Some of you may or may not know this already, but I am deaf. The reason why I am able to hear is due to the fact that I have cochlear implants. With my cochlear implants, I do not hear perfectly. Therefore, being in the classroom as a deaf student can be difficult. But with a little extra help from technology, I am able to do well in class. I don't use all of the different types of technology I've listed down below; however, I have used some of them in school. I have asked several people who are deaf what type of technology they use in school, and the majority of them have used at least one of the technologies down below. One thing to know is that students that are provided with this technology are given it by the county or school with an individual education plan with the school.
1. FM system.
As long as I can remember, I have always used an FM system in school. It might be the most noticeable piece of technology because the teacher is wearing it. When people ask me what an FM system may be, I tell them it's like a mini microphone that only I can hear. Honestly, that is the true definition of what an FM system is. An FM system is great because it can help the student hear loud and clear what the teacher is saying. There may be times where the schools may have FM systems installed in their classrooms. In middle school, every classroom had an FM system which was super convenient for me. The funniest part of having an FM system is that teachers sometimes may not even realize that they are wearing the FM system at times; so I have heard some pretty interesting conversations in my time. It's also occurred where one of my teachers in the past has cracked random jokes, causing me to just start laughing out of nowhere.
I am not sure if high schools have this type of service; however, many colleges across the country have this service for deaf/hard-of-hearing students. Basically, CART and captioning is script of what the teacher or professor is saying. CART is every word that the professor is saying, and captioning is more like summarizing what the professor is saying. There are people that type up the words and they are trained to do so. I have captioning myself, and it is great because if I miss something important, all I have to do is look on the computer to see what the professor just said.
3. Roger pen.
The roger pen is super cool because it can do multiple things -there is adaptive wireless transmission, bluetooth settings for your cellphone, help you hear someone in a loud room, etc. This device may be available for all users because a roger pen is available for those who have a Phonak device but also any other devices like MED-EL, Cochlea, AB, etc. Phonak is a very big company that supplies hearing aids to those who need them. So only those who have hearing aids provided by Phonak will be allowed to use this. However, there are other types of technologies that are similar to the Roger pen that are also available to other users as well.
I hope that you get a taste of the different technologies that deaf/hearing impaired students use in the classroom. There are plenty more, but these are the three main ones. Stay tuned for my next article for what is was like being the only deaf student in school!