Hearing assistive technology systems (HATS) are systems designed to improve communication ability of individuals or to alert them to the presence of environmental sound. You may also hear them called assistive listening devices (ALDs). There are times when it is hard for any of us to hear. For individuals with hearing loss, it can be even harder. HATS can help! HATS can be used with or without hearing aids.
HATS address a number of problems:
- Inability to hear alerting devices
- Inability to use the telephone
- Inability to hear the television, radio or stereo
- Inability to communicate in a one-to-one or group settings because of problems understanding speech when there is background noise
During your communication evaluation, your audiologist will assess your unique hearing needs and work closely with you to create a treatment plan. Your treatment plan may include the use of HATS.
Some examples of HATS include:
- FM stands for frequency modulation. An FM system is like a tiny radio station with its own frequency. An FM system has a microphone and a receiver. The microphone is worn by the speaker and sends a signal to a receiver. You wear the receiver on your ears, on your hearing aids or as an accessory. This lets the speaker’s voice go directly to you, making it easier to hear.
- You can use an FM system almost anywhere. They are often used in classrooms, restaurants, meetings, nursing homes, theaters, museums and other large areas. In larger places, there is a built-in microphone in the sound system. Users get an FM receiver that they connect to their hearing aid. You may also receive a headset to wear.
Alerting devices connect to a doorbell, telephone or alarm and emit a loud sound, blinking light or vibration to let someone with hearing loss know that an event is taking place.
Examples of these include:
- Amplified smoke detectors
- Amplified alarm clocks
- Amplified doorbells
Amplified and Captioned Telephones:
- Amplified telephones amplify speech heard over the phone. They can be utilized with or without hearing aids. When amplification is not enough, captioned telephones allow you to carry on a spoken conversation, while providing a transcript of the other person’s words on a readout panel or computer screen.
- As a part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the federal government established a fund to give individuals with hearing loss access to captioned telephone service at no cost. As needed, Watauga Hearing can provide you with the information regarding this service.
- There are times when you want to hear just one person. A personal amplifier can help. The other person speaks into a microphone and the sound goes into your headset. This allows you talk to someone without shouting. These can be used in a variety of different places including hospital rooms, nursing homes or when riding in the car.
- Infrared systems use light waves to send sounds across a room. The system changes sound into light and sends them to a receiver. The receiver turns the light waves back into sound. The receiver can be in your hearing aid or worn alone.
- Infrared systems are often used at home with your TV. They are also used in larger places, like theaters. These systems let you hear the TV without turning the volume up too high. Others can watch the TV at a volume that is comfortable for them and you can watch it at a volume that is comfortable for you.
Call Watauga Hearing at (423) 928-1901 for more information or to schedule an appointment.