An audience at a performance

Maintaining and troubleshooting your assistive listening system

There is much to think about when considering your assistive listening system.  For example:

  • Do you know if there is a loop around your auditorium, or will you supply patrons with a body loop to wear around the neck that will pick up the infrared system?
  • Is information on any areas where coverage is limited in your auditorium available to those booking online?
  • If there is a fault affecting one particular patron, can you be sure that it isn’t your loop system causing it?

We hope that these pages go some way towards answering some of these questions.  If you find that your questions haven’t been answered, please let us know via the Contact us page and we will add additional information.

Most of this material came out of the Can You Hear Me At The Back? Conference which was organised by STAGETEXT and Vocaleyes in 2012 to look at assistive listening systems in theatres.  The conference report can be downloaded from this link – Conference Report 2012.

There are three main types of assistive listening system: loop systems, infrared systems and radio systems.  Theatres most often have loop systems or infrared systems.

We’ve also included information on audio description and a bit about legislation.

Don’t forget that a perfectly working assistive listening system won’t make up for bar staff who don’t know to speak directly to a deaf or hard of hearing patron, or front of house staff who don’t know how to guide a blind or partially sighted patron to their seat, so make the most of the customer care sections of this resource too.