VSBA compliant Hearing Augmentation and Soundfield Solutions
The VSBA has refreshed its rules with the new May 2023 Building Quality Standards Handbook.
Hear and Learn build hearing augmentation and sound field solutions to comply with these new May 2023 rules.
The key points of the new Rules are:
1. Hearing Augmentation tech must be Performance Based Solutions given that “students are provided with their own listening systems by Hearing Australia’s paediatric program, and do not need additional neck loops given system performance criteria; the NCC D4D8 does not recognise that most young people/students’ personal receiver devices do not have telecoil activated, as required for induction systems; nor does the NCC recognise the importance of transmitting a teacher’s voice, i.e. via sound field systems, which has benefits not only for hard of hearing students but those with auditory or undiagnosed hearing needs, and students with special needs”
2. If a project is an upgrade of an existing School, new hearing aug solutions in the upgraded building cannot be the same as those in the older part of the building unless the older building has solutions that comply with the 2022 or 2023 Regs. That is, new solutions must be an on-wall interface to which the various transmitters to the various receivers in aids are connected to. They cannot be solutions that augment to only one type of receiver.
Hear and Learn has available Four Hearing Augmentation and Sound field bundles to suit the new Victorian School Building Authority Building Quality Standards Handbook May 2023.
Performance Based reports from our Access Consultant are available for stakeholders to procure.
All four bundles offer compliance with the terms of the handbook, and below we offer comment against the requirements expressed in the handbook:
- Hear and Learn UConnect SoundHouse and Mini Hearing augmentation solutions conduct the process of collecting audio from amplification systems such as public address or audio-visual systems for transmission to receivers built into the personal hearing devices worn by hard of hearing or deaf learners, teachers and visitors.
- Hear and Learn UConnect SoundHouse and Mini hearing augmentation systems require permanent cabling between amplification systems and devoted on-wall interfaces for transmitters (to personal hearing devices or receivers) to be safely mounted and connected.
- Hear and Learn UConnect SoundHouse and Mini hearing augmentation systems recognise that there are different brands and types of personal hearing devices use different transmission platforms and methods, and that Assistive hearing technologies are constantly evolving, which means that installed hearing augmentation and sound field solutions must be as agile as possible.
- Hear and Learn UConnect SoundHouse and Mini solutions are supplied with minimum of one hearing augmentation transmitter per 10 learning spaces (primary schools), or per learning community (secondary schools) that is appropriate to the learning population’s devices to enable hearing augmentation (i.e. transmission from fixed amplification systems to personal hearing device receivers)
- Hear and Learn UConnect SoundHouse and Mini solutions are supplied with at least one sound field system for transmitting verbal instructions. For example, the Hear and Learn VSBA Bundle 1 includes sound field with cabling infrastructure to ensure all hard of hearing learners, visitors and teachers receive augmentation of inbuilt amplified audio and voices.
- Hear and Learn fully consults with a suitably qualified disability access consultant and/or expert in the field of assistive hearing technology
- Hear and Learn UConnect SoundHouse and Mini solutions ensure native transmission (meaning without the use of personal neck loops) from all fixed amplifications systems to the Hearing Australia-supplied hearing aid receivers worn by young hard of hearing/deaf students
- Hear and Learn UConnect SoundHouse and Mini solutions (installed in accordance with instructions at www.hearandlearn.com.au/install involve permanent cabling for devoted on-wall interfaces will terminate to practical locations for effective operation and be free from trip risk (i.e. have no unsecured cables to power supplies or general power outlets). Further, hearing augmentation interfaces are appropriately labelled and mounted at an accessible height for use by hard of hearing /deaf users of the space
- All contracts with Hear and Learn include staff training to support staff understanding and use of technology as part of its HearAssist program.
- Hear and Learn UConnect SoundHouse and Mini solutions have appropriate Braille Tactile signage that is consistent with relevant section of AS 1428.5 and universal design principles (i.e. in properly spaced Braille and standard type; clearly visible, located at the main entrance to the teaching space; accessible at wheelchair height) and advises of the system type/s in use, and where visitor receivers can be accessed.
- Hear and Learn UConnect SoundHouse and Mini hearing augmentation systems DO NOT require WiFi primary transmission, induction loops in ceilings or underfloor coverings or infrared systems.