The Church has made a significant effort over many years to understand and meet the needs of members who are hard of hearing. Unfortunately, many members and leaders are not familiar with these systems that are available in meetinghouses and temples. These devices can help, even if you use a hearing aid.
Meetinghouses have two types of systems that function in the chapel and in the cultural hall. (The Relief Society, children’s, and multi-purpose rooms have in-room speakers to provide the necessary volume levels.)
Those who are hard of hearing can access a radio frequency system through the following devices:
- Radio Frequency (RF) Assistive Listening Receivers are devices that fit in your pocket and use the chapel or cultural hall audio system to amplify sound to an earpiece.
- Assisted Listening System (ALS) Neck Loops receive sound from the chapel or cultural hall audio system and broadcast it directly to your hearing aid (if it is compatible with T-coil).
Wards and branches should have multiple RF receivers and ALS neck loops. These are usually kept in the meetinghouse libraries. If leaders need additional devices, they may be requested through the stake physical facilities representative.
Temples also provide a listening system. Just ask for a headset the next time you go to the temple.
This isn’t a Church system, but if you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you can activate a feature called “Live Listen,” which lets you use AirPods or Powerbeats Pro to amplify sound, allowing them to double as basic hearing aids. Turn on Live Listen and lay your iPhone on the bench next to you and the AirPods will amplify what’s being said. See instructions at Apple.com. Learn about “Made for iPhone” hearing devices.
- Church News article “Straining to Hear Each Sunday? Meetinghouse Listening Devices Dramatically Improve Participation.”
- For information about hearing loss, deafness, and sign language, see disabilities.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
- “Interpreters for Deaf or Hearing-Impaired Members” from Handbook 2, 126.96.36.199.