36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. When a person enters an area where they cannot hear clearly, they become disconnected from their environment—this is the exact opposite of an architect’s intention.

With new legislation and rapid technological advancements, it is becoming increasingly important for architects to actively design assisted listening solutions into the project as early as possible. Early implementation is particularly critical when a Hearing (Induction) Loop systems is considered for a project because it may need to be embedded into the concrete or otherwise added to the infrastructure. Hearing Loops are an increasingly popular option and they shouldn’t be left until the AV consultant is hired.

Cory Shaeffer, Co-Founder of Listen Technologies, on Early Consideration of Assisted Listening in Design.

Cory Shaeffer, Co-Founder of Listen Technologies, on The Three Types of Assistive Listening Technologies.

Designing-in solutions for the hearing impaired is not only the right thing do to, it’s also the law!

Most architects are familiar with the ADA requirements for wheelchair ramps and restrooms, but updated rules about accommodating those with hearing loss apply to all new construction and alterations as of March 15, 2012 and they are nowmandatory.

Changes to the ADA apply to the following:

  • Essentially any space where people may gather and there is amplified sound, whether it’s a classroom or a boardroom, is required to have an assisted listening system.
  • The number of receivers has been scaled to match the total occupancy of the venue. How many receivers are needed? See the calculator
  • Buildings that offer hearing-aid compatible solutions need to interface with telecoils in hearing aids through the provision of neckloops.

rf ir il

Listen Technologies provides solutions to meet the new ADA requirements

There are three types of technology used for assistive listening: RF (radio frequency), IR (infrared) and IL (induction loop). All of these technologies provide the same outcome: the audio source is transmitted wirelessly to a personal receiver or directly to a compatible hearing-aid, enabling clear communication.

  • When is RF appropriate?
    In an RF system, the signal is transmitted over radio frequencies to a personal receiver. The technology can cover a wide area indoors or outdoors with no “line of sight issues.” learn more >>>
  • When is IR appropriate?
    An IR system uses infrared light to transmit audio (similar to how a TV remote works). The advantage of IR technology is that the system is secure and you can be confident that the audio signal will never leave the room in which the system is used. learn more >>>
  • When is Loop appropriate?
    In an Induction Loop system, an integral wire is connected to a loop driver and installed around the room in a variety of ways creating an induction field that can be picked up by hearing aids with a tele-coil (T-Coil). Many venues and users alike enjoy this type of an assistive listening system because the user does not require an additional receiver; they simply use their hearing aids to receive the audio signal. learn more >>>

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