Most public places and businesses have made their buildings wheelchair accessible, a highly visible challenge, but may not be aware of the less visible challenges confronted by individuals who have hearing loss. That is where hearing loops come in. Places with hearing loops provide much clearer speech and sound directly to the telecoils inside hearing aids or cochlear implants. Putting in a hearing loop is a fairly low cost improvement which can bring in new customers and visitors for the venue. If you’re having a difficult time hearing the speakers at church, the dialogue at the local theatre, or anywhere you visit on a regular basis, it is possible to have a hearing loop put in with a little effort.
Churches and places of worship. While many mosques, synagogues and churches already have some type of hearing aid device, it might be outdated and inconvenient or the place you attend might not have any assistance at all. If this is the situation, let the leadership team know of the benefits of this type of system, such as using a telecoil to hear the speakers clearly through your own hearing aid.. Introduce the idea in a newsletter or bulletin by explaining how a hearing loop works and how easy it is to install.
Theatres and gathering places. Assembly areas are required by the Americans for Disabilities Act guidelines to be fitted with hearing amplification systems to accommodate patrons. Contact the general manager of the venue and ask for a meeting. Be prepared to explain the costs involved as well as the benefits to the patrons and to the venue. For example, these places will see an increase in attendance because people with hearing challenges will be able to participate.
Tips to make your case. No matter how you choose to bring up the matter, create understanding by sharing facts, promoting awareness for the need and garnering understanding. Define hearing loop, its function and costs. Explain the necessity and convenience of hearing loops for you and others. Explain to them the benefits of their increased business. Even if they don’t engage in the idea the first time, be available as a resource for additional information and inquire if you can check in with them every couple of months to continue the conversation.