Hearing Augmentation in Learning Spaces: WiFi to phones / tablets a no no?

A revised Aus Standard has been released which comments on this as follows:

“The following are some of the reasons that smart phones or other wifi devices should not be required to be supplied by consumers who are deaf of hearing impaired:

(a) Consumers with hearing loss often use their mobile phone for SMS/text (not to hear on) and therefore do not own attachments as traditional attachments either are not loud enough or are not compatible with their hearing device(s).

(b) Some hearing devices have direct audio streaming receive capability. This is estimated at less than 1% of the hearing devices in use, although expected to increase over time.

(c) Hearing devices that directly receive streaming audio from their smart phone are generally much more expensive than equivalent hearing devices with streaming compatibility.

(d) In almost every case, to use the steaming facility on a hearing device, and application (commonly referred to as ‘apps’) is required, so a smart phone is required to be compatible with the application. People who rely on SMS only may use traditional mobile phones and not smart phones.

(e) People on low income may use traditional mobile phones and not smartphones”

For many stakeholders in the business of designing schools, this is a big spanner in the works.

For us it validates our long held view that asking anyone who is impaired to carry or wear something that rules of State Depts actively discourage, and stigmatizes learners, doesn’t make sense.

Let us help you do it better!