Speak Up! AT for Voice Amplification

Thanks to Oklahoma ABLE Tech for this AT Tip for Employment scenario

Silhouette of a woman yelling into a bullhorn

Scenario: an elementary school teacher with decreased speech volume

A school teacher acquired an injury to her vocal cords during a surgery and is not able to maintain a typical speech volume throughout the course of her day. At school, she needs to speak for prolonged periods of time and get the attention of students in noisy environments. In addition to class lessons, she rotates between bus, cafeteria, recess, and car line duties.

Assistive technology (AT) recommendations:

This teacher might consider a variety of devices for her changing needs and environments throughout her day. These could include:

  1. A portable voice amplifier that she can move with between environments. Examples: SoniVox Plus Voice Amplifier, Spokeman, Chattervox.
  2. A sound-field system for her classroom. Designed to amplify speech sounds, sound-field systems greatly enhance speech understanding for everyone in a classroom.  They also help prevent teachers from straining their voices. The systems have a microphone/transmitter, amplifier, and one or more loudspeakers placed at strategic locations in a room. See examples at this ProAcousticsUSA.com webpage.
  3. An iPad with an external speaker. At the end of a long day, she may not want to use her voice at all. In these instances, having a device for text-to-speech with word prediction (and sentence prediction) could be useful. An iPad with an app for AAC (alternative augmentative communication), such as Proloquo4Text, is one example.

Find more solutions with the assistance of your State AT Program (every state and territory has one). Visit yours to see, touch, try and even borrow equipment (free of charge!) for 2-4 weeks at a time.

Reminder: The AT3 Center and the Administration on Community Living (ACL) make no endorsement, representation, or warranty expressed or implied for any product, device, or information set forth in this blog. The AT3 Center and ACL have not examined, reviewed, or tested any product or device hereto referred.