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Technology in the workplace

Technology is an important part of everyday life for deaf children and young people. It can be useful in education, at home or at work. There are products that can help with most things such as waking up in the morning, communicating with others, socialising with friends or travelling around.

Technology products

There are many different technologies that can help deaf children and young people.

Radio aids

Radio aids work with hearing aids and cochlear implants to help deaf people communicate with friends, relatives, teachers and colleagues in noisy environments.

A radio aid system usually consists of two parts – transmitter and receiver(s). The transmitter contains a microphone and is normally worn by a parent, teacher or colleague. The microphone picks up the sound of their voice and transmits it wirelessly to the receivers. The receivers are attached to the hearing aid or cochlear implant and can pick up the sound being sent from the transmitter. This allows a deaf child or young person to hear other people’s voices clearer in relation to unwanted background noises.

Streamers and soundfields

Streamers are useful for accessing multimedia and entertainment such as televisions and tablets, whilst soundfield systems distribute sounds (such as a presenter’s voice) evenly and consistently throughout a room.

Safety alarms

Alarms and alerting products use loud sounds, strong vibrations and/or bright lights to help deaf children and young people stay aware of what is going on around them.

Examples include alerting systems for fire or smoke alarms.

Text relay, video relay and captioning

Services such as text relay, video relay, and captioning can all be useful when communicating with others on the phone or via video calling.

Headphones, listeners and loops

Televisions, computers, tablets, mobile phones and gaming consoles can all be used with headphones.

There isn’t really one specific set of headphones that are exclusively designed for deaf children and young people. Some have larger ear cups that can fit comfortably over hearing aids and implants, whilst others have volumes that can be set at different levels on the left and right side.

Funding for technology in the workplace

If a deaf young person needs assistive technology for their job, they may be able to apply for funding through the government scheme, Access to Work. This is run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Find out more about Access to Work

Learn more in our free e-learning modules

Have a look at our free e-learning series, Technology for Inclusion and Independence.

These free e-learning modules are the perfect place to start learning about the technology available to support deaf children and young people in their education, work and life in general. The modules are appropriate for all professionals working with deaf children and young people. Each module takes about 30 minutes to complete.