Standards and legislation

There are two types of legislation that affect induction loops, firstly disability access legislation, secondly performance standards. Performace standards can be complex, so please contact our support team or your local distributor for help if you need specific advice.

Disability Access Legislation

In many countries legislation exists or is coming into force to provide equal access to the hearing impaired. In the UK we have the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), in the US there is the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar equivalent legislation is found around the world. Each act has it’s own requirements, some mandating the use of assistive listening, some actually mandating the use of induction loop systems. Ampetronic and its international distributors can give detailed guidance on how regional legislation affects you.

Below are examples of legislation for the United Kingdom

UK Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act of 2010, which replaces the existing anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, simplifies and strengthens the law to tackle discrimination and inequality affecting people with 'protected characteristics' covering age, sex, race and disability. The guide to the section pertaining to disability access can be seen here and makes mention of hearing loops.

“Service providers 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 (such as changing a policy), to the built environment (such as making changes to the structure to improve access) and to provide auxiliary aids and services (such as providing information in an accessible format , an induction loop for customers with hearing aids, special computer software or additional staff support when using a service).”

equality-act

The Building Regulations 2010(12)

The UK building regulations inform architects and builder about the regulations for new building and how disability access is required. The regulations mention induction loops in reference to reception desks, performance and discussion areas and prominent use of signage to inform the hard of hearing of their presence.

“Any reception point is provided with a hearing enhancement system, e.g. an induction loop.”

“In order to obtain the full benefit of attending public performances or taking part in discussions, a person with impaired hearing needs to receive a signal that is amplified in both volume and signal to noise ratio. The three systems commonly used to provide this enhanced level of sound are induction loops, infrared and radio.”

building regs

British Standards 8300 – Code of Practise

British Standards document number BS8300 is a code of practise regarding the design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people. Again, induction loops are cited with regard to meeting rooms/lecture rooms and performance areas but also lifts and help points.

“Ticket sales and information points that are located in noisy environments or that have security screens should have at least one position fitted with a hearing enhancement (induction loop).”

“A hearing enhancement system, using induction loop, infrared or radio transmission, should be installed in rooms and spaces used for meetings, lectures, classes, performances, spectator sport or films, and at service or reception counters where the background noise level is high or where glazed screens are used.”

bsi8300

In general, legislation tends to demand solutions where it can be shown to be reasonable that equal access can be provided. Induction loops are often the most practical, cheapest and lowest maintenance solution for giving good quality access to the hearing impaired, and is therefore becoming the mostly widely adopted solution around the world.

Induction Loop Performance Standards

IEC60118-4 2014

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) produced a heavily revised standard – IEC 60118-4 – for the performance of induction loop systems in any assistive listening application. This standard is being adopted across the world as the reference for loop system performance. The standard can be accessed from your regional standards association or from here.

“This international standard is applicable to audio-frequency induction loop systems producing an alternating magnetic field at audio frequencies and intended to provide an input signal for hearing aids operating with an induction pick up coil.

The standard specifies requirements for the field strength in audio frequency induction loops for hearing aid purposes, which will give adequate signal to noise ratio without overloading the hearing aid. The standard also  specifies the minimum frequency response requirements for acceptable intelligibility…

Methods for measuring the magnetic field strength are specified and information is given on appropriate measuring equipment… information that should be provided to operators and users of the system”

bsi en 60118 4 2006

Ampetronic believe that all installations should meet the requirements of IEC 60118-4. For this to be possible the standard must be considered during specification, design, installation and maintenance of the system. Please consult our note on IEC60118-4 for advice on how the standard affects you.

Guide to meeting standards

A major revision of the Audio Induction Loop performance standard means better hearing assistance for the hearing impared. It also changes the way that loop systems are specified, designed, commissioned and maintained. This guide provides you with all the information you need to ensure that you meet the new standards.

Standards & Compliance Requirements.pdf

 

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