Audio-Frequency Induction Loop Systems (AFILS)
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What are AFILS?
Audio-frequency Induction Loop Systems (AFILS) allow hearing impaired people to hear more clearly. Most hearing aids have a ‘T’ or ‘MT’ switch which allows them to pick up the electromagnetic field generated by an induction loop system. The hearing aid converts this signal into a sound suited to its user’s specific hearing requirements. Any person with a hearing aid positioned within or near the loop (see example schematics below) can hear the loop signal by switching their hearing aid to the correct position, allowing them to participate more effectively in general conversation, ordering goods or services, listening to public performances, etc.
Are they mandatory?
According to Action On Hearing Loss (formerly the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID)):-
• Over 10 million people (one in six of the UK population) are deaf or hard of hearing.
• An estimated 2 million of these people have hearing aids.
Lobbying by such organisations has led to increased awareness of the difficulties faced by the hearing impaired, so much so that numerous Standards, Acts and Schemes now recommend the provision of auxiliary aids such as induction loop systems for the hard of hearing in new buildings and retrospectively in existing establishments.