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When you think about making public places accessible for people with disabilities, the obvious first thing that comes to mind are modifications for wheelchairs. But what about accessibility for people with hearing loss? That’s where hearing loops come in. Places with hearing loops provide much sharper speech and sound directly to the telecoils inside hearing aids.. Putting in a hearing loop is a rather low cost improvement which can bring in new visitors and customers for the venue. If you’re having a difficult time hearing the sermon at church, the actors at the local theatre, or at any other place you frequent, it is possible to have a hearing loop put in with a little time and effort.

Churches, synagogues & mosques. While many synagogues, mosques and churches already have some type of hearing aid device, it might be outdated and inconvenient or the place you attend might not have any assistance at all. If this is applicable to your favorite worship space, bring it to the attention of organizational leaders and be sure to mention how it will make listening to sermons easier for their members. Outline the idea in a page of your weekly bulletin or community newsletter.

Theatres, auditoriums & sports arenas. 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. For example, these places will see an increase in attendance because people with hearing challenges will be able to participate.

Tips 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. Define hearing loop, its function and costs. Explain the necessity and convenience of hearing loops for you and others. Make a clear business argument that increased patronage will offset the cost of installing the hearing loop. Lastly, remain respectful and stay well informed as a resource to your fellow community members.