1. Understand Your Needs
The first step when considering an Assistive Listening System in your church is to ensure that you fully understand the needs of your congregation. The most effective way to accomplish this is to ask your congregation to complete a survey about their assistive listening needs. Be sure to ask about their experience during services, if they use hearing aids, and if those hearing aids are equipped with t-coils.
2. Fully Understand Your Options
Estimate the cost of assistive listening equipment that best meets the needs of your congregation. CCI Solutions offers assistance in this area as well as free consultations for expense and budgeting purposes. You may also consider fundraising efforts to help offset the cost of the assistive listening solutions that are best for your church.
3. Prepare for Success
It is vital to the success of your new Assisted Listening System that staff and volunteers receive proper training on how to use and distribute the assistive listening devices. Think of them as your Assisted Listening Ambassadors! When checking devices out, be sure to take the time to instruct the users on the functions of the device. Keep a laminated copy of answers to frequently asked questions at the counter or desk where receivers are distributed.
4. Create Awareness
It's time to let your congregation and community know about your new Assistive Listening System! Be sure to display the proper signage letting them know that Assisted Listening Devices are available at your church and where to find them. Remember to provide a reminder in each of your bulletins and multi-media presentations. You may even consider hosting a live training so that your congregants can familiarize themselves with the technology. Don't forget about advertising to your surrounding community as well. Many will visit or return to your services when they hear about your efforts to include everyone!
Reaching out to those who feel disconnected from your community due to hearing loss is central to sharing the message of inclusion. Genuinely compassionate service involves being aware of and caring for the needs of everyone, especially those dealing with impairments. Make sure they are able to hear the beauty and emotion of the spoken word in your church by providing them with the equipment they need to stay connected.
For more detailed information on choosing the right Assistive Listening System and tools to insure your success including sample surveys, signage, and announcements, please download a copy of Listen Technologies Church Assistive Listening Toolkit.