Hearing Augmentation Solutions
Laws and rules about hearing augmentation have evolved. This is a blend of Federal Building Code, Anti Discrimination legislation, and State and Diocesan rules about building new schools and refurbishing existing ones. Just like rules pertaining to wheelchair ramps, ambulant toilets and the like, there are rules pertaining to hearing augmentation.
UConnect and HearAssist offer modern, compliant, agnostic solutions
Hearing augmentation means collecting (at least) inbuilt amplified audio and allowing its transmission to receivers on hearing aids. It’s not making audio louder. You can also transmit voices and other AV direct to receivers on hearing aids.
Solutions need to minimise stigma for hearing aided learners, teachers and visitors. And, they need to be as discreet, have a low footprint and make be easy and intuitive to operate.
No neck loops are required for students and no devices need to be carried by students.
Images taken at New Catholic Primary School: UConnect with 955/TCQ soundfield (capturing and transmitting voices and AV) and communal transmitter to current generation hearing aids. Tactile / Braille signs included.
Solutions need to be agnostic. You need to know any transmitter to hearing aids can be connected to UConnect, and any bundle will work if learners are supplied different and varying hearing aids and transmitters into the future.
Learner’s own transmitters can be connected or the School can maintain a communal supply. Or our SoundHouse has everything built in permanently.
UConnect is exclusive to Hear and Learn. It is a bespoke slimline wall plate with in-wall basket housing out of view all power supplies, cabling, connections and electronics. LockBox houses and powers transmitters to hearing aids, and microphones.
Most hearing augmentation technology that has been used in the past (and now in many cases) is redundant. Solutions that rely on induction / loop / T Switch / telecoil technology are NOT TOTALLY FUNCTIONAL.
Advice from Hearing Australia – that is, the Federal Government authority that supplies hearing aid packages to Australian children – is:
“It is true that some hearing aids don’t have a built-in T switch, and others have a T switch but the program is not activated. It’s not appropriate for them to have their devices on the telecoil program all the time, as there can be electromagnetic interference from fluorescent lighting, etc.”
UConnect does not rely on induction / Tswitch
UConnects comes premade for easy install. No additional wall plates or power outlets need be specified. Bespoke internal electronics make connection to PA signal, any local AV and Hear and Learn soundfield solutions easy, and transforms in to be ready for connection to hearing aid transmitters. PA Priority means other AV is muted when there is a PA signal.
Take a tour of a recent full install of a complete UConnect hearing aug and Redcat Soundfield installation.
We supply UConnect in different bundles. You can add soundfield so all audio including voices is captured and delivered evenly and gently throughout the whole learning space.
Learners own transmitters can be connected, or the School can maintain a communal supply. Compliant Braille tactile signage provided, and simple instructions supplied.
We deliver a training and commissioning program beyond handover to ensure technical developments are known and that support is available.
HearAssist is a program of face-to-face, email and telephone support provided by Hear and Learn. It involves two phases:
1. Commissioning post-installation involves
– Testing of UConnect systems with transmitters to hearing aids
– Testing of teacher mike systems and AV and speakers in the rooms
– Checking the installation of Braille tactile signage in learning spaces against regulations
– Liaison with the relevant Facilities Manager at the school
2. Ongoing training and education of staff
– At commissioning stage, we determine the Reception location and install there signage indicating that transmitters are charged and stored at that location
– We supply a Quick Guide to this area showing how to charge and maintain transmitters and personal loops.
– We liaise with these personnel:
Special needs person
Regional itinerant hearing impairment advisor
We explain to them how the technology works both verbally and by email over a 12-month period at least 6 times. This support can continue for up to 5 years.
For collection and augmentation of inbuilt amplified audio (PA and AV)
UConnect with Soundfield in rooms of any size and any ceiling type.
UConnect with Soundfield in rooms of up to 100 square metres with tile grid ceilings.
UConnect with wall mounted Soundfield in rooms up too 100 square metres
UConnect with Portable Soundfield in rooms up to 100 square metres.
Hearing Augmentation / Soundfield bundles
The Hear and Learn SoundHouse involves collecting all audio – including that audio that is required to be augmented – and transmitting this to any type of hearing aid using the technology built into the SoundHouse. Transmitters stay permanently in the SoundHouse. Soundfield is built in too.