A Night at the Movies with Assistive Listening Devices
Settings such as theaters, churches, and group meetings can be challenging for people with hearing loss. In difficult settings such as these, many people with hearing loss need help beyond that provided by hearing aids.
Assistive listening devices, or ALDs, are designed to provide additional help in special situations. These devices are not as portable as hearing aids and are designed only for a particular use, but they can make live theater or the movies enjoyable again for someone with a hearing loss.
Infrared amplification is used in many theaters and cinemas to provide excellent quality sound. Transmitters send invisible (infrared) light waves to a receiver that converts the waves to sound. Although results are excellent, the individual must wear a special headset.
Audio looping is another approach, but you must have hearing aids equipped with telephone coils. Some theaters provide audio loop receivers for those whose hearing aids don’t have t-coils.
Many cinemas and theaters now have captioning. You can find theaters with captioning at CaptionFish.com. Some theaters around the world are starting to use GalaPro, an app that displays captions on a smartphone, with a choice of languages. This technology will be appearing in more theaters in the future.
Hearing aids will always be the most effective and popular source of help for people with hearing loss, but when additional help is needed for places such as movie houses and theaters, ALDs can make these places enjoyable again.