Church members who use a personal hearing aid often find that it does not adequately receive the sound from the sound system. Others with minor hearing impairments, although not requiring a hearing aid in their normal everyday activities, sometimes also find it difficult to understand speech in large rooms such as chapels. To help these individuals, many wards and stakes have a wireless system.
A low-power radio transmitter broadcasts to a small, pocket-size receiver worn by the user. The receiver sends the sound to a small earphone. A special neck loop is also available that retransmits the signal to a user’s hearing aid. For individuals to be able to use the neck loop, their hearing aid must have a switch for use with a T-coil-type system and the switch must be in the “T” (T-coil) position.
The Church’s hearing-impaired system operates in the 70 MHz band. Wherever possible, all of the meetinghouses in a stake should operate on the same channel so that members attending a meeting in a different building can use the same receivers they use in their own ward building.
Each new meetinghouse sound system comes equipped with receivers, as determined by ADA law. If additional receivers are needed, local priesthood leaders should request them from their facilities management group manager. An LDSTech broadcast discusses this in more detail.
To prevent interference with other radio services, the power radiated by the hearing-impaired system transmitter is limited in the United States by the Federal Communications Commission. This typically restricts reception to within the meetinghouse. The intent of the Church is to provide hearing assistance to those seated in the chapel or the cultural hall. The transmitter or antenna should not be modified in an attempt to increase the coverage.
ALS receivers in meetinghouses may be manufactured by either Comtek Electronics or Listen Technologies. Both are incompatible with the other transmission systems. For Comtek-branded receivers, the earphone jack on the receiver is also the power switch, so the earphone and neck loop should be unplugged when they are not in use. On Listen-branded devices, the charging tray acts as the on/off switch.
For sanitation reasons, earphones should be permanently given to repeat users, or they can use their own. The pocket-size receivers should be checked out of the materials center. Receivers should not be permanently given to repeat users; users who wish to may purchase their own from Listen Technologies.