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Hearing Loss

Including those with mild to moderate hearing loss

person wearing assistive listening device

In today’s world, technology has great potential to make it easier for persons living with disabilities to participate in the body of Christ. That potential can be compromised, however, if congregations overlook the problems technology can present for people who hear less well than the average.

Sometimes the term hard of hearing is used to describe people who have a mild to moderate hearing loss.

The needs of people with a mild to moderate hearing loss are different from the needs of persons who have little or no hearing, who are usually described by the word deaf (see our resources for the Deaf).

Best practices for including those with hearing loss

Suggested practices that enhance participation for people who are hard of hearing include:

  • Regular use of a public address system for group gatherings
  • A roving microphone used by all speakers who offer sharing, prayer requests, announcements, etc., If a roving microphone is not available, the leader can repeat comments using the podium microphone as an adequate alternative.
  • Assistive Listening Devices (ALD) provided for use in worship or
    meetings. Ushers and others can be educated on the location of ALDs and how to assist persons wishing to use them.
  • The Induction Loop or hearing loop is an alternate innovation for hearing assistance, far more effective than the ALD. It delivers a magnetic signal directly to a tiny, inexpensive receiver in a person’s hearing aid. Hearing aid users activate the "telecoil" (T-coil) receptor within their hearing aid simply by pushing a button. A loop system reduces background noise and greatly clarifies the sound heard by the listener. HearingLoop.org. Introductory article.
  • Proper lighting of speakers so that persons who rely on speech reading (also called “lip reading”) can see the speaker's face.
  • Implement captioning, especially for larger events or videos.

Resources from others

Additional information on resources for hearing inclusion are available from the Congregational Accessibility Network (CAN).

HearingLoop.org. The case for hearing loops as the preferred assistive listening system for persons with hearing loss.

 

 Learn more

 
  • Resources on understanding and supporting children and adults with autism
  • Resources on disabilities that commonly accompany aging, including hearing loss, vision and mobility limitations, dementia, and more.
  • Resources on the range of conditions resulting from brain injury to an unborn child when the mother consumes alcohol.
  • Inclusion of the Deaf and others with profound hearing loss.
  • Tips and stories on including people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
  • Resources to raise awareness of hidden disabilities. Examples of hidden disabilities include chronic pain or diseases, mental illnesses, and many more
  • Resources on including people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Welcoming people who use wheelchairs or walkers, or who get around with difficulty.
  • Understanding low vision and blindness.
 

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 Opening Doors

 
 

 Connections