Living in a world which relies heavily on communication, hard of hearing people often find themselves excluded from conversation at home, in the work place, and social settings. However, there are many technical devices that make communication easier.

CHHA-NL provides a loan program for many types of assistive technology.

Telephone Devices

These devices can be used with or without hearing aids.

  • the degree of hearing loss
  • whether or not you wear a hearing aid
  • the type of hearing aid
  • the model of telephone


These add-on amplifiers attach to corded phones to increase the incoming volume.  Some models also feature tone control adjustment. Amplifiers can be battery powered or AC powered.


These telephones can be used with or without a hearing aid and the volume can be controlled at a level that is comfortable for the user. The volume control switch located on the underside of the receiver can be adjusted to a higher or lower volume. Hearing impaired people can use the telephone by adjusting the volume upwards. People with normal hearing can use it at a lower setting.


For those with more severe losses who are unable to hear and/or speak on the phone, there is the TTY (teletype) device, also referred to as TDD (telecommunication device for the deaf) and TT (teletext). The individual using a TTY can call another individual who has a similar machine. When the message is typed into the teletype machine, the person on the other end will receive the message typed through on their machines. They can then type a message back to the sender. Fire departments and police stations have TTY’s so that emergency calls can be received from hearing impaired people.


People who are late-deafened and prefer to use their own voice in TTY calls,  can use the Voice-Assisted or Voice-Over Relay. When placing a TTY call, the deafened person should advise the Relay operator that he/she wishes to place a voice assisted call. This consists of speaking into the mouthpiece directly to the other person and receiving the other person’s speech via typing by the relay operator. If this Voice-Over option is not yet available in your area, ask the area telephone company to provide it.

Individual Listening Systems


Some hard of hearing people find it difficult to communicate in one to one conversation even with the help of a hearing aid and quiet surroundings. Several devices are available to help these situations. These one-on-one devices are ideal for:

  • conversations in noisy environments
  • patient care situations
  • very elderly people who can’t or won’t wear a hearing aid


An individual FM system consists of a receiver, worn by the hard of hearing person, and a separate remote transmitter with microphone, worn by the speaker.


This consists of an infra-red emitter about the size of a small book. Used with an infra-red receiver with a silhouette or neck loop and T-switch hearing aid. It can also be used with a lightweight headset instead of a hearing aid; or a direct audio input cord.


Most hard of hearing people have difficulty hearing the television if it is at normal volume. If they turn it “up” then it is too loud and annoys everybody else. Direct audio input, FM, and infrared systems are very effective ways of alleviating this situation.

Group Listening Systems

Listening in a large hall, church or theatre presents many problems for hard of hearing people. For some, the situation is so difficult they avoid meetings, theatre and concerts. The problems encountered are due to:

  • distance from the speaker
  • echo and reverberation
  • background noises

There are amplification systems that create a better listening environment for hard of hearing people. They are:

  • FM Systems
  • Infrared System
  • Magnetic Induction Loop

Assistive Signalling Devices


Visual alert systems are designed to make activities of daily living easier and safer. There are devices that help you know when:

  • it is time to get up
  • the doorbell is ringing
  • the phone is ringing
  • the baby is crying
  • the fire alarm is going
  • the burglar alarm has gone off

These devices use loud sounds, flashing lights, or vibrations to draw attention to doorbells, fire alarms, telephone rings, alarm clocks, baby cries, etc.



For the very hard of hearing and late deafened, who cannot follow speech in a group, print interpreting could be provided. This service includes a captioneer who types at a computer keyboard, with dialogue projected onscreen, to be read by the viewer.


Book your appointment to borrow hearing technology to see what is right for you:

Book online for a phone, in-person or virtual appointment.

Questions or Comments?

  • for statistical purposes
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.