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SHHH T-coil position paper

Dana Mulvany dmulvany at SJSUVM1.SJSU.EDU
Sat Jun 15 13:44:45 EST 1996

I thought I had emailed the following to the audiology  newsgroup, 
but because I haven't seen it in the archives, I guess it didn't get 
through.  So I've edited and added some comments to it.


------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Sun, 26 May 1996 14:15:56 -0500
From:          Dana Mulvany <dmulvany at isc.SJSU.EDU>
Reply-to:      dmulvany at isc.SJSU.EDU
To:            audiolog at net.bio.net
Cc:            dmulvany at email.sjsu.edu
Subject:       SHHH T-coil position paper

David Coffin wrote on April 17th:

"I thought that this would be of interest to other dispensing
audiologists. After reading the SHHH position on t-coils, I am trying
to counsel patients on their many uses, and am fitting them whenever

I'm very glad to hear this!  I'm a member of the national board of
SHHH.  Most hard of hearing people (outside of SHHH) seem very poorly
informed about how to cope with their hearing loss beyond simply
wearing the hearing aid. Without a telecoil or DAI (direct audio
input), people are unable to use their hearing aids in those
challenging situations where they use assistive listening systems and
telephones; instead, they would be using straight line amplification
which is usually not tailored to their hearing loss.  They thus
would risk further hearing loss ( because the hearing aid is not
intervening to limit the gain).

Direct audio input is another feature which is frequently ignored,
but it can be an extremely important one to utilize when one is
around computer monitors which emit electromagnetic interference;
they cause a low-frequency buzz when the telecoil is turned on.  In
my opinion, the audiologist should counsel people of working age and
others who are likely to be around computers about the advantages of
DAI.  I know of a very hard of hearing librarian who cannot use her
telecoil due to the interference from all the computer monitors at
her workplace, but DAI would probably have provided another way for
her to use the phone in this kind of situation.

Ideally, the audiologist/hearing aid dealer should collect data
about the different communication environments the client faces and
other factors BEFORE prescribing a hearing aid with or without
telecoils and direct audio input. (Sometimes an elderly or
cognitively impaired consumer may not be able to learn how to use the
telecoil and will leave the hearing aid on in that position
frequently; others may be able to learn not to do this, even if they
are elderly or neurologically impaired, or may have enough support in
the home to compensate for their own forgetfulness.)  It should also
be evaluated whether the elderly consumer has the manual dexterity
and eyesight necessary to change the batteries, especially in an ITE
hearing aid.  I work with an elderly woman who can't do this by
herself and has broken the battery holder off hearing aids in the
past.  (I think a BTE would have been easier for her to use; you 
can't see whether the hearing aid is on or off in her ITE hearing 
aids, so the batteries are likely to run down since she doesn't know 
whether the hearing aid is off when she takes them off.  The very 
small size of batteries for ITE's is also more difficult for her to 

Disclaimer: What I've written above is my own opinion and not
necessarily that of any other organization.

Dana Mulvany, MSW, LCSW
dmulvany at email.sjsu.edu
Visit the SHHH California Web Page!
SHHH T-coil position paper
Dana Mulvany
dmulvany at email.sjsu.edu
Campbell  CA  (near San Jose)

Visit the SHHH California Web Page!
(SHHH=Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc.)

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