Working With Students Who Use Assistive Listening Devices

Some students use an assistive listening device (ALD) in order to hear better in class. They may use this along with real-time captioning, or their hearing level may be such that they do not need captioning, but the additional support of the ALD is useful.

An ALD improves ability to hear in situations such as rooms that are large, crowded, or noisy. It amplifies one voice, in this case the instructor’s, rather than amplifying all sound in the room.

In order for the ALD to work for the student, the speaker must be wearing an appropriate microphone. 

    • In our large lecture halls, the podium mic will work for this purpose. 
    • In smaller rooms, the student may ask you to wear a small microphone which will transmit your voice to the student’s hearing aid.

Use of microphones:

    • In lecture halls, when not in use, microphones are stored in either a top right drawer at the podium or, in rooms with media cabinets, in the accessory drawer, along with various remote control units, test media, and a battery charger.
    • At the end of class, please take the batteries out of the microphone transmitter and put them back in the charger, put the transmitter and mic in the drawer and close it, then shut down the media system at the touch panel, which then automatically locks the drawer for security purposes.

The ALD typically focuses on amplifying one person’s voice.  If your class is discussion-oriented, it may be necessary for the student to use a special ALD-compatible mic that can pick up and transmit multiple voices to the student’s ALD. Learning Technologies and the DRC can assist with this as needed.

Some students may use the ALD in conjunction with their hearing aids; other students may need to use headphones or earbuds.

QUESTIONS? If appropriate, clarify disability-related needs with the student directly. Otherwise, contact the DRC at or 459-2089.