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36 CFR Parts 1190 and 1191 ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines - Preamble (Discussion of Comments and Changes)

Section 706 provides specifications for assistive listening systems. Assistive listening systems pick up sound at or close to its source and deliver it to the listener’s ear. This more direct transmission improves sound quality by reducing the effects of background noise and reverberation and, as needed, increasing the volume. These devices serve people who are hard of hearing, including those who use hearing aids. Assistive listening systems are generally categorized by their mode of transmission. Acceptable types of assistive listening systems include induction loops, infrared systems, FM radio frequency systems, hard-wired earphones, and other equivalent devices. A definition for "assistive listening systems" has been included in the final rule (section 106). Provisions address receiver jacks (706.2), compatibility with hearing aids (706.3), and system quality and capability (706.4 through 706.6).

Comment. Receivers are required to have a c inch standard mono jack so that users can use their own cabling as necessary. The proposed rule allowed other types of jacks where compliant adapters were provided (706.3). Comments strongly supported the requirement for the c inch mono jack. Some commenters noted that this type of jack should be provided in all cases and that alternative types should not be allowed to avoid issues such as who is responsible for the provision of adapters.

Response. In the final rule, the Board has specified that receivers include a c inch (3.5 mm) standard mono jack and has removed language concerning other jack types and adapters (706.2).


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