July 1, 2018. In the previous blog posting, a link to a federal accessibility grant was included, with a note that the deadline for applications was July 26, 2018. Acceptable criteria for the federal accessibility grant includes ways to improve accessibility for those with hearing loss, such as the installation of hearing loops and counter loops with telecoils. Here is the link: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/enabling-accessibility-fund-small-projects.html.
A few of you noted that while you would like to see your church looped, you had doubts that the parish council would be willing to consider applying for a grant for a hearing loop. Accessibility doesn’t happen by magic. It’s up to the individual parishioners to express their wishes and advise what accessibility accommodations they need.
PEI isn’t alone in the challenge of hearing accessibility. A recent article in a Catholic magazine discussed the issue of accessibility and how attitudes can make the difference between embracing all who wish to attend a service or continuing to maintain barriers. This article has been making its way through Twitter and Facebook accounts. Take a look: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jenfitz/are-people-with-disabilities-welcome-at-your-parish.
In contrast, some places get very creative in finding ways to ensure accessibility. A Honda dealership in New Jersey installed a hearing loop in its showroom and service departments to make vehicle purchases and maintenance more accessible for those with hearing loss. Read here: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/hillsborough/categories/press-releases/articles/clinton-honda-installs-hearing-loops-to-enhance.
Accessibility only happens if we all work towards it. Our thanks to Joan Gallant for letting us know that she has given her local Lions Club the information needed to apply for a federal accessibility grant to install hearing loops. The finance committee of her church is next on her list.
Like the work we do? Consider a donation to help us do more. 100% of your donation stays on PEI to help Islanders. We now have a page at the Canada Helps website: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708
© Daria Valkenburg