For all those who might have an impact on how spaces of “public accommodation” are designed and built, or have the opportunity to teach others about tools for better, more effective communications — this page is for you. Careful attention to acoustics, technology and inclusivity will afford all of us the best possible results when we attempt to communicate with each other.
If you don’t yet have personal experience with hearing loss, there is much to learn about the “invisible” challenge that affects many millions of Americans at a variety of levels – from mild to moderate to complete deafness. According to the HLAA, 48 million is the total number here and, by age and type of work experience, there are predictable patterns. More on that later.
At a glance, most of us assume that our places of “public accommodation” (theaters, schools, court rooms, pharmacies, airports, libraries, hospitals, etc.) are ADA compliant. We notice the ramps, curb-cuts, braille, etc. and believe that the architects and designers of these spaces have covered it all. Unless we know, personally, what it is like to navigate the hearing world while dependent upon hearing aids or cochlear implants.
The list of good examples of well designed, inclusive spaces is growing rapidly and one day soon, we anticipate that hearing loss will be more visible and less of an obstacle.
Architect, Designer, Engineer: Learn more about why the installation of audio induction loop systems during construction offers your clients the most effective, seamless and consumer-preferred option for better hearing and comprehension. Note: Loop wire embedded in a concrete floor (50 year warranty) allows for changes in floor coverings as often as needed.
Audio Visual Consultant: With each audio project you design and install, you will have an opportunity to offer your clients the consumer-preferred choice for assistive listening. With audio induction loop systems, there is no need to borrow gear to improve hearing. Telecoil-equipped hearing aids and implants are simply switched to “telecoil mode” and crystal clear sound is delivered wirelessly by the loop system. Note: A variety of configurations of wired or wireless mics and PA systems work efficiently with a loop system.
Audiologist: Knowing how to activate a telecoil, and what to expect when in public spaces that feature a hearing loop system – clarity of sound and increased comprehension, of course — is a simple lesson with a one-to-one hearing loop system that can be portable if needed.