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


Any deaf CYP should be considered a candidate for a Radio Aid.

The Quality Standards for the use of personal radio aids

Quality Standards 1 (QS1) states:

Every deaf child should be considered as a potential candidate for provision with a personal radio aid as part of their amplification package, at first hearing aid fitting.  This position requires that providers ask why a deaf child should not be considered as a potential candidate for a personal radio system, rather than which child should.  It also highlights the need for a close working relationship between health and education teams.  Some children who have normal hearing thresholds, and who don’t use hearing technology (for example, those with auditory processing difficulties), may also benefit from a personal radio aid. You should consider the following essential factors when determining a suitable candidate for a Radio Aid.

  • Recent research suggests that even very young children and reluctant hearing aid users can get significant benefits from using radio aids.

  • Children should be encouraged to understand the effect of distance on sound, and of localisation as part of their listening development whilst using radio aids.

  • Appropriate support and training are needed to ensure those in the child’s environment can support the best use of radio aid technology. Contexts for candidacy and other factors for consideration can be found in the Good Practice Guide for radio aids.’

Using radio aids with preschool deaf children     

This is a study conducted by The Ear Foundation.  Twenty one families were recruited to explore the benefits and challenges of ALD use with a deaf child aged 4 years and under.  Findings provide strong evidence for the advantages of early fitting of ALD and support equitable access, consistent protocols and funding.

Ian Noon (NDCS) refers to this research in his article on Radio Aids in the Early Years, in the May 2018 BATOD Magazine. He also reports on the work of the NDCS to widen availability of radio aids in the early years.

Pre-school Use of FM amplification technology Mulla, Imran PhD 2011  

This research evaluates and explores the benefits of advanced integrated FM amplification technology with preschool hearing aided children.  Six main themes were identified: access to speech, listening, communication, wellbeing, engagement/ownership and practicalities of FM use if a CYP is referred for Cochlear Implantation, introduction of a radio aid will be advised by the Cochlear Implant Centre.  This is explained more fully in the ‘With Cochlear Implants’ section.