Hearing Assistive Technology

Hearing assistive technology is any device that helps a person with hearing loss, voice, speech, or language disorder to communicate.  There are many assistive devices available including hearing aids, computer technology, captioning, enhanced telephones and personal communication devices.

Having a comprehensive hearing evaluation by a hearing specialist is the first step towards managing your hearing loss.  An audiological assessment takes approximately 1 hour.  After discussing your medical and hearing history, the practitioner will look into your ears with an otoscope to check for anything in the ear canal that might affect test results. Pure-tone testing, speech testing, middle ear testing, auditory brainstem response (ABR,) and otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are typically part of a complete hearing evaluation.

If you are a candidate for hearing aids, your hearing specialist will prescribe custom-built hearing aids,based on your hearing needs and lifestyle.

There are many assistive devices available today, the most revolutionary form of communication for deaf and hard of hearing people came with the introduction of text and email messaging. 

Telephones offer volume control, tone control, loud ringers and light flashers. Hearing aids can be equipped with a telecoil to work with compatible landlines or cell phones. Captioned and video telephone communication will be available in Canada shortly.

Teletypwriter (TTY) is a keyboard that uses a phone line to connect two or more people through a provincial relay service or directly.  The telephone operator translates verbal messages into text for the TTY user and text messages into speech for the hearing person.

Safety devices that use flashing lights or vibrations alert the individual with hearing loss when fire and smoke alarms go off, baby is crying, or the doorbell or phone is ringing.

Captioning for TV, movies, museum displays, emergency information in airports, etc., is the print of auditory messages.  TV’s manufactured after 1993 have built-in close captioning, which can be turned on or off.

The Western Institute for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Island Deaf & Hard of Hearing Centre, and CNIB, are excellent resources for more information on assistive technology.

Specific Techniques


Select a region to view to corresponding Hearing Assistive Technology professionals operating there: