Requesting ALDs

ALDs can usually be obtained at Guest Services, Concierge, or Box Offices at venues that provide them. When asking for an ALD, be sure to ask if they have the receiver boxes – not headsets with earbuds – that use neckloops or have a headphone jack. (You can use your own neckloop or headset if you own one.)

Know your rights. Increased availability and usage of FM systems are due in large measure to legislation that mandates access to technology for persons with hearing and other communication disabilities:

  1. the Americans with Disabilities Act,
  2. the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  3. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Under IDEA, consideration of assistive technology for any child with a disability must take place as part of the development of the Indvidualized Educational Program.

Each in some way deals with the issue of "access" to instruction. Of course, for the child with hearing loss, "access" means being able to hear instruction!

Look for the ALD symbol at venues or events. This promotes that assistive devices are available.

Visual Aids

Many venues like museums and theaters can provide scripts of the performance or presentation. It may require advanced notice, so you should consider requesting one several days prior to the event.

Reflective (or rear-window) captioning services are offered at venues like theaters or theme parks. A large LED display is mounted on a rear wall that displays caption characters reflected on a small portable plastic panel. Check the movie listings or contact the venue directly for additional information.

Purchasing ALDs

Purchase a personal telecoil neckloop or silhouette for use when attending
events that provide assistive listening technology. Neckloops and silhouettes are available from a variety of online vendors. Some telecoil products are also amplifed and can provide additional volume, if needed.

Furthermore, some telecoil accessories include a built-in microphone that works extremely well with telephones. The benefit of having a built-in microphone is that you can use it with many FM systems, MP3 players, and even your telephone. Be sure to look at all the specifications before making your purchase to ensure that it has everything you need.

Consider purchasing inexpensive adapters from a local electronics store. (An example is a stereo-to-mono adapter.) Some older ALD systems use mono jacks and may not work with a telecoil or audio cable that uses a stereo plug.

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