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Note: This document or portion of document references a state or local code that is stricter than the 2010 ADA Standards requires.

11B-706.1 General. Assistive listening systems required in assembly areas, conference and meeting rooms shall comply with Section 11B-706.

[2010 ADAS] 706.1 General. Assistive listening systems required in assembly areas shall comply with 706.

[2010 ADAS] Advisory 706.1 General. Assistive listening systems are generally categorized by their mode of transmission. There are hard-wired systems and three types of wireless systems: induction loop, infrared, and FM radio transmission. Each has different advantages and disadvantages that can help determine which system is best for a given application. For example, an FM system may be better than an infrared system in some open-air assemblies since infrared signals are less effective in sunlight. On the other hand, an infrared system is typically a better choice than an FM system where confidential transmission is important because it will be contained within a given space.

The technical standards for assistive listening systems describe minimum performance levels for volume, interference, and distortion. Sound pressure levels (SPL), expressed in decibels, measure output sound volume. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR or S/N), also expressed in decibels, represents the relationship between the loudness of a desired sound (the signal) and the background noise in a space or piece of equipment. The higher the SNR, the more intelligible the signal. The peak clipping level limits the distortion in signal output produced when high-volume sound waves are manipulated to serve assistive listening devices.

Selecting or specifying an effective assistive listening system for a large or complex venue requires assistance from a professional sound engineer. The Access Board has published technical assistance on assistive listening devices and systems: http://www.Access-Board.gov/Research/Completed-Research/Large-Area-Assistive-Listening-Systems.


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