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Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT)

What is HAT?

H.A.T. is an acronym for Hearing Assistive Technology, which encompasses the many different types of equipment that can be used in the classroom to provide students improved access to their teacher’s voice. Examples of HAT equipment include speaker towers, desktop speakers, ceiling speakers, remote microphones, and ear-level equipment that is paired with a FM/DM transmitter worn by the teacher.

Why may a student require HAT?

Students that require the use of HAT equipment in the classroom have a diagnosed hearing disorder that prevents them from having equal and appropriate access to their teachers voice. These diagnoses may include, but are not limited to, conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, and auditory processing disorder. Depending on the students’ individual needs, they may have hearing assistive technology included in their 504 Plan or Individualized Education Plan (IEP). 

  • Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Deaf or hard of hearing students are entitled to equal access and an equal opportunity to participate in all public school services, programs, and activities.

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires public school systems to provide a “free, appropriate public education” to children who need special education or related services because of a disability.

It is important to note that HAT is not appropriate for all students with hearing loss or auditory processing disorder. This is why we perform classroom observations and sound level measurements of each students’ learning environment in order to best understand their needs.