[Athen] FM Listening Devices vs. recording devices for Hard of Hearing

Steven Sullam Steven.Sullam at csi.cuny.edu
Thu Mar 16 17:22:25 PDT 2017

Hello Athen-List,

I wonder if anyone else is experiencing the following situation. Disability services advisors are referring students who had used FM ALDs in high school and are now advised to use a smart pen or a digital tape recorder as their accommodation for hearing impairment.

The students come to me wanting a recorder instead of the ALD so I reluctantly give it to them. As we all know, it is futile to argue with someone who has made up their mind about what they want. I see a major problem with this approach in that it doesn't address the student's need for access in real time, even as well as other accommodations like ASL and CART. I don't see how this accommodation would enable the student to participate by making comments or asking questions in class because s/he still can't hear what's going on.

It makes me wonder what the reason for this is. Do students even ask questions in class anymore? I queried the last student who came to see me. She said she didn't like carrying the FM device to class. She also didn't like having to give the transmitter to the teacher at the beginning of every class. She said that there was a lot of static on the receiver. (Maybe it wasn't charged fully.)

>From my experience, a properly functioning FM listening device transmits sound loudly and clearly from a speaker to a listener in a way that no other device can. . Are Assistive Listening Devices no longer being used as an accommodation in higher education?

Thanks much in advance for your comments. I would really welcome the thoughts of others on this subject.

Best regards,

[cid:image001.png at 01D29E54.4B8737C0]
Steven A. Sullam M.S.
Assistant Director of Assistive Technology
Center for Student Accessibility
College of Staten Island
City University of New York
2800 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10314
[cid:image002.png at 01D29E54.4B8737C0]<http://www.csi.cuny.edu/>
Ph. 718.982.3343

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