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Like the Mic (03:55)

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHlDoth5Ngk&feature=youtu.be

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Learning to Like the Mic is a fantastic first step toward building hearing-friendly, inclusive public events and meetings.  Like the Mic is the video campaign launched by Rooted in Rights and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) to bring awareness that life should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability to hear.  In the video, Evelyn, Devin, and Jayesh share their experiences with hearing loss and feeling excluded when accessible equipment like microphones are absent.  All speaking participants in the video have first hand experience with hearing loss and encountering non-hearing friendly environments.

Creating Hearing-Inclusive Public Events

“I have a loud voice.”
“Can you all hear me?”
“I don’t like the microphone—I’m sure you can hear me.”

If you’re saying these things at a meeting or public event, you’re leaving people out. Yes, you!

Forty-eight million Americans experience hearing loss every day.  That means that 15% of veterans, children, seniors, and people in between might be left out when public events and meetings are run as if everyone hears the same way.   To welcome all people and make sure everyone can participate, make sure you:

  • Use a PA system
  • Speak into the microphone at all times
  • Have a second microphone for audience questions
  • Repeat audience questions
  • Learn to like the mic! The more you use a mic, the easier it gets

Microphones are just the start of many ways you can build ADA-mandated inclusive spaces:

  • Turn captions on for all videos
  • Install a hearing loop to send sound directly to someone’s hearing aid or cochlear implant
  • Try Computer-Assisted Realtime Transcription (CART), which shows live audio as text
  • Assign someone in your group to be the ADA or disability coordinator, and teach them about hearing access

Hearing loss has long been an invisible disability, but we can help create hearing-friendly communities where people with hearing loss can engage equally.  We can start by Liking the Mic, but don’t stop there!

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