There are a variety of audio assist systems to choose from if your company is looking to be accessible to patrons who wish to augment the sound of the performance. The Canadian Hearing Society has developed information sheets based on research into the different sound systems appropriate for theatre. It may also incorporate audio description for individuals who are blind or low-vision.
For ULTRASOUND, Cahoots Theatre & Theatre Passe Muraille had a combined 20 FM sound system device units available for Deaf patrons (15 Steto and 5 Loop headset varieties as described in the handout summary). This system can also be used to provide audio description for individuals who are blind or low-vision.
It is important to inform Deaf patrons of the devices available to them by displaying an Audio Assist Device Sign in clear view at the box office/front of house.
Additionally, it is integral that box office personnel be aware of the devices on offer for patrons, how to use the FM system, and how to maintain the system. We suggest providing a training session for all front of house and box office personnel so that staff is equally informed and can be proactive in providing mindful patron services.
Something to consider, is having the box office track the usage of these audio assist devices. This statistical information will be useful to understanding patron needs as well as managing maintenance of devices.
Melanie Baine, CHS Audio Assist Services Demonstration Video