Understanding ADA Compliance



ADA compliance can be a confusing subject and is one of the focuses of our team here at ADCO. For those not familiar, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides protections to individuals with disabilities in many areas, including public accommodation and commercial facilities. Based on the ADA guidelines, buildings and services must be equally accessible to everyone, including those with a hearing loss.

More specifically, it calls out that each assembly area where audible communications is integral to the use of the space, an assistive listening system must be provided.

So, what is an “assembly area”?  

Well, simplified, ADA applies to any public accommodation, commercial facility or private entity that offers examinations or courses related to applications, licensing, certification, or credentialling. This often includes (but is NOT limited to):

  • Public meeting rooms
  • Public hearing rooms
  • Auditoriums and theaters
  • Amphitheaters and centers for performing arts
  • Conference rooms in public or federal buildings (note: in California, all conference and meeting rooms fall under the CBC, or California Building Code, requirement for ADA compliance with listening systems)
  • Classrooms (including secondary and postsecondary education)
  • In the state of California, this also includes religious facilities

If your facilities falls under the ADA requirements, determining what products and compliance solutions are available can be challenging and intimidating. Keep in mind that an assistive listening system ass defined by the ADA is technology that can help (visitors/patients/attendees) in various listening situations.

You will notice that neckloops are always a part of ADA compliance, and this is because a hearing aid or implant is often not sufficient for those living with hearing loss. The addition of an assistive listening device can help them tremendously. The most important thing to keep in mind is that these solutions meet the needs of everyone visiting applicable venues regardless of their level of hearing loss or their existing use of a hearing aid/implant.

While hearing loops do meet the requirements for ADA compliance, they can be extremely costly and always require installation. For large theaters or auditoriums, this may make the most sense, but for most venues an FM System is the preferred solution and our top recommendation. An FM system consists of a transmitter and a number of receivers that meet the requirements for your facility. If you are interested in viewing the requirements for your location, please CLICK HERE to view both ADA and CBC requirements based on seating capacity.

If you are with a facility that is working towards achieving ADA compliance, or an individual looking to encourage compliance at a venue in your area, we can help. We offer ADA compliance solutions and will gladly walk you through your options to ensure compliance while providing the best service to those in need.

This information was obtained from the Americans with Disabilities Act website, https://www.ada.gov/. If you have questions or would like additional information, please call us at 800-726-0851 or email ADA@adcohearing.com