One in 10 Americans has difficulty hearing. This number will increase as the Baby Boomers enter their golden years. According to some estimates, 65 million people will need hearing aids.
These people should be included in the church. It is not only the right thing to be doing, but California and Texas have made it mandatory to adhere to the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act). More states will soon follow their lead.
Personal assistive hearing devices aren’t just for people with severe hearing loss. These devices are useful for anyone with difficulty distinguishing sounds in large spaces or rooms with poor acoustics or echo problems. It is possible to have people like this in your congregation and not know it.
The question isn’t whether or not you should have an assistive listening system in your church. It is which one will be most beneficial for your congregation.
Based on your requirements, I will show you several great options. The ADA requirements are based on your congregation’s size and composition.
Amazon has proven to be a better way to manage my time and help me become more productive. Instead of spending hours online shopping, I can use my time to study, pray, and visit church members.
Let’s talk briefly about assistive listening devices and assistive hearing systems. In a few moments, I’ll detail the assistive listening devices I recommend.
Assistive Listening Systems Vs. Assisted Listening Devices
2001 was a year that the ADA made a distinction between components and systems in its act.
The components of an assistive listening device are what make up the system. All assisted listening devices to include the transmitter, receiver, and headphones.
A complete system of assistive listening devices is called an assistive listening device. An assistive listening system can be used in a church, a meeting hall, or a sports arena. All must have assistive listening devices. It’s not enough to provide receivers or headphones. It is not enough to provide headphones or receivers.
This allows people with hearing impairments to attend your church and enjoy the services as the rest of the congregation.
Churches And The Americans With Disabilities Act
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), requires that all public facilities equipped with sound systems be equipped with assistive listening systems. A building or facility is considered an assembly area if it is used to provide entertainment, education, civic gatherings or other similar purposes.
Some assembly areas require assistive listening systems, such as classrooms, public meeting rooms, legislative chambers and motion picture houses.
The act defines how many units you must provide based on your seating capacity. Although churches are not included in the list, California and Texas require them to conform. You can be certain that other states will follow their lead. It’s only a matter of time. It is also a good idea to provide hearing aids.
This chart will show you how many units you need for your church.
|CAPACITY FOR SEATING||RECEIVERS ARE REQUIRED||HEARING AID COMPATIBLE DEVICES|
|0 – 50||2||2|
|51 -200||2, plus 1 per 25 seats above 50||2|
|201 -500||2, plus 1 per 25 seats above 50||1 for 4 receivers|
|501 – 1000||20 plus 1 for each 33 seats above 500||1 for 4 receivers|
|1001 – 2000||35, plus 1 per 50 seats above 1,000||1 for 4 receivers|
|More than 2001||55 plus 1 for every 100 seats above 200||1 for 4 receivers|
Considerations for Buying a Wireless-Assisted Hearing System for Your Church
It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to provide a wireless listening system for your church. Both of the systems I recommend are less than $1,000.00.
Your analog or digital mixer should be placed near your assisted listening device. This will allow you to run a sound system into your wireless assistant listening system.
For each receiver, you will need a choice of headphones or earbuds. You’ll also need foam pads to fit over your headphones or buds. These can be washed with a sanitizing wiping cloth. You’ll also need compatible neck coils. To determine how many you will need, refer to the chart.
The Best Wireless Assistive Hearing Devices for Large Churches
Williams Sound FM ADA Kit
Williams Sound 37 FM ADA Compliance kit
150′ Operating Range
The Williams Sound Personal Listening System is for churches with more than 500 members or larger sanctuaries. Although it is more costly than the Peavey System but has three times as much range, the Williams Sound system is still a great choice.
Williams Sound is a well-respected product in the professional sound community. I’m confident that I won’t steer you wrong when I recommend this product.
The Best Wireless Assistive Hearing System for a Small Church
Peavey Assisted Listening System
Peavey Assisted Listening Sys. 75.9 MHz
1 Transmitter And 4 Receivers
The Peavey Assisted Living System is a good choice for small to medium-sized churches with less than 500 members. Although it is more affordable than the Williams Sound, its range is only 300 feet. It’s best to use it in a sanctuary with fewer than 500 people. You can also use it to accommodate any number of people that you may need for this size sanctuary.
Peavey has been one of my favourite brands for sound and music system design. Peavey was the brand that gave me my first amp. The Peavey listening system is an excellent choice for churches, and I’m confident it will be.
Wireless systems are rapidly becoming the norm in the sound industry. Wireless technology is now the norm, whether it’s wireless microphone systems, wireless projector systems, wireless translation system or wireless assistive hearing device . Everything will be wireless in a few years.
The baby boomers are growing older. I know. They are all me. I also know that my hearing isn’t always perfect. It is becoming annoying to hear the loud noise in my room. A listening system will only get more important.
You never know who might need your church’s help.