Speech Perception Benefits of FM and Infrared Devices to Children With Hearing Aids in a Typical Classroom Children typically learn in classroom environments that have background noise and reverberation that interfere with accurate speech perception. Amplification technology can enhance the speech perception of students who are hard of hearing. Purpose: This study used a single-subject alternating treatments design to compare the speech recognition abilities of children who ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2004
Speech Perception Benefits of FM and Infrared Devices to Children With Hearing Aids in a Typical Classroom
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karen L. Anderson
    Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Howard Goldstein
    Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Contact author: Karen Anderson, Florida State University, Regional Rehabilitation Center, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1200.
    Contact author: Karen Anderson, Florida State University, Regional Rehabilitation Center, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1200.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: karen_anderson@doh.state.fl.us
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / School-Based Settings / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2004
Speech Perception Benefits of FM and Infrared Devices to Children With Hearing Aids in a Typical Classroom
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2004, Vol. 35, 169-184. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2004/017)
History: Received August 20, 2003 , Accepted November 25, 2003
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2004, Vol. 35, 169-184. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2004/017)
History: Received August 20, 2003; Accepted November 25, 2003

Children typically learn in classroom environments that have background noise and reverberation that interfere with accurate speech perception. Amplification technology can enhance the speech perception of students who are hard of hearing.

Purpose: This study used a single-subject alternating treatments design to compare the speech recognition abilities of children who are hard of hearing when they were using hearing aids with each of three frequency modulated (FM) or infrared devices.

Method: Eight 9–12-year-olds with mild to severe hearing loss repeated Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) sentence lists under controlled conditions in a typical kindergarten classroom with a background noise level of +10 dB signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio and 1.1 s reverberation time. Participants listened to HINT lists using hearing aids alone and hearing aids in combination with three types of S/N-enhancing devices that are currently used in mainstream classrooms: (a) FM systems linked to personal hearing aids, (b) infrared sound field systems with speakers placed throughout the classroom, and (c) desktop personal sound field FM systems.

Results: The infrared ceiling sound field system did not provide benefit beyond that provided by hearing aids alone. Desktop and personal FM systems in combination with personal hearing aids provided substantial improvements in speech recognition.

Clinical Implications: This information can assist in making S/N-enhancing device decisions for students using hearing aids. In a reverberant and noisy classroom setting, classroom sound field devices are not beneficial to speech perception for students with hearing aids, whereas either personal FM or desktop sound field systems provide listening benefits.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This research was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (Grant H324B010065). We are grateful for the assistance of Louise Colodzin and the parents from Montgomery County School District, MD.
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