Assistive Technology

Assistive Listening Devices are a broad category of electronic devices other than hearing aids, designed to help deaf and hard of hearing people hear or become aware of sounds around them. Some of the more widely used categories of devices include:

Alerting Devices

  • Vibrating medication alerting/dispensing systems
  • Baby monitor
  • Sound notification systems: This is a large category of devices designed to alert deaf and hard of hearing people to one or many sounds such as a doorbell, motion sensory security system, knock sensor, TTY/phone, smoke detectors, etc.
  • Vibrating or light flashing alarm clocks
  • Severe weather alerting systems
  • Vibrating pager

Assistive Listening Devices

  • Television amplifiers (FM and infrared)
  • Personal amplifiers (look like a walkman and amplify speech and environmental sounds)
  • Soundfield amplification systems
  • Group FM systems
  • Conference microphone (a microphone placed in the center of a table to amplify and transmit sound via FM signal to a person or FM receiver)
  • Vibrating pager

FM technology transmits sound over an FM radio wave the same way that radio stations transmit sound from their stations to your radio.

Infrared technology transmits sound over a light wave. This technology requires the absence of obstacles between the transmitter and receiver.

Telecoil or loop systems use a magnetic induction loop throughout a room. There are individual neckloops that can be hooked up to various electronic devices (there are also amplified and Bluetooth neckloops available).

Telecommunication Devices

  • Amplified phones
  • Captioned phones
  • Video phones
  • TTY (teletype) which transmits and received typed messages from one TTY user to another

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division's regional offices in Minnesota have many pieces of equipment available for demonstration but not for sale.
To establish a time to see
equipment demonstrated in the Minneapolis/St. Paul
metro area:
call 651-297-1316 or 651-297-131 (TTY) or
click here for other locations.

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    Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) refers to the practice of screening every newborn for hearing loss prior to hospital discharge. Infants not passing the screening receive diagnostic evaluation before three months of age and, when necessary, are enrolled in early intervention programs by six months of age. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) laws or voluntary compliance programs that screen hearing.

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