Finding and Upgrading Your ALS
Part of finding the right ALS solution to purchase for your institution is that you may need to consider both current and future needs of deaf students on campus. Unfortunately, we have yet to come across an ALS that is compatible with every hearing aid and cochlear implant on the market. In this section, we provide some questions and suggestions to guide your decision making process.
Understanding Students' Needs and Preferences
Understanding What is Needed at Your Institution
Seeking Expert Advice
Acoustic Audit for Campus Spaces
Environments can play a role in how well an ALS can function. Even state of the art technology requires some modification to the structural environment to be maximally effective. Here are the best practices for classroom modifications to improve acoustic access for all students:
- Increase absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles, mats on the floor, boards on the walls) to reduce reverberation.
- Add caps to the bottoms of chairs to reduce noise when moving furniture around.
- Assess the type of lighting in the room to reduce flickering or buzzing sounds emitted by the lights.
- Address industrial noise in the room (e.g., HVAC systems, computers, projectors).
- Close windows when noisy outside; get heavy duty window panes to keep the ambient noise out.
- Keep doors closed and bottom of doorway sealed to keep hallway noise out.
- Ample lighting
- Desks arranged in a way that students can see each other (e.g., U-shaped)
Ensure all campus spaces are designed and maintained in accordance with the most current ANSI standards. This is critical for all students/teachers etc, not just deaf students.