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Assistive Listening Devices


assitive listening icon Poor acoustics caused by noise, reverberation and distance between the speaker and listener may cause additional difficulty for students with hearing impairments. Students who are hard-of-hearing may benefit from the use of an Assistive Listening Device (ALD).  

What is an ALD?

Assistive Listening Devices (ALD) support the use of hearing aids and cochlear implants by allowing the user greater ability to separate speech sounds from ambient noise when the person speaking is at a distance of more than a few feet. 

How does an ALD work?

The ALD consists of a microphone (mic).  There are two types of mics available (one directional mic “uni”, for a lecturer to wear, or multi-directional “omni”, for access to small group conversations/labs).   Collected speech is passed from the microphone to a transmitter (worn by the speaker or installed in the room), then travels along to the receiver (could be a FM System the student is wearing), and finally reaches the user’s ear (headphones), hearing aid or cochlear implant. 

How Can I Receive an ALD?

Contact the Disability Resource Center for assistance in trialing an FM System loan and/or exploration of current classroom ALD installations on campus.

Options for ALD’s:

The DRC has a variety of options available, including personal FM listening systems, classrooms with installed ALD systems, and PA systems.

  • FM Systems: An FM system is designed to provide amplification assistance in a classroom environment, and may be checked out to eligible students.
  • Classroom Installed ALD's: Listen brand transmitters are located in the following classrooms (“Channel 1” frequency):
  • Center for Science and Mathematics, Bldg. 180, Room 101
  • Christopher Cohan Center- Performing Arts, Bldg. 6, Room 124
  • Science, Bldg. 52, Room E27
  • Engineering IV, Bldg. 192, Room 106

Note: Instructors would need to be informed of the need in advance in order to collect the wireless mic/transmitter from the DRC.

  • Public Address Systems (PA Systems):  PA systems installed in classrooms of 100+ capacity.

Process & Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

To request the use of this equipment, students should:

  • Verify their disability with the DRC office
  • Meet with an Access Specialist, who will explain and authorize use of the appropriate Assistive Listening Device
  • Complete an Equipment Request Form (available from an Access Specialist) each quarter that the listening device is used
  • Notify and meet with instructors ahead of time to demonstrate the proper use of this equipment
  • Report any problems to John Lee (805-756-5972) or Savio Chan (805-756-5797), immediately
  • Return equipment to the DRC office at the end of each quarter

DRC Responsibilities

  • Determine eligibility for Assistive Listening Device based on an impairment-related functional limitation
  • Explain and assist students in Assistive Listening Device process and responsibilities
  • Work with students to resolve any problems with Assistive Listening Device
  • Answer any questions and/or concerns of instructors regarding use of Assistive Listening Device
  • Regularly evaluate services for provision of Assistive Listening Device

Print Assistive Listening Device Process and Responsibilities


John Lee, Assistive Technology Specialist, (805) 756-5972

Savio Chan, Access Specialist, (805) 756-5797


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Location: Bldg 124 (Student Services, across from Spanos Stadium)
Phone: 805-756-1395
Fax: 805-756-5451
Email: drc@calpoly.edu

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