Times have changed. The way in which we handle interactions with other people outside our home has been affected by the recent pandemic and replaced by a completely new set of rules and guidelines for our own safety. Any communication that used to be accomplished by standing near a person to tell them something private in a public space now will need to be done differently as you may risk catching the virus from a sick person who may cough, sneeze, or talk, and their droplets may land in your mouth or nose. For this reason, many people are wearing masks and/or standing six feet apart to maintain the CDC recommended social distancing. But this makes communication harder, especially for people with hearing loss or communication problems.
Equipment and devices that were originally developed for other functions can now be adapted to all these recently sprouted needs. Portable interpretation and tour guide systems have become widespread because of their twofold use: they can fulfill the requirements for both effective and clear communication as well as safe help maintain social distancing. For example, for any kind of tour or visit to a facility that requires a guide to relay information to a group people as they walk along it is no longer recommended for people to gather around a single guide to listen to him, or to get close to other visitors. Taking that into account, open air flow of words will be severely limited; there’s so much shouting a person can do to get their point across to people standing many feet away from him when there might be additional background noise from a loud manufacturing plant.
In this situation a simple and portable tour guide system will easily remove these logistic inconveniences: the guide will speak into his microphone connected to a small portable, battery operated transmitter, and the listeners will receive crystal clear sound through their headphones that connected to individual FM receivers they can keep in their pockets or worn around their arm or neck or clipped to their belt. This way there will not be any need for people to gather closely around each other or the guide; they can walk around as they please and do not miss any information.
Another unforeseen barrier with these new safety measures is the impossibility for the hard of hearing to read lips due to the general use of face masks and coverings. People with this kind of disability used to be able to get by taking advantage of that unique skill, but now it is next to impossible. So, unless they are completely deaf, electronic transmission of words can replace it and a pair of headphones at high volume will grant them a new channel of communication in the absence of the old way.
There many more examples, some even in settings where these devices used to be featured for other uses. Whisper interpretation was widely used in courtrooms when at least some of the participants did not speak the same language, so an interpreter would sit close to them and quietly interpret what was being said to them. Nowadays, that closeness is no longer an option as it would cause a health hazard. Once again here that channel can be replaced with a tour guide system, enabling the interpreter to stay a safe distance away from both the speaker, be it a judge or attorney for example and the LEP witness or deponent.
We have several options available for tour guide solutions; prices may vary based on the number of receivers or transmitters needed, but you can get complete systems for less than $400 such as the TSC-5 model below. And shipping within the US is free.
TSC-5 Portable Interpretation System
You can reach us for any questions or if you need system recommendations at 1-888-737-4030 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.