Integrated Resource - Audiology
Checks of hearing aids, ear moulds, cochlear implant systems, radio aids and sound field systems are carried out daily.
To make sure all audiological equipment is working as it should we carry out various checks every morning when the children arrive at school.
We encourage the children to value their hearing aids, increasingly manage (as appropriate) their own aids and understand their hearing loss.
To motivate children to independently manage their hearing aids we set audiological targets for each child.
An audiologist from the Centre for Hearing and Speech at the Sheffield Children's Hospital makes monthly visits to our HI Resource. The children's ears, hearing aids and ear moulds are checked. Ear mould impressions are taken when needed. This reduces the number of clinic appointments at the hospital and hence the time your child takes out of school. The Educational Audiologist visits fortnightly.
We are in close contact with the cochlear implant centres should a fault arise with a cochlear implant processor.
Radio Hearing Aids and Sound Field Systems
For a hearing impaired child the effects of the varying distance from the teacher, poor acoustics and the background noise in a classroom combine to make speech difficult to understand.
To alleviate these problems we provide each child with a radio hearing aid (typically from their first or second year at school). These are used in conjunction with a sound field system.
The teacher wears a radio aid transmitter which allows the teacher's voice to be sent as a radio signal to the radio aid receiver that the child wears. In this way, no matter where the child is sitting or the teacher stands in the classroom the teacher's voice will have the same clarity. All classrooms with Deaf or hearing impaired children also have a soundfield system, which is speaker located at the front of the classroom, which means speech can be heard evenly across the different areas of the classroom. As well as a microphone for the teacher, there is a microphone for the children to pass around. This ensures children are able to hear others across the room and also promotes good turn taking skills in class discussions.
The radio aid receiver used by children with hearing aids is integrated into their hearing aids.
If the child has a cochlear implant the radio aid receiver either slots into the bottom of the processor, or attaches between the processor and battery.
The initial set up of the radio aid for the child is carried out by Morna Finlayson, the Educational Audiologist from the Sheffield Service for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children. To ensure the set up level is consistently meeting the child's needs, speech discrimination tests are periodically carried out by the teachers of the deaf in school.