This information is part of an online guide, Resources for Mainstream Programs
Hearing aids are devices designed to acoustically amplify or make sounds louder. Hearing aids come in a variety of types and brands, and their specifications are determined and set to meet the needs of the individual user. The cost depends on the style and internal circuitry. Programmable and digital hearing aids are more expensive and provide enhanced sound quality compared with some of the hearing aids with more standard circuitry. Determining the appropriate hearing aid fitting is a technical process. It requires a thorough evaluation to ensure it is appropriate to the person's specialized needs. Not all deaf individuals benefit from hearing aids, and not all deaf individuals choose to wear them.
There are a variety of hearing aid types you may encounter in the classroom. Each student's hearing aid, regardless of type, contains a unique prescription for that student's hearing levels. Some of these hearing aids include:
- Ear-level or behind-the-ear (BTE) aid-Fits behind the ear and directs sound into the ear with an ear mold. Ear-level aids provide small to large amounts of amplification to meet the needs of a person with any degree of hearing loss. This is the most common type of hearing aid used with children.
- In-the-ear or canal aid-Fits inside the ear. An in-the-ear aid works best for people with mild to severe degrees of hearing loss. This aid is not often recommended for children, as the casing of the aid must be replaced frequently to fit the ear as the child grows. It is also harder for the teacher or parent to see whether it is in the ear and turned on.
Hearing Aid Information