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Assistive Listening Devices?

posted Jun 29, 2014, 7:54 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Jun 29, 2014, 7:54 AM ]
Many churches are finding that having assistive listening devices (ALDs) on hand can increase attendance and make the liturgy a more fulfilling experience for many. It helps ensure that everyone who comes to worship will be able to hear what’s being said. Currently, thirty-six million people in the United States have a hearing loss. In the next twenty years, baby boomers will make that number go up dramatically, possibly doubling it. Having this system not only serves elderly and hard-of-hearing parishioners, but also parents with babies or young children who may wish to step outside for a few moments. And, it would make us more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

An Assistant Pastor in Michigan testifies in Religious Product News, "We had a WWII veteran who was in his mid-80s come to us and ask if we could get something to help him hear. We looked into our options and purchased a package containing a transmitter and six receivers and got an extra one just in case. The reaction has been really great and we have four or five people using the receivers every week."

ALDs have individual volume controls so that each user can manually adjust the sound to suit their needs. With some, you can plug in your own headphones. Other systems are even hearing-aid compatible, and don’t require separate headphones.

They typically cost around $3,000 to install, and usually include about a half-dozen receivers, with additional receivers costing a couple hundred each. Once we have our new sound system, this system can be added now, or at any point in the future. If you think this is something you would take advantage of, let me know, so that we can see if there’s any interest in purchasing this…