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The Universal Appeal of Audio Amplification Technologies : 

The Universal Appeal of Audio Amplification Technologies By, Matthew Farber

IDEA and Section 508 : 

IDEA and Section 508 U.S. law states that all children must receive a “Free Appropriate Public Education.” The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) requires that schools provide each disabled student an education that meets the unique needs of that student and provides grade-level access to that state’s general curriculum. Section 508 is 1998’s amendment to the IDEA. According to U.S. code, “agencies must give employees with disabilities and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.” (Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, and Gunter, 2006, p. 501) In other words, “Section 508 requires that Federal agencies' electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities.” (http://www.section508.gov/)

Auditory Processing Disorder : 

Auditory Processing Disorder “Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is thought to affect 5% of school-aged children. APD can manifest as problems determining the direction of sounds, difficulty perceiving differences between speech sounds and the sequencing of these sounds into meaningful words, confusing similar sounds such as "hat" with "bat", "there" with "where", etc. Fewer words may be perceived than were actually said, as there can be problems detecting the gaps between words, creating the sense that someone is speaking unfamiliar or nonsense words. Those suffering from APD may have problems relating what has been said with its meaning, despite obvious recognition that a word has been said, as well as repetition of the word.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auditory_processing_disorder)

Assistive Technological Solutions : 

Assistive Technological Solutions Classroom amplification systems range from built-in speaker systems to portable FM transmitters. The idea is to create a “sound field” with no “dead spots.” Prices are about $1000 per unit (either portable or mounted).

My Experiences with the “Bag of Sound” : 

My Experiences with the “Bag of Sound” My district recently purchased a portable FM system for a child who has APD. The unit is manufactured by Audio Enhancement, an industry leader in educational audio technologies. Their “Bag of Sound” product consists of a wireless microphone that transmits to a small speaker concealed inside a black bag. The microphone can be hung around the neck, hooked onto a lapel, or even a collar. The portable speaker can then be placed indiscriminately anywhere in the classroom. Since the speaker is portable, it travels from class to class with the affected student. The “Bag of Sound” Wireless microphone transmitter

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) : 

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) How can teachers respond to students with individual differences? The one-size-fits-all teaching approach certainly does not work. “Universal Design for Learning (UDL) mirrors the universal design movement in architecture and product development. Think of speakerphones, curb cuts, and close-captioned television—all universally designed to accommodate a wide variety of users, including those with disabilities. Embedded features that help those with disabilities eventually benefit everyone. UDL uses technology's power and flexibility to make education more inclusive and effective for all.” (http://www.cast.org/research/udl/index.html)

Audio Enhancement Solutions and UDL : 

Audio Enhancement Solutions and UDL Sound amplification systems make the speakers available for all to hear. Unlike older models, which were transmitted to a headset that the student wears, newer versions provide increased anonymity to the affected child. Now that all of the teacher’s instruction is amplified, every student in the class can enjoy the benefits of the increased “sound field.” Not a word will be missed by anyone.

References : 

References Auditory processing disorder. (2008). Retrieved November 22, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auditory_processing_disorder. Section 508: The Road to accessibility. (2008). Retrieved November 22, 2008, from http://www.section508.gov/. Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, and Gunter. (2006). Teachers discovering computers: Integrating technology and digital media in the classroom, fourth edition. Boston, MA: Thomson Course Technology. What is universal design for learning? (2008). Retrieved November 22, 2008, from http://www.cast.org/research/udl/index.html.

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