Does Your Business Comply with California’s Assistive Listening Requirements?
Ensure Your San Francisco Company Meets Building Codes with These Solutions
For any new construction or renovation, it's essential that businesses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This means removing barriers from access for people with disabilities through the use of ramps, Braille signs, assistive listening devices, and more.
With 17 percent of the US population reporting measurable hearing loss, assistive listening is one of the most important and oft-ignored sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. This is why we partner with Listen Technologies to ensure all our projects are ADA compliant.
In this blog, we'll highlight what these requirements entail, whether they're relevant for your company, and the technology you need to integrate to make your San Francisco business compliant.
When is Assistive Listening Required?
Listen Technologies offers various resources to find out if your business is in need of an assistive listening system. Assistive listening is required in an assembly area in which audio is primary to its purpose.
According to California Building Code—which differs slightly from national ADA requirements in what constitutes an assembly area—this classification includes classrooms, lecture halls, courtrooms, meeting rooms, conference rooms, cinemas, theaters, arenas, stadiums, and houses of worship.
There are also requirements on the number of devices needed depending on seating capacity. In spaces with 1-50 seating capacity, at least two compatible receivers must be available. In areas with more than 51 seats, 25 percent of the audience needs to have access to receivers. These requirements are not relevant if you are using a loop system (we’ll explain what that is below).
How Can You Incorporate Assistive Listening?
If your business falls into one of the above categories, there are two steps you need to take to meet California’s Building Code. You need to have an assistive listening system in place (including the minimum required receivers) and include signage making it clear that you offer this service.
There are four types of assistive listening systems: radio frequency, infrared, Wi-Fi, and loop:
- Radio Frequency: With this approach, users will need a receiver to access the frequency and relay it to their hearing aid. Since others could conceivably pick up the signal, this solution is not ideal in cases when you’re dealing with sensitive information.
- Infrared: This solution takes the same approach as radio frequency systems, just with a different signal option. Though you can better safeguard sensitive information, you’ll need multiple receivers to cover the entire space since anyone using an assistive listening device needs to be within sight of the signal.
- Loop System: Installed during the construction phase, we’ll add the necessary wiring underneath the floor or carpet to offer coverage wirelessly to everyone. The best part is that those using your assistive listening device don’t need an individual receiver. This offers them an added level of comfort and anonymity when using your space.
- Wi-Fi: Recently, Listening Technologies acquired the Audio Everywhere app which allows people to opt-in to your assistive listening system through their smartphones. All they have to do is download the free app and connect to your wireless network to listen to a live stream of your audio feed.
If you’re not sure if your company needs to be assistive listening compliant or don’t know which system will be the best option, you can reach out to us for more information. With the help of Listen Technologies, we can create an environment that is inclusive of all clients, employees, and customers.