Every time a sound or speech reinforcement system is designed and installed a hearing assistance system must also be included. ADA Section III-7.5180 Assembly Areas requires:
- Fixed seating assembly areas that accommodate 50 or more people OR have audio-amplification systems must have a permanently installed assistive learning system.
- Other assembly areas (not covered in above) must have a permanent system OR an adequate number of electrical outlets or other wiring to support a portable system.
- A special sign is required which indicates the availability of the system. The minimum number of receivers must be equal to 4% of the total number of seats, but never less than two.
- The exception is that this does not apply to systems used exclusively for paging, or background music, or a combination of these two uses.
The bottom line, as put by the America Speech-Language-Hearings Association’s response to the ADA was “Ask people about their needs, show respect and sensitivity, use what works (not necessarily what is most expensive), and use your resources creatively and effectively.”