The Disability Programs and Resource Center

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Tips on Working with Students with Disabilities Who Use an Assistive Listening Device (ALD)

What is an ALD?

An assistive listening device (ALD) is a small, easy-to-use, portable unit that can be used to facilitate communication for hard-of-hearing individuals who need an accommodation to receive auditory information that is free of background noise and is amplified.

Working with an ALD: Some Important Tips

  • Attach the microphone to shirt and speak in a normal voice. The microphone is sensitive enough to pick up your voice from a short distance. You do not need to hold it up against your mouth.
  • Try to face the class when you speak. Some students also rely on lipreading in addition to using the ALD.
  • Allow the student to sit where he or she can see you and any media. Often ALD users prefer to sit in the front row so that they may lipread you more easily.
  • Give the student sufficient time to read any written material before you speak. ALD users receive some or most of their information visually. If you speak while they are reading, they will not be able to lipread you and read at the same time.
  • Repeat student comments and questions. The microphone is not sensitive enough to pick up distant voices. Repeat comments or questions from the class so that the student will not miss out on the information.
  • Use the blackboard, overheads, or handouts.
  • If you show videotapes or DVDs, please turn on the closed captioning. Most media today include closed captioning. Captions can be shown by turning on the built-in decoder in the television or for older TV models, by requesting that Audio-Visual Services turn on the closed caption decoder connected to their VCR. The student may want the microphone placed near the television speaker as well.

For additional information or further assistance, please contact:
San Francisco State University
Disability Programs & Resource Center (DPRC)
Tel.: (415) 338-2472 (voice/TTY)
Fax: (415) 338-1041

Revised: 1/23/06
Partially based on original document courtesy of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Disability

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