Build an inclusive congregation by serving the hard of hearing.
March 24, 2017
Hearing loss is often referred to as the “Invisible Disability”. There is no wheelchair, no white cane, and no physical indication that an individual may struggle in difficult listening situations.
And yet, statics show that 20% of Americans report some degree of hearing loss, with that number reaching as high as 33% by age 65. Imagine that 1 in 5 of your congregants may not be clearly hearing the messages and music that inspire them each week.
Despite the use of hearing aids and PA systems, individuals with hearing loss still struggle to clearly understand the spoken word. Often, they report “attending worship services” among the top 3 most difficult listening environments. Reverberation, restless children, rustling papers, and even the hum of the HVAC all become amplified through their hearing aid- competing for the attention of the congregant. Speech discrimination and intelligibility are of utmost importance in a house of worship and can be impossible to achieve in a public venue with hearing aids alone. Louder is not necessarily better for those with hearing loss, and in most situations increased volume can become incredibly distracting. Many congregants become disengaged with their worship community, or stop attending services all together when they are unable to fully engage in services.
Fortunately, there are many things that a house of worship can do to better serve those with hearing loss. Providing an Assistive Listening System (ALS) in your house of worship can help people with hearing loss feel less isolated, and increase attendance and a sense of community within your congregation. Listen Technologies designs and manufactures a variety of technologies that deliver an exceptional listening experience.
- Radio frequency delivers sound to a congregant’s receiver
- Large coverage area; indoor/outdoor use
- Simple to set up and use
- Uses infrared technology to deliver sound to a congregant’s receiver
- Offers the advantage of privacy-light cannot travel through walls
- Great for simultaneous broadcasts and language interpretation
- Congregants can use their own telecoil-equipped hearing aids or cochlear implant as receivers, delivering audio tailored to their needs; those without telecoils can benefit with additional receivers
- Provides discreet and personalized listening experiences
- Those without telecoils can benefit with additional receivers
- Stream live audio, interpretation, or TV audio directly to smart devices
- Though not ADA approved for assistive listening, many congregants prefer this listening option
- Two-way communication system offers the flexibility for many different applications
- Assistive listening, event production, interpretation, security, intercom etc.
For more detailed information on choosing the right Assistive Listening System and tools to insure your success please visit us at www.listentech.com/assitive-listening or download a copy of Listen Technologies’ House of Worship Assistive Listening Toolkit.