Assistive listening for all

Heading back to school can be tough for those with hearing loss. Tim Kridel looks at how technology can help – and why the need isn’t limited to classrooms or even just those with hearing loss.

Roughly 360 million people worldwide have hearing loss so severe that it’s disabling, according to the World Health Organization. Easily tens of millions more have a loss that makes comprehending speech a struggle in classrooms, conference rooms and other places.

It’s easy – and wrong – to assume that the vast majority are senior citizens. Some, for example, are college students who ruined their hearing with MP3 players as teenagers.

“We had a survey conducted in Germany which actually revealed that visual and hearing impairments are quite evenly spread across all age groups, with an increase from the age of 70,” says Xenios Maroudas, Sennheiser portfolio manager for business communication. “Technical assistance would be welcomed in many more cases than one might expect. There seems to be a latent demand that society needs to address and meet.”

Laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act are a major, obvious reason why enterprises and other organisations worldwide install assistive-listening systems and other solutions for the hard of hearing. But regulators and legislators aren’t the only people driving the market.

Tim Kridel looks at drivers for assistive listening technologies finding out that it isn’t exclusive deployed for people with hearing loss. He also has a look at some of the options to deliver support and offers tips for successful use of the technology. He speaks with Almo Professional, Ampetronic, Crestron, Media Vision, Listen Technologies and Williams Sound.

Read the full article now in the digital edition of InAVate EMEA magazine.

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