listening-device-signBy guest author Jonathan Javid

Working as an audiologist in Salt Lake City, I see multiple LDS patients per week who report that they have great difficulty hearing in church. This frustration leads to a lack of desire to attend and participate in worship services. As reverent as we try to keep our sacrament meetings, there will always be acoustical challenges for the hearing impaired. Large rooms with high ceiling make for a tough listening environment even if all of the children are perfectly quiet. Almost all of my audiology patients are unaware of the resources available to anyone that attends an LDS sacrament meetings.

Most chapels in the United States are equiped with a wireless FM system called a Comtek device. These were installed at the time of a building’s construction if the building was built within the past 30 years. But even most older buildings have been updated with this technology. This unit is essentially a radio that allows you to have a close-up listening experience. The device allows transmission from the chapel audio system directly to you through headphones. This provides the listener the benefit of getting the direct signal without any distracting noises and allows them to adjust the volume to their preference.

Devices are stored in the materials center (library) and can be checked out by any member or visitor. If the materials center is locked, please speak with the ward librarian or a member of your bishopric or branch presidency to get a device. Once a device is obtained, it can be turned on by inserting headphones into the jack. If the device does not power on, the batteries are likely dead. Almost all LDS meetinghouses in the United States should have an assistive listening device available for use, although many people are not even aware of them. If a device can not be found in your local chapel, please speak with your stake technology specialist and they will be able to assist you.

Please be aware that this device only works while in the chapel and will not work in Relief Society, Priesthood, Primary or Sunday School rooms. If you have difficulty hearing in those rooms, you are encouraged to sit in the front and be proactive by asking the speaker or instructor to use a microphone if one is available.

By using this device, it will help reduce the frustration of not being able to fully participate in sacrament meeting. The Lord has provided us with the amazing technology resources to aid us in overcoming our impairments. We just need to choose to use them.

Jonathan Javid, is a full time audiologist at the Veteran’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. He is also the parent of 4 children and runs the online store

Continue reading at the original source →