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Phonak Launches Edulink to Help Students with Specific Performance Deficits Succeed in the Classroom

Latest FM Technology Allows Students To Concentrate, Understand More Clearly And Minimize Distracting Environmental Noises

WARRENVILLE, IL - December 1, 2004
- Phonak Hearing Systems, a key contributor to the advancements of pediatric audiology for more than 30 years, announced the U.S. launch of EduLink, the most technologically-advanced wireless FM system designed to help students with performance deficits, block-out background noise and concentrate on learning.

More than 10 percent of school-aged children are affected with performance deficits such as Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and/or a specific Learning Disorder (LD), with many still untreated due to lack of diagnosis . With today's classroom environments creating acoustics that muffle, mangle and steal away about a quarter of what a child should hear, children with performance deficits have to work twice as hard to keep up with the class in understanding and retaining the lesson plan. When EduLink is used in the classroom, the teacher carries a small, wireless microphone (the FM transmitter) on his/her lapel or as a headset, allowing them the freedom to walk and talk while teaching. The student receives the teacher's voice directly into an earpiece, a resilient, inconspicuous and contemporarily-designed device, which allows them to clearly process sound and information.

The technology behind EduLink increases the signal-to-noise ratio, which provides the student with a much clearer and distinct audible speech signal. Carl Crandell, Ph.D., Professor, Director of Audiology in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, at the University of Florida says the system helps students suffering from performance deficits by improving the quality of their listening environment, effectively reducing distracting background and ambient noise, and enhancing the processing of auditory information, which ultimately increases the child's ability to learn.

A recent study conducted at the Centre of Developmental and Family Pediatrics in Heiligenstadt, Germany, found that children diagnosed with APD, ADD/ADHD, and/or LD have demonstrated improved auditory memory from the use of FM systems, like EduLink, in a classroom environment.

It's exciting to hear that students and staff are already benefiting from the EduLink technology, said David A. Fabry, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Research at Phonak Hearing Systems. We're hopeful that EduLink will continue to contribute to the quality of life for those children who suffer from specific performance deficits.

About Phonak: Phonak Hearing Systems is a global leader in the development and manufacture of hearing systems. Using state-of-the-art technology, the Swiss-based company strives to produce solutions for adults and children with and without hearing loss in the most challenging of listening environments. Phonak's ultimate goal is to make a key contribution to the quality of life of those with a hearing impairment, their family and friends.

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