Hearing Looped Venues Are Now On Google Maps

Utilizing a device with a telecoil to help to improve your hearing ability can be life changing. There are many great benefits that can be gained and various ways this equipment can help you in your everyday life. This includes listening to the tv at normal volume levels, using the telephone, enjoying a better audio experience in performing venues, and reducing overall fatigue caused by overstimulation due to background noise.

Because devices with telecoils offer so many advantages, it is pertinent to know where you can make the most of them. At Tweak Hearing, we will support you as you begin to use your telecoil hearing device, and subsequently, we can help you with such information.

Google Maps, a commonly used mapping platform, is working in conjunction with the Get in the Hearing Loop Committee of the Hearing Loss Association of America to develop and maintain a database of looped public venues, which can be beneficial to telecoil users. This means you can more easily identify locations that have hearing loops installed.

What Is a Looped Venue?

When in areas that use a public address system (PA) or similar sound system, people with hearing difficulties can have trouble following what is being said or performed. They can also be faced with the discomfort and complications of interference and background noise.

The good news is that there is assistive listening technology that can improve your experience in these places and help you be part of what is going on. This technology is known as a hearing loop.

Looped venues employ hearing loops to allow patrons to hear sounds conveyed over a sound system. Hearing loops consist of a thin copper wire, which is connected to the sound system through an amplifier and then placed around the room’s circumference.

Voices and music that are put through the sound system are transferred to the loop wire, which transmits it as a silent electromagnetic signal to your telecoil. The signal is then converted back into a sound when the microphone in your hearing device is turned off. The culmination of this process means you can hear the desired sounds without too much background noise.

But, how do you know which places employ this technology?

The Google Map Accessibility Feature

Improving the accessibility in public areas for people with disabilities or limitations is extremely important. There are many ways this can be done. One such way is to utilize technology to share information about venues that have features such as ramps, lifts, and hearing loops.

Google has incorporated this information into their Google Maps website and app. When you search for a venue, relevant information regarding accessibility is now included. This is an ever-developing feature that already has many venues listed.

How Do I Use The Google Map Accessibility Feature?

To use a computer to clarify whether a venue facilitates access to hearing loop communication, open the Google Maps website and proceed with the following steps:

  1. Search for the venue using the search box.
  2. The street map will show the location.
  3. Information relevant to the venue, such as the address and contact details can be found at the left of the map.
  4. With this information, there is a row of blue circular icons.
  5. Below these will be a > icon, which will display ‘assistive hearing loop’ when clicked on if the venue has a hearing loop.

To gain this information on a smart phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app and proceed with the following steps:

  1. Search for the venue using the search box.
  2. The street map will show the location.
  3. An ‘about’ link will be displayed. Click on this.
  4. This will display ‘assistive hearing loop’ if the venue has a hearing loop, as well as other information relevant to the venue, such as the address and contact details.

Find Looped Venues For Telecoil Use Via Google Maps

An increasing number of venues in America are incorporating hearing loops into their accessibility features. This can be highly beneficial for people with hearing difficulties who use devices with telecoils to be able to hear sound systems adequately. Such venues may include activity centers, libraries, and community halls.

The listing of these venues on Google Maps is an ongoing process. If unsure, contact the venue. If you find that they do use a hearing loop, consider adding the venue to Google Maps by following the ‘suggest an edit’ or ‘update this place’ instructions, or recommend this action to the venue staff.

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