Date of Degree

6-2020

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Au.D.

Program

Audiology

Advisor

Shlomo Silman

Subject Categories

Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology

Keywords

assistive listening device, hearing loss, hearing aid

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this research was to develop a guide on assistive listening devices (ALDs) describing the various types of ALDs, the basic underlying concepts, their advantages and disadvantages, the instrumentation and its components, and the setup and procedures for specification/evaluation of ALDs in accordance with national standards or guidelines issued by professional organizations in our field. This guide is intended for audiologists, hearing scientists, and audiology and hearing science students.

Method: A thorough review of the previous ALD literature including national and international standards for set-up and installation, specification/evaluation and verification of ALDs; guidelines from professional audiology and acoustic and hearing sciences organizations for ALD set-up and installation, specification/evaluation and verification; peer-reviewed studies on ALDs; text-book chapters and books on ALDs; and ALD websites from professional organizations.

Results: This guide was organized by ALD type, and was subcategorized by the basic underlying concepts, their advantages and disadvantages, the instrumentation and components, and the setup/installation and procedures for specification/evaluation and verification. A comparative analysis was also performed on the relative benefits of various ALDs in a real-word application setting.

Discussion: This guide demonstrates that ALDs facilitate communicative efficiency in persons with hearing loss in adverse listening environments. Selection of an appropriate ALD should be based on the intended system use and the intended listening environment. Appropriately selected and fitted ALDs help individuals detect environmental sounds or improve their speech recognition in specific listening settings. Also, ALDs can enable higher levels of communicative performance would be obtained with just the use of individual hearing technology alone.

Conclusion: The research findings demonstrate that ALDs improve audibility and overall listening benefit for individuals with hearing loss, especially those with compatible hearing technology. The guide can help one ensure optimal ALD performance to maximize communicative benefit; it serves as a resource for audiologists, hearing scientists, and audiology and hearing science students to develop a better understanding of topics related to ALDs; appropriate ALDs to recommend to persons with hearing loss for various listening situations; set-up and installation of ALDs; and evaluation and verification of ALD performance

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