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Meeting ADA Compliance for the Hearing Impaired

The 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that an assistive listening system be provided for use in any space where audible communication is integral. Assistive listening systems transmit and amplify sound to help those with hearing loss.

While it may sound like ADA refers to large spaces like school auditoriums, gymnasiums and cafeteria, the most common type of assembly area in a K-12 school is actually the classroom. 

According to the act, you must have at least two hearing-aid compatible receivers in all newly constructed or altered spaces. The number of devices required increases based on the seating capacity of the space. This is rarely enforced in schools. Many educators, and even the AV contractors that install such systems, are unaware of this aspect of ADA.

As a result, these systems are often not specified or installed.

“When we think ADA requirements, we think about wheelchair access,” says Cory Schaeffer, co-founder of Listen Technologies, a manufacturer of assistive listening products.  “However, compared to 1.4% of the population in a wheelchair, 17% have hearing loss [based on the World Health Organization’s definition].” Read More >>>