Most public places and businesses have made their buildings wheelchair accessible, a highly visible challenge, but may be unaware of the less obvious challenges faced by individuals who have difficulty hearing. That is where hearing loops come in. Locations with hearing loops provide much clearer speech and sound directly to the telecoils inside hearing aids.. Putting in a hearing loop is a fairly low cost enhancement which can bring in new visitors and customers for the venue. If you or others find that hearing the normal activity at venues you visit frequently is a difficult task, you can help initiate positive change.
Places of worship. Only a few places of worship have modern hearing loops installed. Many don’t have any assistance for the hearing impaired. Others are using out-of-date technology that is not convenient or hard to use. If this is the situation, let the congregation and worship leaders know of the benefits of a hearing loop, such as using a telecoil to hear the speakers clearly through your own hearing aid or implant. You might try to gain popular support for the idea by submitting an article to the website or newsletter of the church.
Auditoriums, theaters and other public buildings. 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. Write a letter or schedule a meeting to speak with the managers of your favorite locations discussing this need and the good things that will come of their investment. For example, these places will see an increase in attendance because people with hearing challenges will be able to participate.
Arm yourself with information. No matter how you choose to bring up the matter, create understanding by sharing facts, promoting awareness for the need and garnering understanding. 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. Inform those in charge of the benefits to you and other patrons. Entice them with the increases in patronage they will gain. Even if they don’t engage in the idea the first time, make yourself available as a resource for additional information and inquire if you can touch base with them every couple of months to continue the conversation.