Many deaf people use these devices to help them function in life. They are listed alphabetically, and for your own information. One can use some of these devices in the classrooms, but they are costly. Deaf students may bring their own to share with the class to explain what they are and how they use them.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALD's)
Assistive listening devices (ALD's) are usually used by hard of hearing people who uses hearing aids and by some deaf people who uses cochlear implants. They are sometimes called FM units. They are used to reduce background noises and to focus on the speaker's voice. A speaker wears a microphone where the sounds transmits through the FM waves to the receiver that is connected to the hearing aid or cochlear implant which the deaf or hard of hearing person is wearing. For more information this Web site, http://www.hearinglossweb.com/tech/ald/ald.htm, clearly explains the products and how they work.
Clocks & Wake Up Alarm Systems
Hearing people wake up to the sound of a buzzer or the sound of a radio every morning. How do deaf people wake up? They have a choice of waking up to flashing lights, vibrating beds or both. The clocks work similar to regular clocks, except they connect to the lamps and the vibrating devices. To see a variety of products available, go to http://www.harriscomm.com and http://www.azhearing.com.
Closed captioning is the text that goes on the bottom of the television screen to inform deaf people of what is being said on television. It started in 1979 with a handful of television programs captioned. Now most of the television programming is captioned, and televisions that were produced after 1993 have a closed captioning chip that allows closed captioning without the use of an additional device. To see if the videotapes or programs are closed captioned, look for a small box with letters, CC, inside or a small box with a cartoon balloon dialogue marker. To find more about closed captioning videos, go to http://www.cfv.org or http://www.captions.org.
Cochlear Implants (CI's)
A cochlear implant (CI's) is a device that is implanted in the cochlea to bypass the natural ear mechanism and connect to the auditory nerve. It is usually placed in people with severe to profound hearing loss who show little to no benefit from hearing aids. This device is controversial in the deaf community, especially when it is implanted in young children. To learn more about CI's, go to http://deafness.about.com/od/cochlearimplants/Cochlear_Implants.htm. Also this Web site proves to be valuable, http://www.hearingexchange.com/blogs/.
Hearing aids come in many different sizes and shapes, from behind the ear to in the ear. They are only mechanical devices and only amplify all sounds to the person with a hearing loss. Depending upon the type of hearing loss the person may have, the sounds may have distortion and be too loud. To understand more about how the hearing aids work, go to http://deafness.about.com/od/hearingaids/Hearing_Aids.htm.
Text Telephones (TTY's) and Relay Systems
TTY's are the text telephones that deaf people use to communicate with others on the telephone. They look like a small typewriter with a small LCD screen and a cradle for the telephone receiver to sit on to receive the sounds as one types on the TTY. In order for a deaf person to call on the TTY, the person on the other end must have a TTY. Now, there is a relay system in every state, which the deaf person on the TTY can use to call anyone who does not have a TTY. The deaf person calls the relay service and gives the phone number he or she wishes to call to the operator. The operator dials that number and relays the information back and forth between the two parties. To see a variety of TTY's, go to http://www.harriscomm.com or http://www.azhearing.com and to learn more about relay systems, go to http://deafness.about.com/od/relayservices/Relay_Services.htm.
Visual Alert Signalers
To know if the phone is ringing, the doorbell is ringing, the baby is crying, the door buzzer is buzzing and other noises in the home, there are devices that alert the deaf person through flashing lights and sometimes vibrating beds (for nighttime). To see a variety of products, go to http://www.harriscomm.com and hhttp://www.assistech.com/.
This is a latest device that is specifically developed for deaf people. It is a wireless pager that allows the deaf person to send e-mails, faxes, pages, and call people who have TTY and through relay. They also can contact AAA for emergency roadside assistance. Wyndtell is the company who manufactures this type of device. To see what they look like, go to http://www.i711.com/wireless/.