Cochlear Implant Environment Planning

In classrooms for students with cochlear implants, considerations must be given to the acoustical environment of all functional spaces. While easy to clean tile floors and large open spaces are ideal for the messy, hands-on learning in most elementary classrooms, they become an acoustic nightmare for a student who is learning to listen through a hearing aid or cochlear implant.

Attention must be paid to the effect of a noisy environment on the development of a child learning to listen. Factors that can impact the development of listening skills include

  • The sound level of the person’s voice
  • Ambient noise in the room
  • Noise of adjacent rooms transmitted through partition and ventilating systems
  • Reverberation time of sound in functional spaces.

In short, the acoustic environment should be as quiet and noise-free as possible.

Other important consideration in the environment of cochlear implant users is static electricity. Playground slides, rubber surface, carpets and other plastic products are huge issues that affect people with cochlear implants. It could reset the implant programming system.