Many businesses and gathering places are wheelchair accessible, but what about some assistance for people with hearing difficulties? In conjunction with telecoil hearing aids or implants, hearing loops clarify sounds for hearing challenged individuals, are a more affordable investment than other disability modifications and may bring in more visitors. If you’re having a hard time hearing the speakers at church, the actors at the local theatre, or anywhere you visit on a regular basis, it is possible to have a hearing loop put in with a little time and effort.

Churches, synagogues & mosques. While many synagogues, mosques and churches already have some type of assistive hearing device, it might be outdated and inconvenient or the place you attend may not have one at all. If this is the case, let the leadership team know of the benefits of this type of system, such as using a telecoil to hear the sermon clearly through your own hearing aid.. You might try to gain popular support for the idea by submitting an article to the website or newsletter of the church.

Auditoriums, theaters & sports arenas. Assembly areas are required by the Americans for Disabilities Act guidelines to be fitted with hearing amplification systems to accommodate patrons. To promote this need, you can write to or meet with the people in charge of these public spaces and business to explain the need and benefits. For example, these places will see an increase in attendance because people with hearing challenges will be able to participate.

Tips to make your case. When you approach the managers of these venues, you’ll want to be prepared with information so you can build awareness and understanding. Educate them in what a hearing loop is, how it works and how much it costs. Inform those in charge of the benefits to you and other patrons. Make a clear business argument that increased patronage will offset the cost of installing the hearing loop. Finally, remain respectful and stay well informed as a resource to your fellow community members.