Hearing-impaired equipment


In addition to the normal range of stock that everyone requires, some hard of hearing and deafened people will want books and other resources from public libraries that will assist them in learning to cope with their hearing loss. Most of the large organisations for deaf and hard of hearing people can offer information and booklists. Because there are many methods of communication and since deafness has attracted controversy in several areas, it is important for public libraries to have a well-balanced and up-to-date stock on the subject. Additionally, close captioned videos are increasingly available through public libraries - most popular videos now carry captions - and can offer equality of access to material which was previously of little benefit. The captioned sign on the video case looks like a small TV screen. The captions/subtitles can only be seen if the viewer has a caption reader, which can either be built in to a video recorder or can be a separate piece of equipment, which links between the TV and video. Some library authorities loan caption readers for this purpose.

More of the equipments

There are many ways in which the physical environment can assist or hinder people with hearing problems. The first requirement for many deaf people is that the library should be clearly signposted, that the entrance should be easily identifiable and that once inside the library there is clear guiding, perhaps accompanied by flare paths leading to issue and inquiry desks as well as clear shelf guiding. This allows hearing-impaired people to find their way around without having to ask for help. This is particularly important for people who are profoundly deaf, or whose deafness is accompanied by a speech problem. The siting of electronic equipment within libraries should also be given careful consideration. Banks of computer terminals, for example, can cause major interference with cochlear implants and hearing aids. By locating such equipment away from main circulation areas libraries can do much to reduce the impact of this interference.

Conclusion

There is a range of equipment which helps many hearing-impaired people to use libraries. An induction loop may help a hearing aid user to hear more clearly when their hearing aid is switched to loop reception. A hearing aid user can then hear a person speaking some distance away, or when a computer screen muffles sound, for example across a counter. An induction loop should be fitted in meeting and seminar rooms and rooms used for user training or promotional events. Telephones can have amplifiers and inductive couplers to make the sound clearer and louder.

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