Assistive listening devices can  help those of you with hearing loss to hear better in situations where there is a lot of background noise, like at work, at school, or at home. They capture and process the sound before it reaches your ear to filter out disturbing background noise and enhance the incoming speech. Some are designed to be used with hearing aids or cochlear implants (CIs), while others are designed to be used alone. Many that are used in conjunction with hearing aids require a telecoil (T-switch.)

One of our dear friends, before she passed away, experienced great success with a personal assistive listening device called the Comfort Duett. Here’s a story that she shared with us:

“I lost some hearing during radiation treatments on my neck as a result of a tumor at the base of my tongue. People got tired of me asking them to repeat all the time. I had to sit so close to the TV and raised the volume so loud. It was hard to hear at meetings, movies and in the church.

Judie talked to our group at Olivet Lutheran Church in Fargo and to me, one-on-one, about assistive technology devices. She told me about the Duett and amplified phones. She arranged for me to go to the IPAT Technology Demonstration Center in Fargo and visit with Mike, an AT Coordinator. He showed me a number of things and I ended up borrowing a Comfort Duett, an assistive living listening aid from the equipment loan library for 6 weeks. I could scarcely believe the difference in my ability to hear. I am more comfortable using the headphones rather than the ear buds and use them in church, during meetings, movies, or when watching TV with others.

I’ve let interested other parties try my headphones and cordless phone and they’re also pleased at being able to hear more clearly. I will definitely continue to spread the word about how much these tools from IPAT have enriched my life. What blessings they have been.”

The Duett is just one of many personal assistive listening devices that are available. In future blogs I’ll talk about some of the others. If you have questions about one now or want to schedule a demonstration or a loan, call me at our Fargo office 365-4728 or email me at

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