, who fills in as a CART provider at our Chapter meetings is the past President of HLAA-Florida State Association.
She is sponsoring a Communication Access & Technology Expo in Tampa. Please stop by if the topics are of interest to you.
Saturday, November 12, 2016 – 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Hilton Hotel – 2225 Lois Avenue, Tampa, Florida
State-of-the art technology in assistive listening devices, hearing aids, cochlear implants, products, programs, and services for people with hearing loss.

Free Admission! Free Workshops! Free Door Prizes! Free Refreshments!
Workshop Schedule:
10:15 AM Self-Advocacy
11:00 AM Self-Empowerment
11:15 AM Real-time Captioning
12:00 PM CART Captioning
2:00 PM “Ask the Good Doctor” – Panel of Professionals

What is an assisted listening device?  The simple explanation is that ALD’s are devices that help you hear. Hearing aids and cochlear implants may be considered assisted listening devices, but this term usually refers to devices used in addition to hearing aids and cochlear implants. There are many categories of ALD’s such as: TV listening devices, telephone products, alerting devices, personal amplifiers, and large area systems for auditoriums and theaters such as FM, infrared and induction hearing loops.

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 vender.

Here is some basic information along with a brochure on hearing assistive devices

Have you ever had difficulty hearing or understanding:

  • in meetings?
  • in places of worship?
  • in theaters or movies?
  • in restaurants?
  • with shopping transactions like at a pharmacy or bank?
  • in public places such as airports or in municipal buildings?
  • In those situations, an assistive listening device can help.

Hearing assistive technology such as audio loops (or hearing loop), FM, and infrared systems are like binoculars for the ears and work with or without hearing aids. These are assistive listening devices that help get past the obstacles to hearing.

The audio or hearing loop is a wire that circles a room and is connected to the 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, one easily flips the telecoil switch on the hearing aid or cochlear implant. 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 out and obtain special extra equipment.

An infrared system uses invisible light beams to carry sound from the source to a personal receiver. (The sound source must be in the line of sight.) Different types of attachments may be connected to the personal receiver such as a neckloop or a behind-the-ear silhouette inductor. The telecoil then picks up sound from the receiver via the attachment.

An FM system works similarly, but sound is conveyed though radio waves to a personal receiver.

These devices help us to hear and understand better in many situations where acoustics are poor, background noise is bothersome, and there is a long distance from the speaker.

In public places such as theaters, listening systems are required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to make programs and services accessible. But, you must ask for the accommodation.