Description of your proposed project::
Our current project for which we are looking to partner is Assisted Hearing equipment to accommodate a growing number of patrons who would benefit from such a capability. We want to enhance their experience by providing them with the means to address this barrier.
We have consulted with many of our theatre colleagues throughout country to study best practices in terms of the performance of the various equipment options and the pricing of this equipment. We have also consulted with the Canadian Hearing Society as well companies who manufacture and install Assisted Hearing devices for theatres, churches and other public locations.
There are basically 2 types of equipment that accompany a hearing assisted system:
Headphones that audience members will use and that transmit sound via FM radio waves and a loop system that enables people with hearing aids that are equipped with a t-coil to receive assisted hearing directly without headphones by wearing a small necklace or loop.
In either case audience members can be sitting anywhere in the auditorium to receive assisted hearing capability. The theatre would buy the transmitting equipment and then the number of headphones/loops that they need. Standard number for a small theatre is 12 but more can be added when needed. For example, Mirvish Productions in Toronto have a total of 100 that they share among their 5 large theatres whenever they feel a show may need assisted hearing capability.
Assisted Hearing devices will be a major step forward for The Playhouse in accommodating its audience and making the theatre accessible in every way. It will be a feature that an ever-growing number of audience members will be happy to hear about in every sense of the word!
What is the estimated cost of this project?: $7,000-$14,000
What is the estimated date of completion if this group receives the donation?: July, 2019
How will completion of this project directly benefit the residents of South Dundas?:
It is a well-documented fact that seniors keep most of our professional theatres thriving. Certainly they are not the only audience members who experience hearing difficulty nor do all seniors have this problem. But like most theatres, we are experiencing a greater percentage of our audience members who require assisted hearing devices and have been asking about the possibility of the Playhouse providing this assistance. It will make enhance their theatre experience and also, in some cases, be the deciding factor of whether or not they continue to attend out productions.
What do you know about this organization that you wish everyone knew?: We are pleased to have a robust audience-base. At least 60% of that audience are seniors. We have taken steps over the years to ensure that our audience has a comfortable and safe experience at the theatre. We are climate-controlled and have recently installed new seating. A major step forward for our audience enjoyment and comfort would be installing Assisted Hearing capability- especially considering the demographic of our audience-base.