Legislation and Standards

Audio-frequency induction loop systems (also know as hearing loop systems) adhere to the international standard, IEC 60118-4:2018.  The IEC 60118-4:2018 standard for hearing loop system’s performance gives users assurance and an expectation to receive the same level of performance from a loop system whether they are in the United States, Canada, Ireland or the United Kingdom.

In addition to the international standard, legislation and standards have been implemented that are country specific.  Below is information on IEC 60118-4:2018 as well as legislation specific to the United States and Canada.

Click the blue bars below to expand the text and read more.

International Electrotechnical Commission IEC 60118-4

IEC 60118-4 - Induction Loop Systems Performance Standard

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) published the IEC 60118-4 standard to set clear guidelines for the performance of hearing loop systems.

This standard has been adopted worldwide as the authoritative reference for hearing loop system performance. Compliance to the IEC 60118-4 is a stamp of approval on set up quality level and performance of a system. From the perspective of a service provider, it confirms that compliance is in line with equality laws and that installed systems are fully compliant and commissioned correctly. This standard is not a legal rule, rather a norm referenced in architectural plans or building specifications.

The IEC 60118-4 ensures hearing loop systems produce a magnetic field at an intended and designed level, meaning an even magnetic field is delivered across the whole of the listening area. The best solutions are therefore provided for telecoil hearing device users. Also included are details about the expected field strength of induction loop systems so that they produce an optimal signal to noise ratio without distortion, as well as minimum frequency response levels for delivering optimal intelligibility. Measurements techniques, distances and methods are detailed in depth in the standard.

United States Legislation

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

According to the U.S. Department of Justice:

“The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life — to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 — the ADA is an equal opportunity law for people with disabilities.”

To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered. (www.ada.gov)

Online Resources and Links:


Generic Hearing Loop Specification (US)

ADA Title I: Employment

Title I of the ADA covers employment by private employers with 15 or more employees and state and local government employers of the same size. Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act provides the same protections for federal employees and applicants for federal employment. Most states also have their own laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of disability. Some of these state laws may apply to smaller employers and provide protections in addition to those available under the ADA.

For more information, visit the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

ADA Title II: State and Local Government

Title II regulations prohibit state and local government agencies, departments, special purpose districts, and other instrumentalities from discriminating against people with disabilities in their programs, services, and activities. Public entities must make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices, and procedures to allow equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities to participate, unless to do so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity. They must also provide auxiliary aids and services, integrated program access through nonstructural and architectural modifications, and meet Title I employment provisions with all employees and contractors. Public entities do not need to remove all physical barriers in existing buildings as long as programs provided in those buildings are readily accessible to users with disabilities in another facility. All new construction must be accessible.

The U.S. Department of Justice, (DOJ), has enforcement responsibility for all State and local government entities not specifically assigned to other designated agencies. Title II also seeks to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to existing public transportation services. All newly purchased buses and other vehicles must be accessible. In cases of inaccessible fixed route systems, public entities must provide paratransit services comparable to the level of service provided by the fixed route system.

Source: http://www.adagreatlakes.org/ada/?title=2

ADA Title III: Places of Public Accomodation

“Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the activities of places of public accommodations (businesses that are generally open to the public and that fall into one of 12 categories listed in the ADA, such as restaurants, movie theaters, schools, day care facilities, recreation facilities, and doctors’ offices) and requires newly constructed or altered places of public accommodation—as well as commercial facilities (privately owned, nonresidential facilities such as factories, warehouses, or office buildings)—to comply with the ADA Standards.”

Source: https://www.ada.gov/ada_title_III.htm

ADA Standards for Accessible Design

The Department of Justice published revised regulations for Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 “ADA” in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010.  These regulations adopted revised, enforceable accessibility standards called the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design “2010 Standards” or “Standards”. The 2010 Standards set minimum requirements – both scoping and technical — for newly designed and constructed or altered State and local government facilities, public accommodations, and commercial facilities to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

Adoption of the 2010 Standards also establishes a revised reference point for Title II entities that choose to make structural changes to existing facilities to meet their program accessibility requirements; and it establishes a similar reference for Title III entities undertaking readily achievable barrier removal.

The Department has assembled this online version of the official 2010 Standards to increase its ease of use.  This version includes:

2010 Standards for State and Local Government Facilities Title II

2010 Standards for Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities Title III 

2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design – PDF

Guidance on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design – PDF

ADA Technical Assistance

The ADA requires the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to businesses, State and local governments, and individuals regarding the law.

Click here for a selection of technical assistance documents that provide an overview of the rights and responsibilities under the ADA.

Documents include:

Canadian Legislation

Bill C-81

Charter Statement – Bill C-81: An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada

Tabled in the House of Commons, June 20, 2018

The purpose of the Accessible Canada Act is to benefit all persons, especially persons with disabilities, through the progressive realization of a barrier-free Canada. It would require the Government of Canada and the federally-regulated public and private sectors to identify and remove barriers, and to prevent new barriers, that hinder the full and equal participation in society of persons with disabilities. It would focus on barriers in the areas of employment, the built environment, information and communication technologies, the procurement of goods and services, the delivery of programs and services, transportation, and other designated areas.

The Accessible Canada Act would grant the Governor in Council, the Canadian Transportation Agency, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission the authority to recommend or establish accessibility standards intended to reduce barriers and to improve accessibility (“accessibility standards”). The Act would also create the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization to develop and recommend accessibility standards for use by any person or entity, including any government in Canada or elsewhere.

Compliance with regulated accessibility standards would be enforced by a new Accessibility Commissioner within the Canadian Human Rights Commission, by the Canadian Transportation Agency, by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, and by the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board, depending on the source of the accessibility standard and the area in which it applies. Compliance with regulated accessibility standards could be enforced through inspections, compliance audits, compliance orders, administrative monetary penalties, and individual complaint adjudications, depending on the nature and activity of the regulated entity.

Bill C-81 would create new proactive requirements for regulated entities in the federally-regulated public and private sectors. These requirements include the preparation and publication of accessibility plans, the receipt of public feedback on the accessibility plans, and the preparation and publication of progress reports in relation to the accessibility plans.

Considered as a whole, the Bill would promote the aims and values of section 15 of the Charter (equality). It also potentially engages section 8 (search and seizure) and section 11 (legal rights applying to those “charged with an offence”).




Accessible Canada Act – Visual Representation 1

Accessible Canada Act – Visual Representation 2

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