Assistive Communication Technology FAQ

Q: What is Assistive Communication Technology (ACT)? 
A:  ACT is a technology that helps persons with hearing loss to hear and understand better, especially in meetings and when there is background noise.

Q: What devices are included in the ACT equipment kits? 
A: All ACT equipment kits includes a microphone, transmitter, receivers and listening accessories. The microphone picks up the sound a person wants to hear; the transmitter sends that pure sound (with no distracting background noise) to each individual's receiver; and the listener uses a suitable listening accessory plugged into the receiver to hear the desired sound.

Q: What are listening accessories? 
A: There are various listening accessories depending on whether or not a person wears hearing aids or cochlear implant. Persons wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants will usually want to have a neckloop so that the receiver can work directly with their hearing aids or cochlear implant processor. A person not using hearing aids or cochlear implant will usually want to use headphones.

Q: What is a neckloop and how does it work with hearing aids and or cochlear implants? 
A: A neckloop is a loop of wire draped around the neck, that is plugged into an ACT equipment receiver. Hearing aids and cochlear implants have a feature called a Telecoil switch. The neckloop works as a magnetic field to pull in the direct sound from the ACT transmitter. The Telecoil switch needs to be turned on to hear amplified sounds through the receiver from the microphone connected to the transmitter.

 Q: Will my office need to use ACT equipment? 
A: Yes, if a person with hearing loss requests ACT equipment to meet their communication needs. Providing ACT is a reasonable accommodation.

Q: Where will I get ACT equipment for the person to use? 
A: You may borrow ACT equipment from ODHH or any of the six regional service centers listed on the “How and When to Borrow Assistive Communication Technology” section of the ACT program information. Click on the web link: Information about ACT and scroll own until reach the above mentioned ACT information.