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Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is special technology made to assist them including Hearing aids, Video relay services, tactile devices, alerting devices and technology for supporting communication.  This includes assistive, and adaptive devices, and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. Assistive technology promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks.

CDHH has a demonstration and loan program which allows you to borrow and test out a device before purchasing one.

Locations of the Seven Demonstration and Loan Centers


Idaho Assistive Technology Resource Center – Boise
322 E Front Street Suite 222
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 364-4561 (Voice)

Coeur d’Alene

Idaho Assistive Technology Resource Center – Coeur D’ Alene
1031 N. Academic Way #130D
Coeur D’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 292-1406 (Voice)

Idaho Falls

Living Independently for Everyone (LIFE)
250 S. Skyline #1
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 529-8610 (Voice)
(208) 529-6804 (FAX)

Pocatello – Idaho State University

Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology
650 Memorial, Building 68
Pocatello, ID 83209
(208) 282-3495


Disability Action Center (DAC) Northwest
505 N. Main Street
Moscow, ID 83843
(208) 883-0523 (Voice/TTY)
(208) 883-0524 (FAX)

Twin Falls

Living Independence Network Corp.
1182 N. Eastland Dr. #C
Twin Falls, ID 83301
(208) 733-1712

These companies sell assistive devices. Contact them for more information.

Amplification Devices

There are a wide variety of devices to assist persons to hear.  Some are small devices, such as “in the ear” hearing aids and others are larger such as assistive listening systems.  Amplification systems for radio or TV can help people who can’t hear regular systems or must turn them up to the maximum sound to hear them.  Some systems connect a headset directly to a radio or TV, some can work through an existing loud speaker system and transmit sounds to a headset.  Other systems are personal systems which use a microphone worn by one individual and an individual receiver worn by the person who is hard of hearing.

Telephone Devices

Handset amplifiers for telephones allow a person with a hearing loss to increase the volume of the sound coming over the telephone handset.  Teletypewriters (TTY), telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) and text telephones (TT) all refer to a device that has a typewriter keyboard and a visual display.

Signaling Devices

Signaling devices are used to alert a person with a hearing impairment that a specified sound is occurring.  These devices can monitor such sounds as door bells, a baby crying, an alarm clock, a smoke detector, the telephone ringing, etc.

Printed Words

One common use of printed words to convey the message is in the use of closed captioning on TV, movies or videos.  Another use of the printed word is through computer assisted note taking.  In this system, a stenographer types on a stenographic machine what is being spoken and it is then sent to a computer and projected on a screen.

Medical Technology

Cochlear implants can provide some person with the ability to hear.  A device with a wire to the cochlea is implanted in the persons head behind their ear and an external device is worn.  It is then connected to a receiver the person wears.

Video Phones

It is a device that assists Deaf and hard-of-hearing people who use sign language in communicating with others on video screen through high speed broadband. They can be used by Deaf people to communicate with each other over the phone, or with hearing people through a sign language interpreter. They also allow deaf and hard of hearing individuals to have telephone conversation with hearing people through VRS (video relay services). VRS is a form of telecommunication relay service that enables persons who utilize American Sign Language to communicate with voice telephone users through video equipment, rather than through typed text (TTY). Video equipment links the VRS user with a TRS operator (called a communication assistant) so that the VRS user and the CA can see and communicate with each other in signed conversation.


Assistive League of Boise
(208) 377-4327 ext 202
Offers a hearing aid program for people who live in Boise

Idaho Assistive Technology Project
1187 Alturas Drive
Moscow, Idaho 83843
(800) 432-8324

Hear Now
Grant program that provides hearing aids.
There is $125 application fee.
Please call them at 1-800-328-8602 for an application.

Idaho Bureau of Educational Services for the Deaf and the Blind
1450 Main Street
Gooding, Idaho  83330
(208) 934-4457
Offers a free hearing aid lending library


Disabled Children’s Relief Fund
P O Box 7240
Freeport, New York 11520
Provides disabled children with hearing aids and other assistive devices

Easter Seals
230 West Monroe Street, Suite 1800
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 726-6200 (Voice)
(312) 726-4258 (TTY)
(312) 726-1494 (Fax)
(800) 221-6827
Over 400 local service centers with varying services; some assist low-income adults and children with hearing aids and other rehabilitative devices

The Hike Fund, Inc.
c/o Hike Board Secretary
10115 Cherryhill Pl
Spring Hill, FL 34608-7116
(352) 688-2579
Provides low-income children between 0-20 years with hearing aids and assistive devices

Miracle Ear Children’s Fund
P O Box 59261
Minneapolis, MN 55459-0261
(800) 234-5422
Assist low-income children and families with purchases of hearing aids from the manufacturer

Optimist Club
Optimist International Youth Program
(314) 371-6000 (Voice)
(314) 371-6006 (Fax)
(800) 500-8130
Help Them Hear Program – Contact your local Optimist Club – Provides aids and services to hearing impaired youth

Starkey Hearing Foundation
6700 Washington Avenue South
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
(866) 354-3254 (Voice)
(952) 828-6946 (Fax)
(800) 648-4327
Assistance for low-income children and families in purchasing hearing aids

Travelers Protective Association Scholarship Trust for the Deaf and Near-Deaf
3755 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108
(314) 371-0533 (Voice)
Provides assistance for mechanical devices, medical care, and/or specialized education or treatment, to those who demonstrate financial need.  US citizens only.  Grants may be used to purchase hearing aids, assistive listening equipment, or may help with the cost of cochlear implant.

Sertoma International
1912 East Meyer Boulevard
Kansas City, MO 64132-9990
(816) 333-8300 (Voice)
Assist low income persons with purchasing hearing aids

Hearing Loss Association of America
7910 Woodmont Ave, Suite 1200
Bethesda, MD  20814
(301) 657-2248 (Voice)
(301) 657-2249 (TTY)
(301) 913-9413 (Fax)
National organization of/for individuals who have hearing loss; bi-monthly journal, publications, annual national conference, state chapters


(800) 424-3410
Through resources titled “Consumer Guide to Hearing Aids” and other publications

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf
(202) 337-5220 (Voice)
(202) 337-5221 (TTY)
Several publications about hearing aid care and consumer handbooks

Better Hearing Institute
(800) 327-9355 (Voice)
Educational materials and publications on hearing loss, aids, resources

Healthy Hearing
Your Hearing Aid Information Source

Hear Now/Hearing Foundation International, Inc.
(800) 648-4327 consumers
(800) 328-8602 physicians/agencies
Purchase of hearing aids for low income children and adults (including senior citizens)

Hearing Aids for Kids
(888) 495-2949
This private practice audiologist makes hearing aids available to children at a significantly reduced cost if families cannot afford them.  Located in Utah, if unable to come to her practice, she will work through local licensed audiologist who will waive the normal fees to dispense and fit the aids

International Hearing Society
(800) 521-5247 (Voice)
Consumer information kit available for resources in own community


  • Area Agencies on Aging
  • Centers for Independent Living
  • Medicaid
  • Private Insurance Policies/HMO’s
  • Veteran’s Administration
  • Vocational Rehabilitation

Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) is the instant translation of the spoken word into English text using stenotype machine, notebook computer and real-time software.  The text appears on a computer monitor or other display.

This technology is primarily used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing, or who are learning English as a second language.  The Americans with Disabilities Act specifically recognized CART as an assistive technology which affords “effective communication access.”  Thus communication access more aptly describes a CART provider’s role and distinguishes CART from real-time reporting in a traditional litigation setting.

CART Resources In Idaho

Associated Reporting and & video
Andrea Wecker, CSR, RDR, CRR, CRC
Boise, Idaho
(208) 343-4004 |

Lori Voigt
149 99th Ave. NW
Dunn Center, ND  58626
(208) 859-3921

Mackenzie Bannister
Certified TypeWell transcriber
Basic mode, turbo mode, and math mode
Eastern Idaho and remove services available
(208) 891-3600 (Voice)

Purple Communications, Inc.
Nationwide CART Provider

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