Masses of people flock to worship services to seek counseling about the things in life that challenge and worry them. People come ready to be inspired by a power greater than themselves and to interact with others on a path of positivity. Most of all, people come to be uplifted in a world that often leaves us wondering about our purpose and fated course of action.
People experience a grand portion of these services audibly: following the words of the pastor, enjoying the hymns of the choir, talking and sharing with others. Much of the appeal of being in religious spaces is felt through our ears.
Aging adults and the hearing impaired may find it disappointing not being able to fully engage in church services. What might also come as a surprise is that according to general statistics on hearing from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders about 15% of adults of all ages and backgrounds have varying degrees of hearing loss or trouble hearing. In fact, NIDCD estimated that 28.8 million adults in the U.S. might benefit from using hearing aids.
Lack of accessibility in places of worship can lead to a decline in service attendance, especially for those with aging congregations. Loss of hearing is alienating and may lead people to shy away from attending services and interacting with their community like they may have before. Offering only unaided services could lead to the negative outcome of people remaining at home to listen to services on devices like radios, television sets, computers and phones where they can adjust the volume to suit their needs.
Hearing loss can affect anyone and offering accessibility tools to individuals who might need them can set one place of worship apart from another as an open and accommodating community. Besides setting yourself apart as a hospitable place, you will be able to reach your congregations at different stages of hearing ability.
Offer the miracle of hearing with assistive listening devices for churches and help your congregations hear better.