Our bread and butter are large area Hearing Loops. This includes churches, theaters, classrooms, auditoriums, and conference rooms, among many others. For these types of venues, we have a step-by-step process that we follow. Here is our process:
- Fill out our site questionnaire (found here) and send it back to us.
- We set up a date for a NO-COST site visit and hearing loop demo. Invite everyone! During this visit, we collect data and take measurements, so we can develop an estimated cost. We also teach you how a hearing loop works, and we discuss how T-coils need to be activated in the hearing loop.
- After we create a custom design, you will receive a quote for the cost of installation. For more information on costs and installation, please click here.
- Once we have received a 50% deposit, we schedule the installation dates.
- Installation, commissioning, certification, and ADA compliance. We will need your Audio/Visual Technician present, so we can “tune in” to your equipment.
- You will receive 4 portable T-Coil listener sets (for anyone who wants to “get in the loop” and does not have activated T-Coils in their hearing aids), hearing loop signage, and a certificate that qualifies our work.
- OPTIONAL: We service everything we sell, so we also offer yearly service contracts in case your loop needs expert maintenance.
We understand the cost of installation can seem expensive, and this technology is so life-changing that it is often purchased by a single benefactor—usually a wealthy individual who is either directly or indirectly impacted by hearing loss. Hence the importance of inviting as many guests to the demonstration as possible during our site visit.
A hearing loop is a long-term investment and relationship between your venue and American Hearing Loop. We provide maintenance and warranties to our installations, and we are always available to answer any questions. We are here to help folks hear.
How do you protect your investment?
Hearing loop systems are used worldwide and most installers follow the IEC standard 60118-4 as developed under the auspices of the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).
This IEC Standard has been adopted by professionally trained and competent hearing loop installers so that the hearing loops they install will provide an excellent listening experience to hearing aid and cochlear implant wearers. The standard was created by leading/reputable European manufacturers in response to poorly installed, often unusable loops that were being installed, thus giving the technology a bad reputation.
The IEC Standard:
- limits the amount of background noise that is acceptable before a hearing loop can be installed
- sets the level at which correctly adjusted hearing instruments with T-coils can provide appropriate amplification to the user
- establishes the uniformity the loop signal level needs to attain in the looped area to allow a person to sit anywhere and have an equal experience
- establishes the frequency response that will provide a clear, undistorted sound
This checklist is meant to give you guidance in the due diligence process as you procure a hearing loop facility by choosing the right installer. In some geographic areas of the country, it may not be possible to find highly experienced installers. It is therefore recommended you choose an installer who has been trained in IEC standard verification, has technical support from his supplier, and is legally allowed to carry out the installation in your geographic area.
#1. How knowledgeable and committed is the installer to hearing loop technology?
- Who trained or certified the installer, and is the installer available to provide references?
- What design, installation, and audio experience do the installers (or his supplier’s technical support department) have with the type of building that needs looping?
- Will the installer provide a Certificate of Conformity?
- Does the installer offer information about hearing loops and the IEC Standard on their website?
- Does the installer list loop installations on their website, on national websites, or provide a list of references upon your request? If not, ask why not?
#2. Test Loop on-Site Visit
Hearing loop systems are venue specific and require a site visit before providing an accurate cost of installation estimate. Thorough site visits can take two hours to complete and if more complicated may require an entire morning or afternoon to complete. Although some designs can be modeled on a computer, computer simulation cannot determine if magnetic background noise is present or what effects metal in your particular building has on the magnetic signal. Your installer should be able to explain the on-site test results, what will be needed in your facility to meet the IEC standard, and what is involved to hide the loop wire aesthetically.
#3. Commissioning of the Hearing Loop
Once the loop is active, it is important to make sure all those who use the sound system (clergy, ushers, and volunteers who work the sound-board), as well as the end-users of the loop system (members, patrons, and parishioners), are informed of the working of the hearing loop. Once installed, hearing loops are easy to operate. That’s why they are so popular.
Find out what areas, if any, are “out of the loop”. For example: In many Houses of Worship aisles, the choir and balconies have no or a diminished loop signal, that way you will be able to direct the hearing aid users or users of loop listeners to the appropriate locations.
Some loop installers offer news releases, bulletin inserts, loop signage, and other useful handouts. Many installers help coordinate a hearing loop commissioning or dedication by working closely with local audiologists, hearing care providers, members of the hearing loss community, and members of the Hearing Loss Association of America. And finally, please report your location to one of the national loop locators such as www.aldlocator.com. This way you will be sure to get the most from your investment.
- For information and to learn about hearing loop advocacy initiatives around the country: hearingloop.org
- For consumer information about hearing loss and hearing loss advocacy visit the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) website: hearingloss.org