What is an Assistive Communication Device?
An assistive communication device is any device that improves communication or listening abilities. These can be special telephones that include captions on screens, FM systems which can improve hearing in noise, or bluetooth devices that connect to a cell phone, tablet, or television.
Who can benefit?
Adults and children with:
- Any degree of hearing loss
- Auditory Processing Disorders
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
Examples of Assistive Devices include:
- Captioned telephones
- These are phones that have screens and technology that transcribes speech to text, to allow a person who struggles with hearing on the phone to be able to read the conversation while they hear it. These phones are available from companies such as CapTel or CaptionCall. A variety of models are available for different needs.
- FM Systems
- These are systems that include a microphone that is paired with a receiver (usually a hearing aid). These are very popular in schools to allow children with hearing loss, auditory processing disorders, or autism spectrum disorders hear the teacher’s voice above all other distractions in the room. Adults who work in very dynamic or complicated listening environments also benefit from FM technology. There are multiple FM choices available through hearing aid manufacturers like Phonak.
- Many current hearing aids are equipped with the ability to connect to cell phones and tablets via bluetooth. This allows the user to stream phone calls or media through the hearing aids that are custom programmed to address a hearing loss. Some hearing aids are able to be paired directly to a phone or tablet for streaming, but some require the use of a streaming accessory to connect the aids to the device.