When you consider making public places accessible for individuals with disabilities, the obvious first thing you think of are modifications for wheelchairs. But what about accessibility for people with hearing loss? With the help of telecoil hearing aids or cochlear implants, hearing loops clarify sounds for hearing challenged individuals, are a less expensive investment than other disability modifications and will bring in additional visitors. Oftentimes the managers of the venue aren’t aware of how much a hearing loop can help. With a little effort you may be able to get them to install one.
Places of worship. While many places of worship are equipped with hearing amplifiers, many are not compatible or inconvenient and there are many places without them at all. In cases like this, you can typically take your suggestion directly to the leadership team. Explain to them how a hearing loop operates and how much more clearly you and others would be able to hear the speakers. You might try to gain popular support for the idea by submitting an article to the website or newsletter of the church.
Theaters and gathering places. Assembly areas are required by the Americans for Disabilities Act guidelines to be fitted with hearing amplification systems to accommodate patrons. 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, accommodating the hearing challenged will increase the number of visitors in these places.
More tips. No matter how you choose to bring up the matter, create understanding by sharing facts, promoting awareness for the need and garnering understanding. Educate them in what a hearing loop is, how it works and how much it costs. Have a prepare list of benefits from the patron’s perspective and the venue’s perspective. Entice them with the increases in patronage they will gain. Lastly, remain respectful and stay up to date as a resource to your community.