Previous Projects

Lydia Berger — Awareness and Accessibility of Auditory Accommodations in Public Venues
Download the poster (pdf)

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires public venues to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. These accommodations are necessary for some attendees to get equal access during events or tours. While great efforts have been made for those with physical disabilities and limited vision, the availability and general knowledge about accommodations for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is still limited.

The purpose of this study is to quantitatively measure how easily accessible these accommodations are and how much and what knowledge was available. Fifteen venues, of various types, were chosen from a search of popular venues in Dallas. A questionnaire was created and then completed with information obtained from a phone interview and a search of their website. As expected, most venues had little to no information available and scored poorly. Even some of the venues that scored well had key pieces of information missing, such as where to pick up the devices or how far in advance a request for an interpreter needs to be made.

There is a much room for improvement, but knowing where the largest, and most common deficits are will help form targeted strategies to address those shortfalls.

Ginny Land — Accuracy of Speech Recognition in a Five-Speaker Array Using Hearing Assistive Device
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Hearing assistive technology vastly helps understanding speech when presented with competing noise. This study’s purpose was to assess the accuracy of a wireless microphone in two different directionality modes, in competing noise with a multiple speaker array. Participants with and without hearing loss showed improvement with the wireless microphone in an omnidirectional mode.

Alexander Morris — Assistive Technology Validation (ATV) Protocol: Audiology Outside the Soundbooth
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Hearing aids and cochlear implants are well-established options for individuals with hearing loss; however, in some cases, assistive listening devices (ALDs) such as wireless microphones are necessary to help these individuals better communicate in real-world noisy environments.

This study aimed to propose a new, succinct validation protocol for this technology. The Assistive Technology Validation (ATV) Protocol uses spoken BKB-SIN sentences and noise produced via a Bluetooth speaker to evaluate ALD performance outside the sound booth, significantly reducing test time. The proposed protocol can be a useful tool in clinical or education audiology.

Audrey Taylor — Technology Transmission Range
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Recognition of high-frequency phonemes impacts word recognition in noise. Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) improve word recognition by increasing the signal-to-noise ratio.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate if individuals, especially those with hearing loss, could use ALDs to increase the accuracy of scoring patient responses during audiological evaluations. Data revealed improved scoring accuracy when assistive technology was used to convey patient responses to the audiologist.

Logan Honea — Output Measures of Assistive Technology Headphones
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This project sought to establish a valid and reliable way to measure the output of headphones often provided with assistive listening devices. The Simulated Head and Pinna system was utilized with a Fonix 35 Hearing Aid Analyzer microphone to measure the output of these headphones. Between trials, there was no significant difference in each headphone, indicating that this method could be utilized in further research and by public facilities to ensure their devices are worthy of use by visitors.