The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. It is the world's first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities. The ADA represents 43 million Americans with disabilities who are full-fledged citizens and are entitled to legal protections that ensure them equal opportunity and access to the mainstream of American life. The ADA is being enforced when we see businesses providing access for wheelchairs such as ramps, special seating, toilet facilities, telephone height, and water fountain height.

Of the 43 million Americans covered by the ADA, at least 24 million suffer from hearing loss. Within this astronomical populace are included three million school-age children. Hearing loss is our nation's number one disability, compromising 55.8% of the total number of people guaranteed the right to effective communication under the ADA.

For people with hearing impairments the ADA requires that assistive listening systems be provided to them in numerous situations. The law states: "Assembly areas with fixed seating where audible communications are integral to the use of the space must have a permanently installed assistive listening system if they accommodate at least 50 persons, or if they have audio-amplification systems. The minimum number of receivers to be provided shall be equal to 4 percent of the total number of seats, but in no case less than two."

By Federal Mandate, large corporations must provide assistive listening systems for their employees in assembly areas, meeting rooms and training facilities. Systems are required in public schools, courtrooms, state and local legislative hearing rooms and local, state and federal meeting areas. A huge area of public facilities such as theaters, hotel conference rooms, museums, convention centers and nursing homes, just to name a few, must provide assistive listening equipment to their cliental free of charge.

Since the ADA is a complaint driven law, the disabled must be aware of their rights for it to be effective. It is important that you request assistive listening equipment when visiting any of the above facilities. If equipment is not provided to you, you may file a civil law-suit against the facility for non-compliance to the ADA.

Once people with hearing impairments start to request assistive devices in theaters, schools, nursing homes and other places where they are required, we will begin to see a network of ADA compliance emerge. There are countless people and facilities that can benefit from Sound Choice Assistive Listening, Inc., but our personal targets are schools, museums and other places of learning to provide hearing impaired children with the same opportunities as their peers.

We at Sound Choice Assistive Listening, Inc. have found purpose in enabling the hearing disabled to enjoy communications that the rest of us take for granted. We hope our work will touch many lives and bring enjoyment, safety and understanding that did not exist before. Our goal is to make a difference for hearing impaired people by opening doors to them that were once closed.

But, we need your help! If you do not request assistive listening systems at theaters, lecture halls, schools, courts and other public meeting places, these facilities may not be aware of the need of our services and they will not provided for you and other people that can benefit from them.

So, let's make the ADA perform! Stand up for your rights as American Citizens and request assistive listening equipment in public places!!

This information has been provided courtesy of:

Sound Choice Assistive Listening, Inc.
PO Box 843
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 230-8600 fax: (215) 345-1389