News,  Photo Education & Accessibility

Accessibility Education – Pairing Hearing Aids to Your iPhone or iPad

As many of you will know, I was very recently fitted with some totally fabulous high end digital hearing aids. I’m so excited about these devices! We have a Photo Education and Accessibility section within TheAppWhisperer and our editor Luis Perez covers this.  Luis is an Apple Distinguished Educator whose work focuses on accessibility and inclusive design. He received his doctorate in special education from the University of South Florida in 2013 and is the author of Mobile Learning for All from Corwin Press. His work has appeared in THE Journal, The Loop Magazine, and the New York Times Bits Blog.

I wanted to include a section about pairing hearing aids with your iOS device because it’s an important part of our lives.  It’s possible to connect Bluetooth enabled hearing aids as well as special Made of iPhone (and iPad) hearing aids can also be placed into “live listen” mode where anyone with a hearing impairment can use the iPhone’s mic helps pick up conversation and sound. Apple maintains a list of iOS devices and their hearing aid compatibility (HAC) ratings:

In my case, I do not have ‘Made for iPhone’ compatible hearing aids – my models are made by Phonak.  I have attached a chart of the Made for iPhone hearing aids available and the model numbers below.

It is still possible though to put your iOS device into ‘Hearing Aid Mode’ which improves audio quality whilst using your device. Here’s how to do this as well as how to pair your hearing aids if you do have Bluetooth within them:



1.  Open the Settings app on your iOS device.

2.  Tap on General.

3.  Tap on Accessibility.

4.  Under the Hearing Section, tap on Hearing Aids.

5. If you have a Bluetooth enabled hearing aid it will be picked up (as long as they’re in discovery mode) automatically.

6.  You can then pair your aids to your phone.

7.  If like me your hearing aids are not Bluetooth discoverable you can still select Hearing Aid Mode and enjoy greater audio quality with your hearing aids.

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]


  • Mark Whitcombe

    Ah, advanced hearing aids — wonderful, eh? I’m on my third pair of high-end Phonaks after almost 20 years of wearing hearing aids. Absolutely wonderful improvement in almost all situations!

  • McKayla Strauss

    I actually had no idea that you could pair a hearing aid to a mobile device like that! I personally don’t wear hearing aids, but one of my friends should be getting an upgrade to theirs in the next few weeks. It should be interesting to see if it ends up being a set that can be paired to her phone. That should make using her phone a little bit easier for her.