Any time you think about making public places accessible for people with disabilities, the obvious first thing you think of are modifications for wheelchairs. But what about accessibility for people with hearing loss? That is where hearing loops come in. Venues with hearing loops provide much sharper speech and sound directly to the telecoils inside hearing aids.. Putting in a hearing loop is a rather inexpensive enhancement which can bring in new customers and visitors for the venue. Oftentimes the managers of the venue aren’t aware of how much a hearing loop might help. With a little bit of time and effort you may be able to get them to install one.

Places of worship. Few places of worship have modern hearing loops installed. Many don’t have any assistance for the hearing impaired. Others are using out-of-date technology that is inconvenient or difficult to use. If this is the situation, let the congregation and worship leaders know of the benefits of a hearing loop, such as using a telecoil to hear the speakers 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.

Auditoriums, theaters and other public buildings. Assembly areas are required by the Americans for Disabilities Act guidelines to be fitted with hearing amplification systems to accommodate patrons. 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.

Making your case. When you approach the managers of these venues, you’ll want to be prepared with information so you can build understanding and awareness. Define hearing loop, its function and 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 idea the first time, be available as a resource for additional information and ask if you can touch base with them every few months to continue the discussion.