Untreated hearing loss can have lasting effects on students’ academic achievement, social relationships, and self-esteem. The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) reports that even mild hearing loss can cause a child to miss as much as 50 percent of classroom discussion. Without appropriate management and support, children with mild to moderate hearing loss achieve one to four grade levels lower, on average, than students with typical hearing, according to American Speech Language Hearing Association.
The CDC reports that nearly 15 percent of children ages 6 to 19 have low- or high-frequency hearing loss of at least 16-decibel hearing level in one or both ears. Noise-induced hearing loss also is on the rise among young people. This is largely attributed to listening to music through earbuds at high volume. And hearing loss isn’t just affecting students. Nearly 48 million American adults have hearing loss. Assistive listening technology can help everyone in school environments, with and without hearing loss, hear more clearly.
An assistive listening system (ALS) is a wireless system with a transmitter and one or more receivers that send audio – from a teacher’s microphone, TV, or other sound sources – directly to headphones, hearing aids, or cochlear implants without amplifying ambient noise. Assistive listening systems provide a vastly improved experience for those with hearing loss.
Assistive listening systems can also help solve frustrating but common sound issues caused by distance, ambient noise, or poor room acoustics, which can challenge comprehension–even for those without hearing loss.