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How to make your classroom accessible using the Phonak Roger Table Mic II

College student using the Roger Table Mic II
When I went to university for my third year, I noticed that my classroom environments were different than previous years.

Discussions had a more critical and central role in my learning. I would need to find a solution to ensure I was hearing not only my professors but other students in the classroom too. Then I came across the Phonak Roger Table Mic II, which is a perfect solution for my new classroom environments.

Different classrooms call for different hearing technology

University itself is a fluid experience in which every lecture and class has its own set of challenges, especially for the hard-of-hearing. The most successful students in university are quick to adapt to each class’s unique nature. For me, one of the more challenging classrooms to make accessible was in the discussion-based lectures. I had used notetakers, remote closed captioning, and different Phonak Roger remote microphones that the speaker would wear that would allow the speaker’s voice to go directly to my hearing aids.

However, all these solutions still require others to make the classroom accessible. Either by relying on students and the professor to pass the microphone. Or on notetakers that provide me with the points I missed after class.  Both solutions remove me from the equation of accessibility. This makes it more difficult for me to be present and partake in the class discussions as they spontaneously appear.

When I entered my third year of university without an actual solution other than passing around the Phonak Roger Pen, I was nervous about increasing seminar lectures. Previously before in my upper years, my lectures and seminar discussions were separated. Now they were combined so that we would be lectured while having a discussion. Passing around a microphone might not work anymore, since I would miss what the professor would have to say. I decided that the Roger Table Mic II would be the best solution because it is a small directional microphone that can be placed on a table and pick up speakers from all around.

Using my Roger Table Mic II in the classroom

You may know a range of Phonak Roger remote microphones such Phonak Roger Select, the Roger Pen, the Roger Touchscreen Mic, maybe even the Roger Pass-around Mic.

The Roger Table Mic II is similar to the Roger Select with its ability to pick up speakers from directions. However, unlike the Roger Select, it can connect with other microphones in a system to cover an entire classroom full of students. The Roger Table Mic II allowed me to fully control my accessibility without needing to rely on others to execute everything.

“The Roger Table Mic II allowed me to fully control my accessibility without needing to rely on others to execute everything.”

Each Table Microphone comes with a remote so that you can effortlessly mute the microphone from across the classroom. You can also increase or decrease the radius. I created a system where the three Table Mic II devices were connected to my Roger Select and placed strategically around the classroom to pick up all voices. At the same time, the main speaker or professor would wear the Roger Select. It was a great and cohesive way to mic up a seminar classroom without slowing down the classroom structure and style. The Roger Table Mic II allowed me to customize the classroom to fit my needs.

Why the Roger Table Mic II is great for discussions

This solution also solved the problematic points of passing around the Roger Pen. With the Table Mic II, I can hear different people at different points. Using a remote, I can adjust the microphone to better hear the person I want to hear. The Table Mic allows me to hear the natural two-way dialogue encouraged between professors and students. These discussions are meant to bloom in a seminar, which they do when I avoid quashing the discussion with the awkward passing of the mic.

When using Roger Table Mic II, I can hear both sides of the dialogue between a professor and a student. Whether it is the professor’s response that enhances a point the student made or an answer to a student’s question, I get to hear the full range of discussion. Together, these technologies work well to be present in the conversation.

The Roger Table Mic II created an easy solution to accessibility in my classroom. It blended into the background that allowed accessibility for me in a worry-free way for everyone in the classroom. It granted me full control of my accessibility that allowed me to focus on my studies. Now I don’t need to focus on how to make the classroom accessible and only focus on my notes.

Read more: 4 hearing technology accessories used in the classroom by teens with hearing loss

Author Details
Maddy is 19 and currently in her third year at university studying International Relations. She wears Sky V90 hearing aids in both ears, and has been wearing hearing aids since she was three. In her spare time you can catch her painting, playing volleyball and watching YouTube. Some of her goals is to continue to work for better accessibility at her university and to break down the stigmas surrounding hearing loss.