Are you responsible for meeting the compliance requirements for assisted listening systems (also known as assistive listening systems) at your facility? If so, you may want to pay close attention. Assisted listening systems are easy to may seem like an overwhelming task, it’s critically important for several reasons.
Here are the top five reasons why it’s important to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
1. Compliance with the ADA is a legal requirement.
Providing assistive listening to people with hearing loss in public spaces and venues is mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Specifically, assistive listening systems often need to be installed in the following assembly areas:
- Public Meeting Rooms
- Legislative Chambers
- Motion Picture Houses
- Dinner Theaters
- Concert Halls
- Centers For The Performing Arts
- Convention Centers
The U.S. Department of Justice enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act. Business owners must make it a point to understand assistive listening systems and how to comply with the ADA requirements.
2. Non-Compliance with the ADA results in costly penalties.
There are legal ramifications and costly fines if you don’t comply with the assistive listening requirements outlined in the ADA. On March 28, 2014, the Department of Justice issued a Final Rule that adjusts civil penalties available under title III of the ADA ranging from $55,000 to $150,000. Those are some signficiant numbers, especially for small business owners!
3. There are tax benefits of assisted listening compliance.
You may be able to receive a tax benefit for providing assistive listening systems within your facility.
For instance, some small businesses may receive up to $5,000 in tax credits for having an assistive listening system. Others qualify for a tax deduction of up to $15,000!
These tax benefits could cover most of the purchase of an assistive listening system. The government makes compliance worth the investment. You can refer to tax form 8826 for more information.
4. Providing assisted listening systems is good for business.
People with hearing loss make up a significant percentage of the worldwide population. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, up to 24% of American adults report some degree of hearing loss. Providing people with what they need creates the opportunity to reach a wider audience, thus increasing brand loyalty and business.
Additionally, while devices such as hearing aids are great, they do not work in every situation. For example, hearing aids work great in a quiet environment, but in places with a lot of ambient noise, an assistive listening system is needed to block out unwanted sound and deliver the desired sounds directly to people’s ears.
5. More than just compliance… it’s the right thing to do!
Millions of Americans are affected by hearing loss. It’s the third most common health problem in older Americans. And nearly 30 million people in the U.S. need hearing aids. Furthermore, hearing loss isn’t an “all or nothing” phenomenon. It can affect people at varying levels in one or both ears.
So whether a person has mild hearing loss or has suffered from total hearing loss for any period of time… we should be taking advantage of the modern technology available to us today that can help make a positive difference in these people’s lives.
Providing assistive listening systems is not just about compliance. It’s also the right thing to do. Assistive listening systems help people feel included, connected to their communities, and able to live fuller, richer lives.
Want to learn more about how Listen Technologies can assist your businesses in providing the necessary ADA accommodations? Give us a call at (800) 330-0891 to request more information.