I dont need a hearing aid, but I know someone who needs one and told me the cost. Unbelievably costly.
I know nothing about them, but aren't they just an amplifier, with a speaker (like an earbud), and a tiny microphone? (and of course some sort of battery).
If a person cant afford the commercial ones, why cant they rig up a small box, with a amplifier board, battery, and a small microphone, like those in cellphones. Sure, I am sure no one can make one as compact as the commercial models (at home), but a homemade model, even if it is a little bulky is better than nothing. (In my opinion).
Heck, you can buy those complete amplifier modules on ebay for under $10, add a battery, mic from a junk cellphone, and any inexpensive earbud, plus a battery and some sort of small box to place the board, battery and mic. Add some sort of clip to hold the unit onto a shirt pocket. Total cost should be under $20.