05 Dec Hearing loop in first Italian school for hearing loss
Note: Thanks to Audiosales for providing a version of this case study in Italian.
Founded by Father Tommaso Silvestri in 1700, the Istituto Statale dei Sordi in Rome was the first public school for students with hearing loss in in Italy.
The Istituto Statale Deaf of Rome is today a research, documentation, consultancy, training and updating centre on hearing loss that hosts various activities, organizations and schools.
The ISSR, where the working languages are Italian and LIS [Italian Sign Language], has the constant need to improve its communication methods. Thanks to the Contacta V Series technology, teaching and communication in an elementary class of children with hearing loss has been improved.
The Contacta V Series hearing loop system installed is part of a pilot project implemented in an elementary school classroom, with the aim of equipping all classrooms of the institute with an aid system for children with hearing loss.
The hearing loop system installed consist of:
What are the benefits of installing a hearing loop?
A hearing loop in a classroom can significantly improve children with hearing loss’s understanding of teachers and vice versa, requiring no additional equipment for children with a Telecoil-enabled listening device.
How does a hearing loop work?
A hearing loop provides a direct link to an audio source such as a microphone or sound system, allowing people with hearing loss to directly listen to important information.
Speech is picked up by a microphone, converted into a magnetic signal by an amplifier, and transmitted to users via a hearing loop cable. The magnetic signal is then picked up by a telecoil inside the user’s listening device.
Audio design and architectural integration
The project was put in place by the company Auris Populi, a system integrator based in Rome capable of providing design, installation and technical assistance to corporate, government, educational structures and numerous activities in the entertainment world.
For the occasion, Audiosales asked Marco Itta, founder of Auris Populi, to explain how the system installation phases unfolded.
Audiosales: How was the project born and what was the primary need of the customer?
Marco Itta: The ISSR contacted us to achieve what the teaching staff carries out with great determination every day: to make a school and learning environment increasingly inclusive for children with hearing loss.
Audiosales: We know that you are not new to the creation of complex projects. But in this project, despite its simplicity, a lot of creativity has been used. Can you explain to us why?
Marco Itta: Specifically, this project was really challenging; as we know, a hearing loop system is typically placed on the floor during construction or renovation. In this pre-existing schoolroom we could not access the floor and at the same time we wanted to create an aesthetically pleasing structure especially for the children but also for the users. Given the impossibility of laying the cable on the floor, we created a raised frame made of coloured nylon ropes. The use of ropes has not only allowed us to avoid the use of rigid suspended structures maximizing safety but has also considerably shortened the installation time.
Audiosales: When you contacted us you were already convinced that you were using a Contacta hearing loop system. What prompted you to use this solution?
Marco Itta: We have identified the manufacturer [Contacta] as, in our opinion, the most experienced and with the greatest commercial representation in Italy. The installation was relatively simple, thanks to the information contained in the technical report received from the manufacturer and above all thanks to the particular installation system that we designed and built internally. The support of the Audiosales’ technical department was significant, helping us interpret the project data and translate it into this specific application.
Audiosales: We have also seen you at work for staff training on the use of the hearing loop system. Has the ISSR already had the opportunity to use it?
Marco Itta: It’s part of our service. A customer who knows how to best use one of our installations will be able to appreciate all the advantages of a system and it will be easier for us to understand their future needs. Teachers and users who have experimented with Contacta hearing loop communication have given us positive feedback on the improvement in children’s understanding and appreciated the ease of use.