Radio aids – optimising listening opportunities: Guide

Gill Weston, Pauline Cobbold, Cate Statham and Helen Maiden with contributions by James Mander, Gary Webster and Brian Copsey | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Listening in noisy environments

The aim is to ensure that all CYP and especially those who may have a temporary or permanent hearing loss, can listen and learn effectively in their educational setting.  How intelligible speech is to a CYP will depend on the how background noise can be reduced or eliminated and the acoustic quality of the educational setting, ie how much sound reverberates (or echoes) around the room.  The greater the reverberation, the less CYP will be able to hear the person speaking.  Speech intelligibility will also depend how teaching styles are changed to the listening requirements of CYP.

The benefits of using a radio aid in a noisy classroom are demonstrated in this video.

It is important that the listening environment is as good acoustically as is possible.  The evidence column of the Acoustics: hearing, listening and learning MESHGuide gives further information and research on the importance of good acoustics within classrooms.

Soundfield systems can be used in the classroom, as a benefit to all children listening in noisy situations.  Radio aids can be connected to a Soundfield system to further enhance speech intelligibility of the deaf CYP.

Bertachni et al (2015) reviewed the literature on the benefits regarding speech perception of children with hearing aids and Cochlear Implants in the classroom.  They found the best results were those who used Radio Aid devices with Soundfield Systems.

Bertachini, A. L. L., et al. (2015). "Frequency Modulation System and speech perception in the classroom: A systematic literature review." CODAS 27(3): 292-300.