Assistive Listening Systems FAQ

Q: What is an Assistive Listening System? 
A: An ALS is technology that helps persons with hearing loss to hear and understand better, especially in meetings and when there is background noise.

Q: What are the parts to the ALS? 
A: Any ALS has a microphone, transmitter, receivers and listening accessories. The microphone picks up the sound a person wants to hear; the transmitter sends that pure sound (with no distracting background noise) to each individual's receiver; and the listener uses a suitable listening accessory plugged into the receiver to hear the desired sound.

Q: What are listening accessories? 
A: There are various listening accessories depending on whether or not a person wears hearing aids or cochlear implant. Persons wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants will usually want to have a neckloop so that the receiver can work directly with their hearing aids or cochlear implant processor. A person not using hearing aids or cochlear implant will usually want to use headphones.

Q: What is a neckloop and how does it work with hearing aids and or cochlear implants? 
A: A neckloop is a loop of wire draped around the neck, that is plugged into an ALS receiver. Hearing aids and cochlear implants have a feature called a Telecoil switch. The neckloop works as a magnetic field to pull in the direct sound from the ALS transmitter. The Telecoil switch needs to be turned on.

Q: Will my office need to use an ALS? 
A: Yes, if a person with hearing loss requests ALS to meet their communication needs. Providing ALS is a reasonable accommodation.

Q: Where will I get an ALS for the person to use? 
A: Please see the information about ALS Systems.