Sound Systems and Hearing Loops
We all need access to the spoken word.
Many people of all ages use hearing aids. Some modern hearing aids use blue-tooth technology. Many will pick up a signal from a hearing loop and help the user to hear.
- The sound system is there to reinforce a voice and take it to other parts of the building.
- The hearing loop needs an input from the microphone in the sound system.
- Whether or not someone has a clear strong voice, the sound system will help others to hear. Remember, ‘I don’t need a microphone!’ is not an acceptable excuse. Therefore, if a church has a hearing loop, anyone speaking needs to use the microphone to produce an input to the loop. And do remember to check with someone who is using it that it is working. Be aware too that it may only work in certain parts of the building!
- Be aware that not all hearing aids have bluetooth for hearing loops.
- Encourage users to speak using their normal voice volume into the microphone.
- You might need to consider people who lip-read and the visibility of the speaker. That might also mean you encourage people not to cover their mouths or turn away when they are speaking.
Signing and Braille
This is a specialist area but not one to be ignored. If there is someone or a group of people in your congregation who use British Sign Language (BSL) they may have access to a signer.
Braille is a reading and writing system that at one time was available in book format only. But today blind people can use electronic braille devices. They can connect a refreshable Braille display to computers, smartphones and tablets to fully access braille without being loaded down with a bulky heavy book. You don’t necessarily have to have your service books converted.
Neuro-diverse means having a brain that works differently from the average or ‘neurotypical’ person. This may be differences in social preferences, ways of learning, ways of communicating and/or ways of perceiving the environment.Some neurodiverse people have a hyper-sensitivity to sound. They and other people might just prefer to be in a quieter area.
How to enhance inclusion for people with Hearing Loss | Website (culturico.com)