More than 37 million people in the US report they have trouble hearing, and one in eight people have hearing loss in both ears. Worldwide, about 430 million people have disabling hearing loss, and that number keeps growing.
With a large segment of the population having challenges hearing clearly, providing assistive technology like assistive listening systems to ensure no one is excluded is simply the right thing to do for your guests. At Listen Technologies, we take pride in helping clients meet compliance requirements and helping them increase inclusion.
Listen Technologies is known largely as a provider of assistive listening solutions. One of the ways we provide value to our clients is by serving as their guide for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other local requirements.
Assistive listening is just one of many technologies that go into a typical audiovisual system. If we can take compliance off the consultant or integrator’s plate so that they can focus on other AV components, we know we’re providing a service they’ll appreciate. We enjoy doing it, too. Helping our customers dot their i’s and cross their t’s with local compliance laws is a win-win.
Of course, being compliant with local and national laws on assistive listening is a good thing. I suspect the hyper-focus on compliance causes us to lose sight of the reasons these solutions exist, though. It forces our attention to logistical matters. Those logistical questions include:
- When are assistive listening systems required?
- Are assistive listening devices necessary?
- What are the signage requirements for assistive listening systems?
Instead, I’d like to concentrate on why providing an assistive listening system simply makes good sense, whether there is a legal requirement or not.
Challenges associated with hearing clearly should not impede someone from living a full life. They should still be able to pursue their education and advance their career. In addition, they should be able to attend religious services, participate in local government, or enjoy the arts and sporting events. Providing assistive listening helps to ensure equal access to all in a variety of environments.
One of the most heartening trends I’ve seen lately involves several Fortune 500 companies. In the name of inclusion, these companies are making assistive listening a standard in all their conference and meeting spaces. These companies are making a statement that any person who enters their facility has the right to feel included and hear every word clearly and concisely.
I love to see people doing the right thing. Providing tools to ensure inclusivity is the right thing to do. That’s why we take pride in helping clients meet compliance standards and create inclusive spaces.
By Sam Nord