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Assisted Listening Devices

Many hearing impaired individuals use assistive devices in their daily lives:

  • Individuals can communicate by telephone using Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD). These devices look like typewriters or word processors and transmit typed text over regular telephone lines. Other names in common use are textphone and minicom.
  • There are several new Telecommunications Relay Service technologies including IP Relay and captioned telephone technologies.
  • Mobile textphone devices came onto the market as of 2004, allowing simultaneous two way text communication.
  • Videophones and similar video technologies can be used for distance communication using sign language. Video conferencing technologies permit signed conversations as well as permitting a sign language-English interpreter to voice and sign conversations between a hearing impaired person and that person's hearing party, negating the use of a TTY device or computer keyboard.
  • Video Relay Service and Video Remote Interpreting services also use a third-party telecommunication service to allow a deaf or hard-of-hearing person to communicate quickly and conveniently with a hearing person, through a sign language interpreter.
  • In the U.S., the UK, the Netherlands and many other western countries there are Telecommunications Relay Services so that a hearing impaired person can communicate over the phone with a hearing person via a human translator. Wireless, internet and mobile phone/SMS text messaging are beginning to take over the role of the TDD.
  • Phone captioning is a service in which a hearing person's speech is captioned by a third party, enabling a hearing impaired person to conduct a conversation with a hearing person over the phone.
  • Hearing dogs are a specific type of assistance dog specifically selected and trained to assist the deaf and hearing impaired by alerting their handler to important sounds, such as doorbells, smoke alarms, ringing telephones, or alarm clocks.
  • Other assistive devices include those that use flashing lights to signal events such as a ringing telephone, a doorbell, or a fire alarm.
  • The advent of the Internet's World Wide Web and closed captioning has given the hearing impaired unprecedented access to information. Electronic mail and online chat have reduced the need for deaf and hard-of-hearing people to use a third-party Telecommunications Relay Service in order to communicate with the hearing and other hearing impaired people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearing_impairment#Management

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