Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, programs and services provided by state and local government, goods and services provided by private companies, and in commercial facilities.
This Act includes provisions to accommodate hard of hearing people, including incorporating Assistive Listening Systems in new building construction, in alterations or renovations to buildings and facilities of private companies providing goods or services to the public. It also requires that State and local governments provide access for the hard of hearing in programs offered to the public.
2010 Notice of Changes in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design
In 2010 the Department of Justice’s revised regulations for Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 were published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010.
To review the complete scope and technical requirements for new construction and alterations resulting from the adoption of revised 2010 Standards in the final rules for Title II (28 CFR part 35) and Title III (28 CFR part 36) go to http://www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm
On March 15, 2012 the changes that were made in 2010 to the ADA related to assistive listening systems went into full effect on all newly constructed or altered facilities with assembly areas stating that these must comply with the 2010 ADA Standards for Assistive Listening Systems.
In brief the requirements: In each assembly area, where audible communication is integral to the use of the space, an Assistive Listening System (ALS) shall be provided.
Twenty-five percent (25%) minimum of receivers provided, but no fewer than two, shall be hearing-aid compatible. Each assembly area required to provide assistive listening shall provide signsinforming patrons of the availability of the assistive listening system. These signs shall comply with the International Symbol of Access for Hearing Loss.
Assembly areas include, but are not limited to: classrooms, lecture halls, courtrooms, public meeting rooms, legislative chambers, motion picture houses, auditoria, theatres, playhouses, dinner theatres, concert halls, performing arts centres, amphitheatres, arenas, stadiums, grandstands, and convention centers.
Read the regulations set forth by the appropriate governing body to learn what the requirements and recommendations are and how they may apply to you.
International Building Code (IBC)
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has revised an important standard for accessible buildings. This ANSI standard is adopted in most states as legally enforceable, defining what needs to be done to provide accessibility. The standard, ANSI A117.1, now hearing loop system must meet the requirements of the performance standard IEC 60118-4.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was passed in 2005—its goal is to make Ontario accessible for people with disabilities by 2025. The Act covers a broad range of disabilities, including hearing disabilities.
Section 12 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR): Part 2—Information Communication States:
12(1) Except as otherwise provided, every obligated organization shall upon request provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities, in a timely manner that takes into account the person’s accessibility needs due to disability; and at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charge to other persons.
(2) The obligated organization shall consult with the person making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support.
(3) Every obligated organization shall notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports.
Use the Listen Technologies ADA Calculator to find out if you are in need of an assisted listening system.