Any time you consider making public spaces accessible for individuals with disabilities, the obvious first thing that comes to mind are modifications for wheelchairs. But what about accessibility for people with hearing loss? Installing a hearing loop improves speech and other sound for patrons with telecoil compatible hearing aids, is less expensive than other modifications and may increase patronage. Oftentimes the owners of the venue simplyaren’t aware of how much a hearing loop can help. With a little effort you might be able to get them to install one.
Places of worship. While many churches, mosques and synagogues already have some type of hearing aid device, it might be difficult to use or out-of-date or the place you attend might not have one at all. If this is the situation, let the congregation and worship leaders know of the advantages of a hearing loop, such as being able to push a button to customize your ability to hear the sermon clearly through your own hearing aid.. You might try to gain popular support for the idea by submitting an article to the website or newsletter of the church.
Theaters and public gathering places. 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. For example, accommodating the hearing challenged will increase the number of visitors in these places.
Be prepared to make your case. When you approach the managers of these venues, you’ll want to be prepared with information so you can build awareness and understanding. You’ll probably need to start at the beginning by explaining what a hearing loop system is and how it works. You’ll want to have some estimated figures on cost. Explain the necessity and convenience of hearing loops for you and others. Entice them with the increases in patronage they will gain. Even if they do not engage in the concept the first time, make yourself available as a resource for additional information and ask if you can touch base with them every few months to continue the discussion.