Induction Loops in schools
In the UK, the Equality Act 2010 states..
“Service providers are required to make changes, where needed, to improve service for disabled customers or potential customers. There is a legal requirement to make reasonable changes to the way things are done (such as changing a policy). To the built environment (such as making changes to the structure to improve access) and to provide auxiliary aids and services (such as providing information in an accessible format , an induction loop for customers with hearing aids, special computer software or additional staff support when using a service).”
What this means for you.
In reality, if your school (or church/community centre) has areas where the public often visit, e.g. reception area or the school hall, you should provide an Induction Loop (if you don’t you could be deemed as being discriminatory towards those with hearing loss). The form this takes is to pickup sound from the ‘key’ area (reception desk, hall stage area). Then to amplify this signal and create a magnetic field within the ‘loop’. A hearing aid user then switches their hearing aid to the tele-coil ‘T’ position and this field is picked up and turned back into sound for the user to hear clearly.
Other styles of hearing assistance are available also. For example, a pupil who has hearing impairment may benefit from wearing an individual infra-red based pickup system. The teacher can wear a discrete microphone, and a transmitter sends the sound to the the users pickup/headphone system.
Is it working?
Systems are often installed and not fully tested to make sure they work or are compliant. This is unacceptable and very annoying for users who see a “T’ sign and hear no benefit from it. In a ‘new build’, there is no excuse for installed systems not to be compliant. Additionally, even though retrofits can have areas of non-compliance, those with hearing impairment should still be shown how to get the best out of the installed system when visiting.
We can help.
Do you have an Induction Loop in your school? Does it work? How do you know?
We have provided many schools with Induction Loops, if you would like some advice or a quote please get in touch.