Parents’ evening 13 February 2024

This session featured a talk on assistive technology by audiology specialist Paul
Harris of the Ewing Foundation. Paul is a renowned in the field of hearing aids
and assistive technology.

We had 12 attendees, including a parent of a 4 year old with cochlear implants,
three young deaf adults, two other audiologists (one of whom is also a teacher
of deaf children and David Evans and Laura Benyon of Connevans.
Paul had plenty to tell us about, and, in particular, had a lot to say about the
new auracast technology which is currently being rolled out. An Auracast*
transmitter transmits a single audio broadcast that an unlimited number of in-
range Auracast receivers can join, in much the same way a standard radio
transmitter sends out one signal that any number of in-range radio receivers
can tune in to.

Rollout is a slow process (presently some new televisions have it) but Paul
predicts that in the next five years millions of devices will include Auracast. It
should ultimately replace the loop systems available in many public buildings
and also eventually in classrooms.

As part of his job Paul has been buying much of the latest technology to test to
see which is the best. A challenge for parents is whether to buy for the present
or whether to future proof it.

Auracast is highly relevant to assisted listening and is helping people with a
range of products. The deaf adults present had a number of questions about
the application of the Auracast technology to their daily lives. What came out
of these discussions was that:

 it would be important to connect to Auracast through the hearing
aid/cochlear implant that has been prescribed to the individual.
 in future there will be devices that are compatible with a particular
hearing aid/ cochlear implant.
 the next few years will be a time of considerable advancement in the
technology available to assist the listening experience of deaf children
and adults.

DELTA is extremely grateful to Paul for giving up his time to share his
knowledge and experience.**
*Auracast is a trade mark.
** Paul provided the following link at the meeting.