What are hearing loops? What purpose do they serve? Can you just buy one off the shelf and set it up yourself that same afternoon?
These are all questions that still get asked a lot by businesses across the country.
That means, frustratingly that awareness around hearing loops still has a long way to go to reach the levels it has in many other countries, even though we are all fortunate enough to live in an age when technology can do so much for us.
All at the touch of a screen we can control the climate of our homes, order food, pay bills and perform a thousand other tasks, so why do hearing loops remain such an enigma? They rely on relatively simple technology compared to our smart devices and for those living with hearing impairment; they are without doubt a godsend.
The reason for that is simple, hearing loops empower the 10m people in Great Britain who live with some form of hearing loss with the ability to do many things much more easily. That might be paying money in to their banks, enjoying their TV box sets without the need for subtitles, paying for goods or services and playing a more active part in work meetings and conferences.
Ten million people equates to roughly one in six of us. If you are a decision maker in your organisation, would you really want to alienate that many potential customers? A section of society worth around £4bn every single year…
Some businesses may already have hearing loops installed which see little use, so maybe they take a back seat when maintenance decisions are made, after all it is installed and ready to use when needed…right?
If your hearing loop is outdated how sure can you be that it will work when it’s needed? How sure can you be that your employees have the training needed to operate it? How sure are you that you even need one?
The Equality Act 2010 requires that you have one; you might also say that the reputation of your business requires it to be working well. So if you’re asking the question for the first time, what is a hearing loop and do I need one then the answer is a resounding yes. They are amazing for your customers and just as much so for your company’s compliance and equality policies.
They work very simply and are designed for use by hearing aid users, sending a wireless signal direct to the hearing aid itself. Users can choose to hear all the ambient sound in an area or, by switching their hearing aids to the “T” setting can focus on the sounds being picked up by the hearing loop’s microphone with the ambient sounds filtered out. They are not conspicuous, can provide clear, high quality sound for multiple users and allow them to communicate effectively.
Hearing loops systems (also known as induction loops) are much more than the ‘reasonable adjustment’ needed to ensure your customers are not discriminated against. If they are fitted professionally, inspected and maintained periodically and used by well trained employees they give everyone the best possible experience of your company and its services.
That has to be worth considering.
For more information, help and advice on hearing loop systems contact our friendly and knowledgeable team on +44 (0) 1383 820011 or via our website.