Radio Aids & Soundfield
All the hearing impaired pupils at Cove School use Phonak Inspiro wireless radio aids. The Local Authority provides and maintains this equipment and the provision of a radio aid may be written into the Statement of Special Educational Needs.
Radio aids are used in conjunction with the pupil’s own hearing aids or cochlear implant, the transmitter being worn by the teacher and the receiver worn by the pupil. In this way, the receiver picks up the radio signal from the transmitter and converts it back into sound which is amplified by the pupil’s hearing aids or implant.
Each radio aid is tuned to a different frequency to avoid interference. The use of a radio aid ensures that the teacher’s voice will always be louder than any background noise which may be present in a mainstream classroom. Even when working in the Resource Base our pupils continue to use their radio aids because of the improved reception of speech (known as signal to noise ratio).
We are fortunate that the Hall, gymnasium and the vast majority of our classrooms are fitted with soundfield systems. A soundfield system is an amplification system which provides an even spread of sound around the room. Four to six speakers are located around the periphery of the room, allowing all the pupils to hear equally well wherever they are seated.
As classrooms with soundfield systems offer improved ‘speech clarity’ for all pupils, everyone benefits and as the classes are generally more attentive, background noise levels may be reduced – a further advantage for our hearing impaired pupils.