Many of us have been a part of the evolution of listening to music via boom boxes, walkmans, MP3 players, iPods and cell phones. What’s cool about these kinds of devices is that we hear the music up close and personal. Using an assistive listening device is just as simple as using these devices. But, where an ALD differs from such devices is that it can be the reason you fully experience the moment in a theater, house of worship, classroom, board room, or stadium.
Assistive listening devices have a strong reputation as a readily available solution to individuals who have a hearing disability. This solid reputation comes from the mandate of the the American with Disabilites Act (ADA) which includes a provision that public venues provide accommodation to the hard of hearing.
If you’re not hard of hearing you might be thinking, what does this have to do with me? It wasn’t long ago that I was of this mindset too. What I’ve discovered by asking for and using an ALD at the movies and at concerts is that I am more immersed in the experience . In fact, when I am in a situation where an ALD is not available, I find that I really miss the pleasure of hearing the experience directly in my ear.
Public venues that provide ALD devices make it very easy for us to request and use. There is no fee to use one, but you may be asked to provide something like car keys or a driver’s license that will be returned to you when you return the device. ALD devices are typically managed by guest services. At Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City the staff member that manages the coat check room also handles the ALD devices.
So, next time you go to the movies or to a concert or theater performance ask for an ALD device and experience for yourself how easy it is. But, most importantly hear what a difference it makes to fully be engaged in what is going on around you!
Watch this short video on what your experience might be like requesting an ALD device at the Hale Center Theater.