In 2010, new standards for the ADA became law (these standards took full effect on March 15, 2012, mandatory for all new construction or renovations). The following are highlights of the changes, specifically for assistive listening systems and include new technologies to meet the guidelines
The Americans with Disabilities Act protects our right to have equal access to our hearing counterparts
To understand the law we need to understand some definitions. One definition to learn is what is meant by a place of assembly, as defined under the ADA.
Under the ADA an assembly area is defined as a building or facility, or a portion thereof that is used for the purpose of entertainment, education, civic gatherings, or similar purposes. Specific assembly areas include, but are not limited to: classrooms, lecture halls, courtrooms, public meeting rooms, public hearing rooms, legislative chambers, motion picture houses, auditoria, theaters, playhouses, dinner theaters, concert halls, centers for the performing arts, amphitheaters, arenas, stadiums, grandstands, or convention centers.
In 2010, new standards for the ADA became law (these standards took full effect on March 15, 2012, mandatory for all new construction or renovations). The following are highlights of the changes, specifically for assistive listening systems and include new technologies to meet the guidelines:
1. An assistive listening system shall be provided in assembly areas where audible communication is integral to the space. This means that any space where people gather (a boardroom, a banquet hall, a classroom, or a movie theater) is required to have an assistive listening system. Assistive listening must cover the entire space of the venue, not just one area.
2. Assistive Listening is required where there is amplified sound. If there is a microphone and/or speakers, a system is needed. Courtrooms must have assistive listening systems, even without amplified sound.
3. In the original standards, the number of assistive listening devices was 4 percent of seating capacity. With the new standards, the number of receivers has been scaled to match the total occupancy of the venue.
4. Receiver Hearing-Aid Compatibility: A percentage of receivers are required to be hearing-aid compatible and interface with telecoils in hearing aids. This is accommodated via neck loop technology with RF or IR assistive listening systems.
Below you'll see information regarding the "new" ADA Standards