To schedule an appointment, please call 202-651-5328 (voice) or 202-250-2119 (videophone) or email

About > Audiology > Assistive Devices

Assistive Devices

The Hearing and Speech Center offers comprehensive needs assessment to explore a variety of alerting devices and assistive listening devices (ALDs) for the workplace, home or recreation. This could include alerting devices for the telephone, doorbell, alarm clocks, etc… ALDs could include FM systems, infrared systems, loop systems or connecting hearing aids/cochlear implants to music devices (iPods, MP3 players, computers).

The Assistive Devices Center (ADC)

The Assistive Devices Center (ADC) provides a central location where deaf and hard of hearing people, their families, and professionals can examine and learn about assistive technology designed to enhance receptive communication. These special products make life easier and more enjoyable for deaf and hard of hearing people and allow them to function independently.

The ADC was established in 1984 and endowed in 1989 with one objective: to educate the nation's deaf and hard of hearing people - and the professionals who interact with them - about the role receptive communication technology and training plays in providing access and independence in the workplace and in other life situations. To accomplish this charge, the Center's activities include:

  • training
  • clinical services
  • outreach

Assistive technology includes visual, vibrotactile and auditory technologies designed to enhance face-to-face receptive communication, the reception of electronic media (radio, television, computer, music players, etc.), telephone communication, and the awareness of important environmental events. These technologies are used in the workplace, at home, and while traveling or recreating. They include hardwired and wireless signal-to-noise enhancement technologies, computer assisted note taking, real time captioning, telephone amplifiers and interfaces, pagers, computer software and hardware, and various visual, vibrotactile and enhanced auditory signaling systems to facilitate awareness of various everyday sounds such as the alarm clock, smoke alarm, pagers, appliances, computer prompts, etc.

For a tutorial on assistive devices, click here.


Knowledge of the role of assistive technology in providing communication access has become an important focus of the fields of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Coursework and experience in assistive devices, coupled with other graduate level coursework, provides our graduates with the background necessary to provide the most comprehensive communication enhancement services for their clients.

In addition Gallaudet deaf and hard of hearing undergraduate and graduate students also receive training in assistive technology that provides them with the ability to function more independently in their chosen careers.

Finally, deaf and hard of hearing graduate students majoring in Psychology, Social Work, Deaf Education, and Counseling also take coursework in audiology and assistive technology to equip them with the skills needed to teach others about receptive communication access.


Outreach services are provided to deaf and hard of hearing consumers, employers, managers of public accommodations and government agencies, private corporations, and others. These services include publications, workshops, presentations, committee work, and consulting. The Center's outreach efforts have made Gallaudet a household name in the area of assistive technology--at the local, national and international level.


Formal audiological diagnostics and communications needs assessments are provided to the Gallaudet Community as well as to consumers in the DC metropolitan area for the purpose of determining which technology is appropriate for an individual's unique communication needs in the workplace and in other situations. The ADC has contracted with other universities, clinics, hospitals, and agencies that refer clients for assistive technology evaluations, fittings and on-going training. Examples of referrals include: The National Rehabilitation Hospital, Georgetown University, GW University, University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins, Washington Hospital Center, Veterans Administration Hospital, National Association of the Deaf, SHHH, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Entrepreneurs Council (DHHEC), DC, Maryland, and Virginia Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and others.

Assistive devices evaluations are also offered as part of the Audiology Clinic's services. During these evaluations, clinicians assess an individual's communicative needs, demonstrate equipment, and make recommendations for purchase. Follow-up counseling ensures client satisfaction.

Choosing a listening system requires a review of all the features of each particular system as well as a consideration of your hearing problem. A hearing test and hearing aid evaluation are necessary to determine if you need a hearing aid and to ensure that it contains the electrical features necessary for use with assistive listening devices. The audiologists at Gallaudet have been specially trained to provide these services.

Please contact the GUHSC front desk administrator, Shari' Parks, at 202-651-5328 (v/tty) or 202-250-2119/toll free 866-957-1232 (vp) to schedule an appointment or to inquire about specific fees.