Hearing / Induction loops are affected by a range of standards and legislation, such as disability equality laws, building regulations, codes of practice and performance standards. Legislation varies by country and performance standards can be complex, so please contact our support team or your local distributor for help if you need specific advice.
Disability access legislation
The United Nations developed the ‘UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities’ which is an international agreement protecting and promoting human rights of disabled people throughout the world. This agreement recognises that everyone is of equal value, has the right to make their own decisions, and should be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect.
The UN convention has resulted in many countries developing their own legislation, specifying how the rights of people with disabilities will be protected. In the UK we have the Equality Act 2010, in the US there is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar equivalent legislation is found around the world. Each act has its own requirements, some mandating the use of assistive listening, some actually mandating the use of induction loop systems. You can download a guide to the relevant legislation in your country here: [UP30108 Legislation_AppNote_interactive].
There are often also regional building codes or regulations which list requirements that must be met when constructing or making alterations to a building. These include disability access and can vary by country and state.
Below are examples of legislation for the United Kingdom
UK Equality Act
|The Equality Act 2010 replaces the existing anti-discrimination laws, including the Disability Discrimination Act or DDA, with a single Act which simplifies and strengthens the law to tackle discrimination and inequality affecting people with ‘protected characteristics’ covering age, sex, race and disability. The guide to the section pertaining to disability access can be seen here and makes mention of hearing loops.|
The Building Regulations Part M
|Access to and use of buildings, volume 2: buildings other than dwellings|
The UK building regulations inform architects and builders about the requirements for new buildings and alterations to existing buildings, and include disability access. The regulations mention induction loops in reference to reception desks, performance and discussion areas and prominent use of signage to inform the hard of hearing of their presence.
British Standards 8300
|Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people. Code of practice|
British Standards document number BS 8300 is a code of practice regarding the design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people. Again, induction loops are cited with regard to meeting rooms/lecture rooms and performance areas but also lifts and help points. BS 8300 also requires any induction loop to meet the relevant performance standards.
Induction Loop Performance Standards
|Electroacoustics – Hearing aids – Part 4: Induction-loop systems for hearing aid purposes – System performance requirements|
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) produced a standard for the performance of induction loop systems in any assistive listening application. This standard is being adopted across the world as the reference for loop system performance, such as BS EN 60118-4 in the UK and AS 60118.4 in Australia. The standard can be accessed from your regional standards association or from here .
While these performance standards aren’t legal requirements, they are often contractually binding if referenced in building specifications and provide the best evidence that a genuine benefit has been provided in line with the equality laws detailed above.
IEC TR 63079
|Code of practice for hearing loop systems (HLS)|
Also referenced in the UK as BS 7594, this code of practice gives advice on all aspects of the loop provision, from the microphone inputs, the loop itself to the signage and routine testing of the installation.
Ampetronic believe that all installations should meet the requirements of IEC 60118-4. For this to be possible the standard must be considered during specification, design, installation and maintenance of the system. Please consult our note on IEC 60118-4 for advice on how the standard affects you.