ADA compliance for “Effective Communications” is physically possible in all Title II and III spaces of public accommodation.
Ironically, ADA-exempt houses of worship are leading the way for hearing loop systems to deliver inclusivity and accessibility at their services and within their communities. The “top ten” advantages of a hearing loop system are listed below. Below that: some articles on the subject that have appeared over the past two decades.
Interesting note: most folks learn about the telecoil and how loop systems work while attending an HLAA Chapter meeting or at their local house of worship!
- Virtually no maintenance. Businesses or venues that install loop systems have virtually no maintenance on the system and do not have to purchase or maintain/sanitize/repair headphones such as those used with infrared or FM systems.
- Virtually NO LIMIT to the number of users of the system. All seats are good, front-row seats for ears that need a boost. This fact guarantees compliance with ADA rules for effective communications.
- Discreet assistance for all. Users will not “advertise” their disability by borrowing headphones – they only have to turn on their T-coil to pick up clear sound. There is no stigma attached to using the loop system.
- Win-Win for Hearing Aids & Implants. There is no need to remove a hearing aid while in a properly looped space. Users benefit from the loop technology AND their customized hearing aids for the best possible hearing experience.
- Standardized, International Compatibility. Loop technology uses a standard, universal system that any works with any T-coil equipped personal hearing aid, implant or device — in any country.
- ALL Brands of Hearing Devices Work. All T-coils built into hearing aids and cochlear implants work with ALL loop systems.
- Listeners use hearing aids they own. Sound is optimized for their personal hearing loss and needs.
- Improved clarity and understanding benefits businesses and individuals by reducing stress experienced by staff trying to engage in meaningful conversation with customers.
- Cost Effective. A loop system has a reasonable cost to install with minimal or no maintenance and many decades of reliable use for all seats within the loop.
- Loop systems don’t require you to purchase, maintain, clean and replace portable listening units. Most hearing aids and all cochlear implants have a built-in telecoil. Portable Loop “Listeners” are available ($145 each) and can serve as loaners for those without suitably equipped hearing aids.
Loop Technology in the News…
From the Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2015
“A Technological Godsend to Counter Hearing Loss”
The ‘hearing loop’ is a remarkable advance, but all too hard to find in the U.S.
By David G. Myers