Most public venues and businesses have made their buildings wheelchair accessible, an extremely visible disability, but may not be aware of the less visible challenges faced by people who have hearing loss. In conjunction with telecoil-enabled hearing aids or implants, hearing loops clear up sounds for hearing impaired individuals, are a more affordable investment than other disability modifications and will generate more patronage. If you or your loved ones notice that hearing the goings-on at venues you visit regularly is a difficult task, you can help initiate positive change.
Churches, mosques & synagogues. While many places of worship are equipped with amplification equipment, many are not compatible or not convenient and there are many places without them at all. In this case, you can typically take your request directly to the leadership team. Explain to them how a hearing loop operates and how much more clearly you and others could hear the message. You might try to gain popular support for the idea by submitting an article to the website or newsletter of the church.
Auditoriums, theaters & athletic arenas. 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. To promote this need, you can write to or meet with the people in charge of these public spaces and business to explain the need and benefits. Installing a hearing loop can allow the business to tap into a new segment of the population which sometimes has limited entertainment options.
More tips. When you approach the managers of these venues, you’ll want to be prepared with information so you can build understanding and awareness. 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. Even if they do not engage in the concept the first time, be available as a resource for further information and inquire if you can touch base with them every couple of months to continue the conversation.