Does your church currently have a hearing loop? Have you considered installing one because of the grants that the WELS Mission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing(MDHH) is offering?
If your congregation is able to provide this to hard-of-hearing people who attend your services, this is a tremendous blessing. God be praised!
Even with a loop, you may still receive feedback that people are having trouble using it. This guide serves to help you troubleshoot common issues, before needing to call for maintenance. Take time with the person running into challenges and test your system with these ideas.
- Ensure the loop system is switched on. (Any technology how-to will start with the step of “try turning it off and on again!”)
- Ensure there are no errors or warnings on the loop machine.
- Check the AV system to make sure everything is wired up properly.
- Have the hearing aid wearer move around throughout the looped area and test different locations. Amplification may vary at different points in the sanctuary.
- Have them check with the audiologist to find out if the hearing aid is hearing loop compatible and if that feature is turned on.
- Check the manual for the hearing aid. Some sense the loop automatically, while others require the wearer to change the T-switch on the hearing aid. Newer ones may connect via a smartphone.
- If the loop is turned on, and their hearing aid is set up correctly, and the sound is still not working, then it is probably time to call in a technician for maintenance.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach as each system, space, and hearing aid is different.
As with any sound system-related issue, it is a great opportunity to wonder at our creator. God said “Let there be” and humans and animals could hear with amazing precision all the depth of sound and music he has given us.
Meanwhile, in a fallen world, while the Lord has blessed us with amazing technology, it can never compare.
So, many hours are spent fine-tuning the microphone levels to create a similar experience on a livestream as those worshiping in person are experiencing. Pastors have many stories of microphone mishaps. Similarly, hearing aids and hearing loops are prone to being finicky.
Despite that, all these tools can be used to help spread the gospel more clearly to hurting souls.
Hopefully the ideas above can help if you are experiencing issues. As with any questions you may have around the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people, please reach out to MDHH if we can assist you.
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