Project D1: Development of a model for a consumer-centric, technology-focused train-the-trainer program

ID: 2953
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2014
End Date: September 2020


Technology is ubiquitous, playing a role in the lives of individuals from all generations. It is frequently viewed as a great equalizer that can improve the quality of a person's life, including the lives of people with hearing loss. Moreover, the trend toward interconnected smart devices offers consumers unprecedented opportunities to take control of their assistive technologies and hearing devices. However, consumers who are hard of hearing or deaf can take advantage of these opportunities only if they have knowledge of these technologies and how to use them. Unfortunately, research has shown that these consumers have trouble using their own hearing devices properly. Consumers may not even be aware of technologies included in hearing devices, such as telecoils, or their purpose. When technology problems arise, consumers may not know how to engage with technology providers or industry manufacturers to try to solve their problem. They may also be unaware of their rights to communication access or when and how to inform policy makers if engaging with industry is not successful in solving a problem. Training is the key to addressing these issues in order to provide consumers who are hard of hearing or deaf themselves or are parents of hard of hearing or deaf children with the knowledge and skills to achieve the level of empowerment and control necessary to take full advantage of the hearing devices and other assistive and emerging technologies they might want or need to use. The RERC is developing a consumer-based technology-focused train-the-trainer (TTT) program, in collaboration with the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), and Hands & Voices (HV) – a parent driven, non-profit organization dedicated to providing unbiased support to families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. This TTT model emphasizes an active role for consumers who are hard of hearing or deaf and parents of children with hearing loss, one in which they share in the process of addressing their hearing health care needs, particularly related to assistive and emerging communications technologies.

Principal investigators

Additional investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources