Three 60 Minute Free Webinars On FM ALD’s You Must Watch

We at The Hearing Blog recommend FM or digital “spouse mic” assistive listening device (ALD) use for all hearing impaired people, so it warmed our hearts when our friends at offered three outstanding webinars presented by Linda Thibodeau & Cheryl DeConde Johnson, Erin Schafer, and Jace Wolfe to cement the case with extensive evidence-based research: These are “Must See” videos for hearing care professionals, parents of hearing impaired children, and parents of children with Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD), Language Disorders (LD); and (stunningly) Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Roger design-integrated receiver: Click to go to description page

Phonak Roger design-integrated receiver
Click to go to description page

Although we recommend three of the five webinars in the series, we also suggest watching them out-of-order with Jace Wolfe’s second, and Erin Schafer’s third, as each of these two build upon one another better this way:

  • Linda Thibodeau PhD & Cheryl DeConde Johnson kicked off the webinars with Wireless Technology to Improve Communication in Noise (AO course #25528). Here is the abstract:
    There are rapid advances in wireless technology, however, the best designed and fitted technology is only as effective as its utilization. The topics for the week-long webinar series will be introduced including use of wireless technology with adults and children with hearing aids, cochlear implants, learning challenges, and traumatic brain injury. Tools for verification including professional standards and guidelines as well as techniques for ensuring appropriate outcomes will be presented;
  • Next, Hearts for Hearing’s Jace Wolfe PhD presented Cochlear Implants and Remote Microphone Technology (AO course #25544). Here is the abstract:
    Despite advances in cochlear implant (CI) technology and impressive outcomes for recipients, CI users often continue to experience difficulty understanding in noisy and reverberant environments. Performance in these situations may be improved with wireless remote microphone technology. This webinar will review several studies that have explored the use of wireless remote mic technology for CI users based on the article published in Seminars in Hearing (volume 35, no. 3, August 2014) by the presenter;
  • Bellman Audio Domino pro

    We remind our readers that FM assistive listening devices need not be attached to hearing aids: Inexpensive receivers with earbuds, or Etymotic’s isolating earphones for even better S/N can also be used with children who suffer from CAPD, ADHD, ASD &/or LD. (Pictured: Bellman Audio Domino Pro).

  • Finally, University of North Texas‘ Erin Schafer PhD presented compelling research showing how improving the signal-to-noise ratio provides great benefit to children with Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD), Language Disorders (LD); and stunningly, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (AO course #25551). Here is the abstract:
    This webinar will present evidence to support the use of wireless, remote microphone technology for improving speech-recognition performance in noise and classroom-listening abilities in children diagnosed with auditory processing disorders (APDs), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Following the review of evidence, case studies will be presented to support device fitting procedures and to report performance on behavioral measures and subjective questionnaires following the fitting.

Also, be sure to download the PDF handouts for each course, as they are chock-full of references~

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About the author

Dan Schwartz

Electrical Engineer, via Georgia Tech


  1. Noise Induced Hearing Loss
    March 25, 2015 at 7:09 am


    Listening devices is very much helpful for those who does not able to listen properly. So if you looking for those people who are really required for these…it would be beneficial for those kinds of the people…


  2. Juliette Sterkens, AuD
    April 19, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Users can greatly benefit from the telecoil in their instruments in places that offer hearing loops (see or in places where assistive technology is offered with a neckloop.

    To see Evelyn’s “aha moment” in a loop using her telecoil (although she somehow associates her remote control with her ability to hear):

    Read how hearing loops can greatly improve consumer satisfaction, as they – just like FM systems – dramatically improve the SNR read more here:

    • Dan Schwartz
      April 20, 2015 at 8:04 am

      We had the pleasure of meeting the passionate-but-pleasant Juliëtte Sterkens at #AN15 several weeks ago. She is a tireless advocate for communications access for the hearing impaired, and certainly worthy of the accolades and awards she has earned; and in fact we agree 95% with her, including on the need for a common standard of audio transmission to hearing aid and CI users. However, on her principled position on widespread baseband induction “hearing” loops, our differences are intractable; and on that sole technical point we “agreed to disagree.”

      On one major point we agree with Juliëtte: The desperate need for a common industry standard for wireless direct-to-hearing aid and CI audio transmission, especially for public venues such as theaters, arenas, and houses of worship. On this point, the leadership of the Hearing Industries Ass’n trade group has been a miserable #FAIL, as although four of the “Big Six” manufacturers use the 10.6 mHz ISM band for their HIBAN networks between their dongles and hearing devices, each of these four have their own proprietary — hence incompatible — encoding and transmission protocols (and Starkey’s 900 mHz platform on some of their hearing aids is a fifth). Given that in 2014 fully 80% of the hearing aids dispensed in the US have wireless capabilities built in, this presents a miserable situation for the hearing impaired community. Post-Jobs Apple tried to bring the industry together with their “Made for iPhone” BT4 Low Energy (“BLE”) program, but so far only GN ReSound, Starkey and Cochlear have fully signed on. You can publicly register your complaint with HIA here.

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