Satisfy ADA Rules & Make Services More Rewarding With Assistive Listening Devices
Most churches and houses of worship are subject to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
This means that, for public meetings and religious services, ADA-compliant listening systems should be available on premises.
Even houses of worship which are exempt from ADA compliance have found that having a listening system can increase attendance and make religious services a more fulfilling experience for many.
Having assistive listening devices (ALDs) on hand not only serves elderly and hard-of-hearing parishioners, but also parents with babies or young children who may have to step outside for a few moments.
What’s the best ALD for your house of worship?
Here are 3 Sound Solutions to help get the word out!
1. Affordable FM Assistive Listening Systems With Fixed Transmitters
FM-based systems with fixed transmitters are, in general, the most reliable & versatile solution for houses of worship of all sizes. In essence, you’re using a tiny FM radio station to “broadcast” to your parishioners.
Depending on how powerful the transmitter is, the range varies from a few hundred feet to a few thousand feet. FM transmitters can be fixed frequency, meaning they’re permanently set to one frequency or station, or have multiple frequencies to prevent interference from other systems.
Although FM systems with fixed transmitters can be very complex (and expensive), systems like the Williams Sound PPA VP 37 are both affordable and easy to install. What’s more, they’re expandable simply by adding additional Williams R37 receivers.
2. Easy-to-Install FM Assistive Listening Systems With Portable Transmitters
What if you’d like to use your assistive listening systems in more than one location?
This problem is easily addressed with FM assistive listening systems with portable transmitters like Williams Sound’s TGS PRO 737 system, which enables the speaker and listeners to switch frequencies on the go.
The included R37 receivers automatically find the correct frequency at the push of a button, so listeners don’t have to fumble with complicated tuning controls.
These systems, also popular with tour guides, have the advantage of being able to go almost anywhere.
Better still, if you’re using receivers with multiple selectable channels, listeners can tune in to different audio programs- a must if your church offers hearing assistance in multiple languages.
3. Infrared Listening Systems For Superior Reception in Indoor Spaces
Infrared (IR) systems like Williams Sound’s IR Stereo ADA Kit transmit and receive signals through infrared light which is beamed from the transmitter to the receivers.
The Williams IR ADA Kit uses stethoscope-style headsets with built-in receivers. These all-in-one receivers are rechargeable as well.
For users with hearing aids, neckloop-compatible receivers are available. These receivers can be clipped to a shirt or other pieces of clothing- simply plug in a compatible neckloop like the NKL 001 and you’re ready to listen!
Because IR systems transmit using infrared wavelengths, there’s no danger of interference with FM based systems, even if they’re being used in the next room. They’re also highly secure, since transmissions cannot be intercepted outside of the room where they are being used.
IR can work no matter how small or large your house of worship is, as long as you use sufficient and strategically placed transmitters such as the Williams Sound WIR SYS 7518 PRO C, which can cover up to 6,000 square feet with a single emitter.
The advantages of using light to transmit sound are also the main disadvantages of infrared. Bright sunlight and fluorescent bulbs can both interfere with IR transmissions. A loss of signal can also occur if the user isn’t within direct line of sight of the transmitter, or if the line is blocked by another person.
If you’re considering an IR system, It’s important to figure out if the area you’re working in can accommodate transmitters that will beam to the entire room without any “dead spots,” and if there will be any kinds of light interfering with the signal.
Have questions about choosing an assistive listening system for your house of worship? AudioLink is here to help!
Call our trained staff of audio experts at 1-800-263-0112 for a free consultation, or email us for a quote.