Step 4: Choose the Accommodation
Accommodation options for transcribing taped material are limited. A Pressure Zone Microphone (PZM) attached to the recording device can be used to increase the quality of tape so a transcriber with hearing loss can be better able to understand the recorded information. Such a microphone can be obtained from a local Radio Shack. Direct audio-input devices, in-line amplifiers, sound equalizers, or amplified headsets may also be helpful for the transcriber. Some individuals have success with using the T-coil in their hearing aid in conjunction with wearing the existing headset just in front of their ear.
The function of wearing a telephone headset to perform essential job functions can be difficult for some individuals who wear hearing aids. Often times discomfort (feedback) is reported as being a problem because the telephone headset rests on top of or near the hearing aid the person may be wearing. Individuals may also have difficulty hearing the conversation on the telephone when using a headset. There is no particular headset that is designed or marketed as being compatible with hearing aids from the perspectives of comfort or amplification. Generally, the individual may have to try a couple of different headsets or ways of wearing the headset before they become comfortable using one. Accommodation suggestions include but are not limited to:
Difficulty hearing due to background noise or the need for amplification
- Use a headset that features noise canceling technology to reduce problems associated with background noise.
- Use a headset that has features like volume control, an amplifier and call clarity technology.
- Use a headset that covers both ears to reduce problems associated with background noise.
- Use a muff style headset to completely cover the ear(s) to reduce problems associated with background noise.
- Reduce background noise in the environment to the extent possible.
Difficulty wearing headset due to discomfort or feedback
- Try wearing the headset ear piece just in front of the ear.
- Add extra cushioning to the ear piece. Could use extra ear pad foam or modify a comfort ear pad/buff commonly used on telephone handsets.
- Try an over the ear style ear piece if person wears in the canal hearing aids so less pressure is placed on the ear(s) from the ear piece.
- If the person does not have trouble using a standard telephone handset rather than headset but still needs the benefit of hands-free telephone use, there are devices available which can hold the handset up to the person's ear. These devices can be placed over the head or can hold the handset close to the ear by way of an adjustable gooseneck style telephone holder.
- Consider the use of a speakerphone rather than headset. The environment may have to be adapted to accommodate the use of a speakerphone if it is an open environment.