Hearing Loops: how do they work?

hearing-loop-headerHearing augmentation can seem a bit too technical to understand, but Clearasound has a set of fact sheets that cover all the different types and different situations when each one should be used. Too often systems do not work or are not turned on and there is a lot of confusion as to how these systems operate. The best way to test a system to see if it is working is to ask someone who is wearing a hearing aid with a ‘T’ switch. Clearasound is one company that has a technical manager who wears such a hearing aid. This seems the only way to be sure that the system is connected properly, switched on and functioning. Too many systems fail to work even when technicians claim they do.  Here are some of the fact sheets on the Clearasound site.

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UD and 40 Principles of TRIZ

Homes for Strong Families, Children, Seniors and All Others. How Universal Design, Design for All and Forty Principles of TRIZ Enforce Each Other.

This short paper by Kalevi Rantanen shows how to combine the principles of universal design and design-for-all with the 40 principles of TRIZ. It gives another perspective on how to apply the principles of universal design in a problem solving context.

The 40 Principles of TRIZ are a list of simple, and easy to learn rules for solving technical and non-technical problems quickly and simply. Studying these existing solutions can inspire people to solve new problems and imagine innovative solutions. They show how and where others have successfully eliminated contradictions and take us to the proven, powerful recorded solutions contained in the patent database. These 40 Inventive Principles may be used to help solve both technical and non-technical problems. 

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The Why’s of Access Handbook

IATA Whys of AccessThis handbook provides some of the reasoning behind the Australian Standards for Access and Mobility. This is a much needed guide because the overarching principles of universal design (universalising design to be inclusive) has not yet reached the collective consciousness of the design or construction disciplines. Consequently mistakes are made and errors allowed to stand because the understanding of why it needs to be “just so” is lacking. The Why’s of Access explains why “near enough is not good enough”.

 

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Universal design principles for Australia’s aid program

DFAT UD guidelines

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade stipulates that all overseas aid programs must follow the Principles of Universal Design. They have produced a comprehensive guide to all types of development projects including water, health, education and the built environment. It is useful to see how thinking universally about design can produce such a clear guide to inclusive practice and accessibility. 

Download the document here.

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Universal Design: New York

Front cover is grey with the title. This handbook edited by Danise Levine was published in 2003 by the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access,  University at Buffalo. It provides guidance for all aspects of an urban environment as well as temporary lodging, workplace facilities and human service facilities.  It also lists seven myths about universal design and shows how they are just myths:

1. There are only a small number of people who benefit
2. Universal design only helps people with disability and older people
3. Legislation for disability rights have created equality, so no need to do more
4. Improved medical technology is reducing the incidence of functional limitation
5. Universal design cannot sustain itself in the marketplace because the people who need it most cannot afford it
6. Universal design is simply good ergonomic design
7. Universal design cost even more than accessible design
Download Universal Design: New York pdf

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Norway universally designed by 2025 – Update

Top half of the front cover of the plan. The graphic is various shades of blue with a woman operating an automatic teller machineThe Norwegian Government has taken the principles of universal design and applied them across all policies to create maximum inclusion. This has the effect of making everyone responsible for inclusion at every level – in the built environment, outdoor areas, transport, and ICT. In 2008, the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, launched its first Action Plan 2009-2013, which sets the goal of Norway being universally designed by 2025. In 2010, Norway amended its Planning and Building Act to include universal Picture of the front cover of the Norwegian Action Plandesign. In 2016, The Delta Centre was given responsibility, and funding, to coordinate the actions in the 2015-2019 plan. This plan is more comprehensive and covers ICT and communications to a more detailed level. This is in recognition of how we are becoming more reliant on digital applications.

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