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 Induction Loop Systems or AFILS ( Audio Frequency Induction Loop Systems or Hearing Loop)

 The Induction Loop or Hearing Loop System allows an audio signal to be picked up directly by a hearing aid that is equipped with a telecoil  or ‘T’ position by converting the audio signal into an electromagnetic field that is picked up by the hearing aid that is close to or within the induction loop and are used to assist the hearing impaired to hear more clearly.

  An Induction Loop system or hearing loop comprises of 4 main elements:

 • The audio source - microphone, television or radio etc.

 • The Induction Loop Amplifier.

 • The Loop - typically a single turn of single core wire run around the room.

 • The receiver -  a hearing aid with a ‘T’ setting.

 Typical locations where AFILS would be of benefit are

   • Service and Reception Counter services.

   • Meeting Rooms and Seated Waiting Areas.

   • Churches and places of Worship.

   • Educational ( Schools,Colleges etc) ,Cultural and Scientific Buildings.

   • Fitness suites and exercise studios

   • Nursing Homes ( TV lounges)

   • Domestic use (  assists with hearing TV )

Where are ‘aids to communication’ required?

According to Action On Hearing Loss ( formerly the Royal National Institute for the Deaf  (RNID)…

 • Over 10 million people ( one in six of the UK population) are deaf or hard of hearing.

 • An estimated 2 million of these people have hearing aids.

Lobbying by such organisations has led to increased awareness of the difficulties faced by the hearing impaired, so much so that numerous Standards, Acts and Schemes now  recommend the provision of auxiliary aids such as induction loop systems for the hard of hearing, as summarised below. These summaries refer to the published versions of the documents when going to press. If in doubt, full copies of these documents can be purchased or viewed in their entirety from the organisations or websites indicated:-

Building Regulations Part M1 : Access to and use of buildings ( 2004)

Current building regulations for England and Wales state that newly erected or substantially reconstructed non-domestic buildings should make reasonable provision for people to gain access to and use their facilities (Requirement M1). In particular, the regulations state that reasonable ‘aids to communication’ should be provided for the hearing impaired in auditoria, meeting rooms, reception areas, ticket offices and at information points. One of the aims of Requirement M1 is to ensure all people can participate in proceedings at lecture/conference facilities and entertainment, leisure and social venues. According to the regulations, aids to communication will satisfy { part of } this requirement if ‘ a hearing enhancement system is installed in rooms and spaces designed for meetings, lectures, classes, performances … and at service or reception counters when they are situated in noisy areas or behind glazed screens’ ( section 4.36/4.36b). The regulations acknowledge that a person with a hearing disability needs to receive a signal that is amplified in both volume and signal-to-noise ratio and that induction loop, infrared, radio and sound field systems can provide this advanced level of sound ( section 4.35, Design Considerations).

In larger spaces, provision needs to be made for a permanent system, but in small meeting rooms, a portable induction loop system would be acceptable.

   • Building Regulations Part M1 can be viewed at   www.communities.gov.uk

BS 8300 ( 2009 )

BS 8300 ( 2009 ) British Standard BS 8300 is the code of practice for the design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people. The standard recommends that “ a hearing enhancement system, using induction loop, infra-red or radio transmission, should be installed in rooms and spaces used for meetings, lectures, classes, performances, spectator sports or films, and used at service and reception counters where the background noise level is high or where glazed screens are used ” ( 9.3.2 ). It pinpoints the following areas for consideration: seated waiting areas, ticket sales and information points, fitness suites and exercise studios, churches, crematoria and cemetery chapels, educational, cultural and scientific buildings.

   • Copies of BS 8300 can be purchased from the British Standards Institute ( www.bsi-global.com )

The Equality Act ( 2010 )

The Equality Act ( 2010) aims to protect disabled people including the hearing impaired. Under the Act ( which combines and replaces previous discrimination legislation including the Disability Discrimination Act), all service providers and those providing goods and facilities in Great Britain are required to make changes, where needed, to improve service for disabled customers or potential customers. There is a legal requirement to make reasonable changes to the way things are done, to the built environment and to provide auxiliary aids and services ( such as providing information in accessible format, an induction loop for customers with hearing aids, special computer software or additional staff support when using a service).

Employers must also take measures to ensure that employees are not disadvantaged in the workplace.

  • For more information visit  www.equalities.gov.uk  

The Human Rights Act ( 1998)

The Human Rights Act guarantees everyone, including the hearing impaired, fundamental rights and applies to public authorities including government departments, loacl authorities, courts, schools, hospitals, GP surgeries, prisons, public libraries, and many more. If a deaf person believes their rights have been denied, they may be able to bring a case under the Act.

  • For more information visit  www.equalityhumanrights.com

Care Standards Act ( 2000)

The Care Standards Act demands that care homes in England provide certain adaptations and equipment for residents including:- ‘facilities, including communication aids ( e.g. a loop system ) and signs to assist the needs of all service users, taking account of the needs, for example, of those with hearing impairment, visual impairment, dual sensory impairments, learning disabilities or dementia or other cognitive impairment, where necessary.’ ( Standard 22.6 ) . These requirements apply to all care homes providing accommodation and nursing or personal care for older people in England. Regular inspections and enforcement of the legislation is now carried out by the Care Quality Commission ( CQC).

  • For further details visit the Care Quality Commission’s website at  www.cqc.org.uk

Induction Loop Systems allow hearing impaired people to hear more clearly with the use of the ‘T’ position on their hearing aid.

As a result of new legislation aimed at preventing discrimination against disabled people, demand for Induction Loop Systems is growing.

There are many configurations of Induction Loop Systems to meet a variety of needs.

Please contact us for a free quote and survey and see what we can do for you. We install or repair induction loop systems.

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Induction loop systems allow users with a telecoil equipped hearing device ( switched to ‘T’ position) to listen inductively to sound.

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