Most public venues and businesses have modified their buildings for accessibility to wheelchairs, an extremely visible disability, but may be unaware of the less obvious challenges faced by people who have hearing loss. In conjunction with telecoil-enabled hearing aids or implants, hearing loops clarify sounds for hearing impaired individuals, are a more affordable investment than other disability modifications and will generate additional visitors. Sometimes the owners of the venue aren’t aware of how much a hearing loop might help. With a little effort you may be able to get them to install one.
Places of worship. While many places of worship are equipped with amplification equipment, many are incompatible or inconvenient and there are many places without them at all. In this case, you can generally take your request directly to the worship leaders. Explain to them how a hearing loop operates and how much more clearly you and others would be able to hear the speakers. Outline the idea in a page of your weekly bulletin or community newsletter.
Theaters and public gathering places. The guidelines for the Americans for Disabilities Act require that assembly areas have a method of audio amplification for their visitors and this requirement is filled with the installation of a hearing loop. 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, accommodating the hearing challenged will increase the number of visitors in these places.
Information to share. No matter how you choose to bring up the matter, create understanding by sharing facts, promoting awareness for the need and garnering understanding. Educate them in what a hearing loop is, how it works and how much it costs. Explain the necessity and convenience of hearing loops for you and others. Make a clear business argument that increased patronage will offset the cost of installing the hearing loop. Lastly, remain respectful and stay up to date as a resource to your fellow community members.