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Assistive Listening Systems

Assistive Listening Systems create a direct, wireless connection between a source of sound and one or more listeners. This eliminates the effects of distance between the source of sound and the listener; such as background noise and reverberation (poor acoustics). Using an ALS, you should be able to hear as clearly as if you were standing right next to the source of the sound, even if you are actually sitting in the back of a large and noisy room.

Many ALSs transmit sound directly to the listener's hearing aid or cochlear implant sound processor. However, some types of ALS can be used even if the listener does not have a compatible hearing aid or cochlear implant.

There are three types of ALS: induction loop, FM, and infrared. None of these systems is inherently superior to the others; each has advantages and disadvantages.

How and Where to Borrow Assistive Listening Systems

ODHH has ALS equipment available for loan to state and local government agencies for the purpose of providing access for Washington residents with hearing loss. ODHH oversees the inventory of ALS at DSHS headquarters and within 7 Regional Service Centers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing throughout the state. ODHH also provides consultation to state and local government agencies to assist them in choosing the equipment that best meets their needs and the needs of the individual(s) with hearing loss.

DSHS and other state government agencies located in Thurston County may contact ODHH directly to borrow Assistive Listening Systems.

Government agencies located outside Thurston County, any non-profit and private companies may contact one of the seven Regional Service Centers directly to borrow Assistive Listening Systems.


Equipment Available:

With a personal amplifier the user has an option to use a headphone or a neckloop.
neck Loop
FM Transmitter/Receiver Kit that includes a portable amplifier, a microphone, up to 8 receivers with   options for headphones or neckloops.

FM System

For more information, you can read the ALS FAQ.