Hearing loop systems and accessibility

Hearing loss and deafness is a significant issue, predicted to effect a rising number of people across the globe.  The World Health Organization (WHO) projects by 2050 nearly 2.5 billion are projected to have some degree of hearing loss, of which 700 million (1 in every 10 people) will have a disabling hearing loss.  Hearing loss can lead to difficulty in hearing conversational speech, announcements in public places as well as places where there are high levels of background noise such as stadiums and airports.

When hearing accessibility services are not provided the impact of the unaddressed needs hinders many aspects of the persons life: social isolation, lower rates of education and employment and an overall retreat from society and the economy.

Therefore, hearing accessibility must be a top priority for all places that an individual interacts in their community: banks, retail, healthcare, places of worship, performing arts theatres, public transportation, etc.   Providing accessibility promotes inclusiveness.

Three out of four people with disabilities have walked away from businesses – including supermarkets, banks, restaurants and transport companies – due to a lack of disability awareness and poor service.

Hearing loops are an assistive listening technology installed in millions of locations throughout the world, providing the accessibility many need to engage and communicate freely.

Devices such as hearing aids amplify all sounds. In noisy environments, this can make it difficult for those living with hearing loss to distinguish the speech, music or conversation they are trying to hear.

Hearing loops improve communication by enabling users to hear sound sources directly by cutting out background noise.

The Benefits

Through enhanced communication and by pro-actively engaging with the millions of people with hearing loss you can:

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Improve communication and expand customer engagement

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Fulfil legal obligations and boost your social responsibility

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Help people feel understood, included and supported

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Enhance customer experience and satisfaction

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Attract new customers

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Encourage brand loyalty and stand out from your competitors

What is a Hearing Loop?

When signs indicate that a hearing loop system is installed, all a user needs to do is turn their hearing device to the ‘T’ position and they will be able to hear with clarity.

A hearing loop provides a direct link to the sound source such as a microphone or television so people with hearing loss can clearly hear what they are trying to listen to. Speech is picked up by a microphone, converted to a magnetic signal by an amplifier, and transmitted towards a user via an aerial.

The magnetic signal is then picked up by a telecoil within a user’s hearing device and they will be able to hear with clarity.

Why use Hearing Loops?

Situations that many of us take for granted such as meetings, classes, or trips to the theater become an impossible feat for those with hearing loss, which affects approximately 48 million people in the United States.

For someone wearing a hearing device, a hearing aid or cochlear implant, background noise is very often audible over the speaker or performer, negatively impacting their experience. Looped performance centers ensure a quality listening experience.

1 to 1 communication should be easy and natural, but instead, it can be a stressful activity which causes fatigue and embarrassment for those with hearing loss. Many people affected even choose not to visit checkout counters or desks that are poorly equipped.

Technology can be installed which allows you to realize the full potential of every interaction, resulting in happy customers and an enhanced reputation. There is also legislation that specifies where hearing loops should be installed. In order to comply with these regulations, you need to know what they say.

Charities and Advocacy Groups

We have been working closely with charities and advocates throughout the world for many years to promote the installation and use of Hearing Loops.

Charities are often leading the call of people with hearing loss for the availability of accessible equipment and support. These charities aim to help people tackle the challenges that hearing loss can bring more easily, offering shared experiences, practical support and guidance.

The ultimate goal is to help them to communicate with friends, family and service providers easily and with confidence. Charities run national campaigns that are pivotal to raising awareness about the benefits that loops can bring.

This helps encourage those with hearing loss to speak up about the need for solutions that make their lives easier and deliver fair access to services and society.

Some of our charity partners include Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHAA).

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