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E-Michigan Deaf and Hard of Hearing People.
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Accommodations for Better Communication

Communication is the basis of relationships in our family and community. Hearing loss interferes with this most basic of human functions. Although people with hearing loss may miss the sounds of music and birds, difficulty communicating with family and co–workers can lead to a profound sense of loss and isolation. Through the ages, we have sought the means to overcome this loss and to connect when the spoken word is not enough.

Accommodations for better communication may utilize an intermediary person, such as interpreters and notetakers, a technological device (Hearing Aids, Hearing Assistive Technology, and Other Listening and Signaling Devices), or a combination of these, such as CART. The most recent development has been the surgical implantation of technological devices (Cochlear Implants). See the menu items on the right for more information on these and other accommodations.

Telephone Resources in Michigan

As we all endure the ripple effect of Michiganís economy, it is important to stay up-to-date on financial resources that may be of particular assistance to Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf-Blind residents of our state. Therefore, the Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DODHH) has compiled a list of Telecommunications information and resources that may be helpful.

Click here to see the list.

The following pages discuss each of these topics.

Hearing Assistive Technology Online Guide

Determining the best communication accommodations for a specific listener in a unique listening environment can be tricky. The Hearing Assistive Technology Online Guide will help you find the right accommodation. This resource was created for Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth, Rehabilitation Services and is posted with permission.

You must have a PDF reader to view this document. Because the document is large, please be patient while it downloads.

Click here for the Hearing Assistive Technology Online Guide.

The Old Days

Before microphones and amplifiers came along there were all manner of non–electronic listening devices. One of the finest collections is at Western Michigan University.

The Baldwin Collection, currently on permanent loan to the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at WMU, is composed of 90 non–electrical antique listening devices. The collection includes devices known as Speaking Tubes, London Domes, Auricles, Ear Trumpets, and Collapsible Listening Devices. The items are made of brass, copper, silver, tin, faux tortoise shell and one item is made of glass.

The Baldwin Collection is one of the largest private collections of its kind in the country, if not the world. To view the collection, contact Dr. Hal Bate, Professor of Audiology at WMU. He can be reached by telephone at (616) 387–8052 or by email at Additional information can be obtained from Rich Baldwin at

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