mini Mini Microphone in school

Better hearing in the classroom with assistive listening devices (ALDs)

As a parent of a child with hearing loss, I understand the challenges that come with ensuring that your child receives the best possible education. Starting a new school can be a daunting experience for any child, but it can be especially challenging for a child with hearing loss.

If your child uses hearing aids or a CI and solo equipment, there are several things that you can do to help them succeed in their new school. In this article, I will provide you with tips and strategies that you can use to ensure that your child has a positive and successful school experience using assistive listening devices in the classroom. Please share this link with teachers.

mini Mini Microphone in school

16 Tips for Maximizing Solo Equipment Benefits in the Classroom

  1. Ensure Proper Functionality: Regularly check and maintain the solo equipment to ensure optimal performance.
  2. Clear Communication: Speak clearly and face the student when providing instructions or explanations.
  3. Position the Microphone: Wear the microphone consistently in a location that maximizes its effectiveness, such as around the neck or with a clothing clip.
  4. Encourage Questions: Create an open environment where the student feels comfortable asking questions to clarify any information they may have missed.
  5. Use Visual Aids: Supplement verbal information with visual aids to enhance understanding and provide additional context.
  6. Limit Background Noise: Minimize unnecessary background noise during lessons to enhance the student’s ability to focus on the instructor’s voice.
  7. Designate Talk Times: Encourage the use of solo equipment specifically during class-wide explanations or discussions for optimal benefit.
  8. Provide Clear Instructions: Clearly outline tasks and assignments, ensuring the student understands expectations to promote independent work.
  9. Support Peer Awareness: Foster an understanding among classmates about the solo equipment’s purpose and encourage cooperation in group activities.
  10. Flexible Use: Recognize situations where the solo equipment may not be necessary, such as during independent work or non-verbal activities. Encourage the student to use discretion.
  11. Remind About the Minimic: Sometimes students forget to give their Minimic; both teacher and student can remind each other.
  12. Safely Store the Minimic: If the Minimic is left behind after class, store it safely and inform the student.
  13. Observe After Class-wide Explanations: If a student hasn’t fully understood class-wide explanations, allow them to observe others before starting, and check in with them afterward.
  14. Repeat Questions: When a question comes from the class, repeat it before answering, as the student may not have heard it well.
  15. Consider the Impact of Environmental Factors: Be aware that an open window or air conditioning may affect the student’s ability to hear.
  16. Provide Written Information: Alongside oral instructions, if possible, also write down important information (on the board) to support understanding.

These tips aim to create a supportive and inclusive classroom environment, ensuring that students with hearing loss can fully benefit from the use of solo equipment.

Watch the free instructional videos on SignLanguage101 to learn some basic signs you can use in the classroom.

How to prepare your child for their new school?

  1. Meet with the School Staff
    • Before your child starts their new school, it’s important to meet with the school staff to discuss your child’s hearing loss and any accommodations that they may need. This meeting should include the principal, teachers, and any other staff members who will be working with your child.
    • During this meeting, you should provide the staff with information about your child’s hearing loss, including the type of hearing aids and solo equipment that they use. You should also discuss any other accommodations that your child may need, such as preferential seating or note-taking assistance.
    • It’s important to establish open lines of communication with the school staff so that you can work together to ensure that your child’s needs are met.
  2. Prepare Your Child for Their New School
    • Starting a new school can be stressful for any child, but it can be especially challenging for a child with hearing loss. To help your child prepare for their new school, you should talk to them about what to expect and how to communicate their needs to their teachers and classmates.
    • You should also encourage your child to be an advocate for themselves and to speak up if they are having trouble hearing or understanding something. This will help them feel more confident and empowered in the classroom.
  3. Work with Teachers to Ensure That Your Child’s Needs Are Met
    • It’s important to work closely with your child’s teachers to ensure that their needs are being met in the classroom. This may include providing the teacher with information about your child’s hearing loss, such as the type of hearing aids and solo equipment that they use.
    • You should also discuss any accommodations that your child may need, such as preferential seating or note-taking assistance. It’s important to establish a plan with the teacher to ensure that your child’s needs are being met on an ongoing basis.

What are the types of assistive listening devices ALDs?

In the realm of assistive listening devices, a remarkable balance emerges between broadcasting information for collective accessibility and catering to individual needs. Modern Hearing Assistive Technology goes beyond universal transmission, seamlessly syncing with individual hearing aids or cochlear implants. This dual functionality ensures a personalized auditory experience, fostering inclusivity for all while addressing the unique needs of students with hearing loss.

mini mic Cochlear

Hearing Loops

A hearing loop, or induction loop, involves a wire loop that is installed around a room or a specific area. It works in conjunction with a telecoil (T-coil) in the user’s hearing aid or cochlear implant, converting magnetic signals into sound.


  • Provides direct sound to the user’s hearing device.
  • Reduces background noise, improving signal clarity.


  • Limited to users with T-coil compatible hearing aids.
  • Installation can be expensive.

Frequency-Modulated (FM) Systems

FM systems use radio signals to transmit sound from a microphone worn by the speaker to a receiver worn by the listener. The listener can use headphones or a direct connection to their hearing aid.


  • Portable and flexible for various listening environments.
  • Can be used with hearing aids or cochlear implants.


  • Susceptible to interference from other electronic devices.
  • Range limitations.

Infrared Systems

Infrared systems transmit sound using infrared light. A transmitter converts the audio signal into light waves picked up by a receiver worn by the listener. These systems are often used in situations where radio frequency interference is a concern.


  • Secure transmission as signals do not pass through walls.
  • No interference with radio frequencies.


  • Line-of-sight is required between the transmitter and receiver.
  • May not work well in outdoor or bright light settings.

Each type of ALD has its advantages and limitations, and the choice depends on factors such as the specific needs of the users, the classroom environment, and budget considerations. It’s essential to assess the requirements of individuals with hearing loss and the characteristics of the learning space to determine the most suitable assistive listening system.

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