Making events accessible
Choosing a venue: Equipment for people with hearing impairments
- Are there hearing loops in all the rooms being used, including break-out rooms?
- Who is responsible for it?
- Can it be checked on the day?
- What are the microphones like and will they be accessible to all the speakers?
- Do people need to sit in a particular place if they want to use the loop?
Hearing loops (which boost sound for people who use hearing aids) that are installed at the venue are generally better than taking portable loops to a venue that does not have them. Check with the venue if someone is responsible for its working and whether they will be available on the day of the event. If the venue does not have a system, you will need to hire a portable one.
Hearing loops are notoriously unreliable and they need to be checked on the day. One of the main problems with hearing loops can be the level of background noise that can be picked up and magnified by the user.
It is important to understand that hearing loops do not work for all people with hearing impairments.