Nearly all public places and businesses have modified their buildings for accessibility to wheelchairs, an extremely visible disability, but may be unaware of the less obvious challenges confronted by people who have hearing loss. Installing a hearing loop clarifies speech and other sound for patrons with telecoil compatible hearing aids, is less expensive than other modifications and may increase visitors or customers. If you or your loved ones notice that hearing the goings-on at venues you visit regularly is a difficult task, you can help instigate positive change.
Churches, synagogues & mosques. Few places of worship have modern hearing loops installed. Many don’t have any assistance for the hearing impaired. Others are using outdated technology that is not convenient or hard to use. If this is the case, let the leadership team know of the advantages of this type of system, such as using a telecoil to hear the sermon clearly through your own hearing aid or implant. Outline the idea in a page of your weekly bulletin or community newsletter.
Theatres, auditoriums & athletic arenas. In the United States, it is a legal requirement for pubic assembly spaces to have audio amplification. A hearing loop is an easy way for a venue to comply with this law. To promote this need, you can write to or meet with the people in charge of these public spaces and business to explain the need and benefits. For example, accommodating the hearing challenged will increase the number of visitors in these places.
Information to share. When you approach the managers of these venues, you’ll want to be prepared with information so you can build understanding and awareness. You’ll probably need to start at the beginning by explaining what a hearing loop system is and how it works. You’ll want to have some ballpark figures on cost. Have a prepare list of benefits from the patron’s perspective and the venue’s perspective. Explain to them the benefits of their increased business. Even if they don’t engage in the concept the first time, make yourself available as a resource for additional information and inquire if you can touch base with them every few months to continue the conversation.