Many children are struggling to listen and learn in noisy and reverberant classrooms. Some of these children have hearing loss; others have essentially normal hearing but are at risk for accurate speech perception. Hearing aid fitting protocols and technology can be effective for children with hearing loss, but the aids must be selected and adjusted for classroom environments. For many children, personal amplification may not provide enough benefit for listening and learning to occur. For children who require more than a hearing aid and for at-risk children who have difficulty separating the teacher's message from background noise, technology that is specifically designed to improve the classroom signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) may be required. In addition to the use of technology, children must learn to listen effectively in order for a meaningful signal to be received and used.
KEY WORDS: amplification, classroom acoustics, assistive devices
Submitted on September 27, 1999
Accepted on June 30, 2000