Assistive Listening Solutions in Corporate and Educational Venues: Hearing Aid as a Vehicle for Integration

The  “Americans with Disabilities Act” (ADA) -passed in 1990 and finally revised in 2010) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.

Taking into account that in the United States roughly 30 million people (aprox. 13%) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations[1],  this issue becomes a major topic to be considered by institutions and people in charge of assuring a pleasant and adequate environment for everyone.

The “Americans with Disabilities Act” (ADA)is extremely important because Title III of the ADA enforces to meet a minimum of requirements for people with disabilities, to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability in commercial facilities and by public accommodations. Assistive listening is one of those requirements, and we can appreciate how important is to overcome hearing loss for those who suffer from it.

hen hearing loss affects your everyday life, not only impacts on essential capabilities to develop activities properly, but also there is a great deal of feeling excluded and segregated from several places and events. And this is a social consequence of a physical problem, that many times is underestimated. And this point is where the ADA aims to make a difference. Amanda Nichols[2] makes this state very clear:“hearing loss can lead to social isolation, stress, and functional problems, such as impaired balance and others.”

There are many solutions to assist people with hearing impairment, equipment that goes from costly and complex induction loop systems, to less expensive and simpler systems such as FM or Wi-Fi Technology. FM listening systems have been used in multiple settings for hearing-impaired people for over 25 years, making the most cost-efficient option for several venues. These consist basically on a transmitter (that can be single-channel or multi-channel) sending a wireless signal to an FM receiver worn by the listener.Our Enersound 4-Person Assistive Listening System with Neckloops and ADA Plaque is a multichannel solution (in the 72-76 MHz band) to meet the needs of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for accessible design, useful for venues up to 100 seats.

                                     

                                                     E ALS- 4TP Assistive Listening System

The system can be used to improve comprehension by people who have difficulty hearing or understanding speech in various settings including meeting rooms, houses of worship, movie theatres, schools, public hearing rooms, and more.

PRIDE Industries, one of our clients and one of the nation's largest nonprofit employers of people with disabilities, is very satisfied with our equipment. As they provide training and help people with disabilities, some of their employees have hearing impairment, and the assistive listening system has proven to be a major difference for them.

And cases like Pride Industries can be identified all over the country, as educational and commercial organizations are making huge efforts improving their facilities to meet ADA standards. And this has become a trend that ultimately benefits them, as more and more people feel welcome and included, and they continue choosing these places over some others. Assistive Listening solutions may represent a big change,  and we feel comforted when we are able to make a difference in people’s lives.

[1] Lin FR, Niparko JK, Ferrucci L. Hearing loss prevalence in the United States. [Letter] Arch Intern Med. 2011 Nov 14; 171(20): 1851-1852.

[2] AMANDA D. NICHOLS Hearing Loss: Perceptions and Solutions. http://www.ltlmagazine.com/article/hearing-loss-p...

25th Feb 2015

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