Assistive Technology for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Assistive Technology for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Michael Fitzpatrick, Raschelle Theoharis
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-817-3.ch012
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Although the majority of deaf and hard of hearing (d/hh) students are educated in the public school system (Turnball, Turnball, & Wehmeyer, 2010) there is limited research and literature regarding how educators can effectively meet their educational needs by implementing assistive and instructional technologies into their curriculum. This chapter provides an overview of the various assistive and instructional technologies available to d/hh students and outlines how these students access and use technology. This chapter contributes to the fundamental ideal that integrating assistive and instructional technologies can greatly enhance the academic and social outcomes for d/hh students. It should be noted, that the Deaf community does not adhere to person first language because they do not view deafness as a disability but as a culture.
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In our society, technology rapidly changes our lives; this is particularly true within the deaf and hearing community (National Association of the Deaf, 2008). For example, less than two decades ago d/hh Americans had to rely on neighbors or relatives to make a simple phone call (National Association of the Deaf, 2008). However, the rapid advancements in technology have been vital for increasing the life outcomes of individuals with a hearing loss.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Telecomunication: Telecomunication device for the deaf (TDD, TT, TTY) are telephone devices for persons who are deaf or have a significant hearing loss in which messages are typed on a keyboard, transmitted, and displayed on a small monitor (Tye-Murray, 2009).

Relay System: Relay systems are used by individuals who are deaf or have a significant hearing loss to use the telephone. The individual contacts a relay operator who transmits messages between the caller and the person called through teletype and/or voice (Tye-Murray, 2009).

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was enacted to provide equal opportunity to individuals with disabilities (P.L. 101-336).

Behind-the-Ear (BTE): Behind-the-ear hearing aids contain a microphone, amplifier, and receiver that are all housed in the hearing aid case and fits behind the ear. Those parts are connected to custom earmold by a flexible tube (Schow & Nerbonne, 1996).

Hearing Aid: Hearing aids are an electronic listening device designed to amplify and deliver sound from the environment to the listener. The device includes a microphone, amplifier, and a receiver (Tye-Murray, 2009).

Audiogram: An audiogram is a graphic representation of a person’s ability to hear sounds at different frequencies and intensities (Schow & Nerbonne, 1996; Tye-Murray, 2009).

Prelingual: Prelingual is a hearing loss that occurs before an individual acquires spoken language (Paul & Quigley, 1990; Tye-Murray, 2009).

Postlingual: Postlingual is a hearing loss that occurs after an individual has acquired spoken language (Paul & Quigley, 1990; Tye-Murray, 2009).

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