For more information about COVID-19
About Hearing Technology

Using technology, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can access sound

With access to sound and support from Clarke’s professionals, children can learn to listen and speak.

About Hearing Technology

Accessing Hearing Technology

If a baby doesn’t pass the newborn hearing screening, or if hearing loss is suspected, families meet with a pediatric audiologist. (The pediatrician or the hospital staff who conducted the screening can make a referral.)

If the pediatric audiologist’s diagnostic testing confirms that a baby has a hearing loss, they will put together a treatment plan for the family, which may include hearing aids or a cochlear implant.

Children should begin an early intervention program by six months old, regardless of the path [Listening and Spoken Language (LSL); sign language; or other]. You can reach out to early intervention services in your area to learn more about available resources.

Our early intervention professionals can help you navigate your options and move forward in the direction you choose. 

Blossom Icon

Cochlear Implants & Hearing Aids

The Anatomy of Hearing Loss

The organ of hearing is a pea-sized structure in the inner ear called the cochlea. Tiny, delicate nerve cells in the cochlea communicate sound signals to the brain, allowing a person to hear different sounds. If these delicate cells are damaged, or missing, the result is a hearing loss.

Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants provide those with profound, total and sometimes severe hearing losses with greater auditory access to speech than a hearing aid. The device consists of two parts: an internal mechanism with electrodes that are surgically implanted in the cochlea; and, an external device that contains a microphone, wire, magnet and a processor that is worn on the outside of the head or body. A cochlear implant works to bypass the damaged part of the ear and sends sound signals directly to the auditory nerve. An implant does not restore or create normal hearing, but it can give an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing access to sound, particularly the sounds of speech. By working closely with audiologists, speech-language pathologists and experienced educators, children with cochlear implants learn to maximize this access to sound to develop a full range of listening, language and speaking skills. There are hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, both children and adults, who use cochlear implants.

Hearing Aids

When a person with hearing loss has some access to sound through the cochlea, hearing aids may be used to maximize that access. A hearing aid is an electronic, battery-operated device that amplifies sound to improve listening comprehension. It collects sounds from the environment via a microphone, amplifies those sounds and then directs the amplified signal into the user's ear through a tiny speaker. It is important to provide infants who are deaf or hard of hearing with hearing aids as early as possible, ideally within 1 - 2 months of age, to maximize the early growth of the auditory brain that happens in response to stimulation from the environment. Finding the correct hearing aid for a baby with hearing loss is an important step. Children are typically fit with a type of hearing aid known as a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid. Today’s technology enables hearing health professionals to fit even very young babies with hearing aids that meet their needs.

Do you want to learn more about teaching your child to listen and talk?

Our Stories

Leighton - Clarke Schools Stories

Leighton

Like most caregivers who discover their child was born with a hearing loss, Nina and Spencer worried at first how...

Read More »

John

John was diagnosed with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss at birth during his newborn hearing screening. In 2017, John’s parents enrolled him in Clarke Birth to Age...

Read More »

Dexter

Dexter has a single-sided profound hearing loss and wears a bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) to help access sound. He started attending Clarke New York’s...

Read More »

Recent Clarke News

Our professionals are here to help.

Please contact any of our locations to learn more about Clarke’s broad array of programs and services.