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AudioFetch Blog Header - How to Make Your Church More Accessible

How to Make Your Worship Services More Accessible

By | Churches, Hearing Assistance, Translation | No Comments

Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment is a key goal for every type of religious organization. Church members and guests should be provided with resources and tools that allow them to take part in weekly services and other events to the fullest extent possible, despite any hearing impairments or language barriers. 

Yet, because houses of worship are exempt from the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or because many believe that addressing these requirements is too complicated and expensive, they neglect to take steps to create this welcoming community. Fortunately, we’re proud to offer a solution that is both simple and inexpensive to install. 

Our audio over WiFi solutions are designed to make it simple and affordable for any type of religious organization to make their services more accessible and welcoming to all types of audiences. Learn how AudioFetch helps those with hearing impairments and language barriers. 

Welcoming a Person Who is Hard of Hearing

According to That All May Worship, the leading educational publication that provides tips and information on how houses of worship can better welcome people with disabilities, hearing impairments are an imperative. “Each congregation includes people, young and old, who are hard of hearing or deaf. They may read lips so well that they appear less deaf than they truly are. Indeed, they may understand only 80% of what is spoken, chanted or sung, but may be reluctant to complain.” 

For decades, houses of worship have used inductive loop systems to assist the hearing impaired, but these systems are cumbersome, expensive and still require the use of a hearing aid which many people find embarrassing. AudioFetch is a better solution to hearing loops

Our assisted listening devices for churches allow listeners to hear the service via an app on their own device (phone or tablet) using their own headphones. This is a great solution for those who are reluctant to complain or request a hearing device. It also eliminates the need for using shared devices, which require ongoing maintenance to ensure they’re properly working and, uber important in today’s climate, disinfected. 

By offering hearing assistance, you’re providing a safe and approachable environment for all members and their families. As noted in That All May Worship: “Many deaf [and hard of hearing] people prefer to worship in congregations which specifically serve people who are deaf [or hard of hearing]. This is particularly important for deaf parents who have hearing children and wish to worship as a family.”

Welcoming a Person Who Speaks Another Language

For many houses of worship, English isn’t the first language for some of their members. Members may attend your services to be with their English-speaking family members or because there are no other options in the area. But providing live language interpretation will allow all to feel welcome in your community, and may even bring in a whole new audience. 

With our AudioFetch translation equipment for churches, your members use their own smart phone and headset to listen in to translation via the AudioFetch app. If you’re already using AudioFetch for hearing assistance, you can use the same device. Simply dedicate another channel to broadcast a real-time stream of the translation. 

With Easter right around the corner, houses of worship can prepare now to create a more inclusive environment for all members. Call us today at 1-844-443-3824 or schedule a meeting to discuss hearing assistance and translation solutions for your church. 

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Audio Solutions to Help Your House of Worship

By | Churches, Hearing Assistance | No Comments

Baby boomers represent about one-quarter of the American population and as they age, they may begin to experience hearing loss.  Along with that, approximately 5% of the total population experiences some type of hearing disability.  This makes it important for any religious organization to consider and anticipate their needs and give consideration to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), even if houses of worship are exempt from ADA requirements. Many houses of worship are looking for ways to leverage technology to make assistive listening and accessibility simpler, more effective, and less costly.  

For decades, houses of worship have used inductive loop systems to assist the hearing impaired, but these systems are cumbersome, expensive and still require the use of a hearing aid which many people find embarrassing. Recent developments in hearing assistive technology however, can be a great solution both for houses of worship with tight budgets to assist parishioners experiencing hearing loss.  Some devices use BlueTooth technology, which allows the pairing of cell phones and hearing aids to assist the congregation in hearing the service directly without having to use a headset.  

Audio streaming solutions that use built in WiFi technology work similarly to BlueTooth. These assisted listening solutions for churches allow listeners to hear the service via an app on their own device (phone or tablet) using their own earbuds or headset which can be great for those who do not to wear a hearing aid but still need the audio boosted. By having guests bring their own device to use and listen, houses of worship can save the time and money that would otherwise be spent on upkeep of other audio solutions. For those who cannot afford a smartphone or iPad, some houses of worship have been sourcing inexpensive smartphones or asking parishioners to donate their old phones and iPads.  And, of course, people can borrow a phone during the service or share with another parishioner. 

Not only can a local audio streaming system allow your hearing impaired members to hear the service better, it also opens doors for other creative uses like offering translation services or creating an outdoor movie fundraiser. 

If you’d like more information on how an audio solution that streams over wifi could help transform your house of worship, contact us today.