This page will build up to a collection of tips for Centres to make themselves more accessible and inclusive. It will be organised by Access/Hearing/Sight/etc



from Satyadakini in Croydon –
“Dear Triratna centre, I’ve recently installed a hearing aid induction loop system at the Croydon Buddhist Centre – I’m partly deaf and it’s making a big difference to me. I can now hear led meditation with my eyes closed! We fundraised for it – cost under £100 – and a friend and I installed it in a couple of hours. I’m passing on this info to you in case you want to do something similar….

“How it works – the system comprises an amplifier (needs 1 mains socket), a microphone (the sound source) and a loop cable which originates and ends in the amplifier and is run around the room at floor level (can go over door frames). This creates a magnetic field allowing the sound source to be heard up by someone’s hearing aid when it is switched to ‘T’ (the person wearing the aid should know what switching to ‘T’ means).

“The system installed at the Croydon Buddhist Centre is an inexpensive domestic system, easy to install, bought from the RNID (Royal National Institute for the Deaf). The system comes with everything you need – except – the microphone cable it comes with is only 1m and therefore can restrict the speaker’s movements, as they have to sit right next to the amplifier. It’s therefore advisable to buy a microphone with a longer cable. Sarabec do a microphone with 4m cable which works with the loop (after some trial and error and several trips to Maplins I discovered not all microphones work with the loop).

“One drawback of the domestic system is the length of loop cable it can handle before sound quality degrades – the cable it comes with is 38m. The Croydon Buddhist Centre’s shrine room size is fine for this – even allowing for the cable to run over doorways. However, I’m also installing a loop at Akashavana, but the cable required there is about 40.5m. After some investigation I’ve discovered that it’s possible to extend the 38m cable by 10% (3.8m), provided it’s soldered, without much degradation of sound quality. The loop extension cable is also available from Sarabec. If your shrine room is larger than 42m then you may need to get a commercial loop which is more expensive – I don’t have the details, you’d need to speak to the RNID.

“Best wishes,

A full list of what you’ll need is as follows:

Megaloop domestic loop system

4m Standard Microphone (order code 330-001) – can’t get this from RNID

If the cable length needed for your shrine room is more than 38m then you’ll need this:
37m single core cable (I don’t know why this is 37m rather than 38m!)

For more info on loop systems and how they work click the RNID factsheet.

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