Summertime is outdoor time! Make hearing enjoyable!
The Mann Music Center, Philadelphia’s famous outdoor concert venue located in Fairmount Park, is a great place to go for a night out, and with their free F.M. sound enhancement assistive listening devices, a very accessible place for anyone who might be hard of hearing. Though calling ahead is recommended, no reservations are required, and without any hassle, a patron will be given a personal receiver after speaking to a member of the usher staff.
A little farther away from home, Valley Forge and Gettysburg offer relatively quick and easy ways to learn about the sites. Though certain guided tours might not have any assisted listening devices (it really depends on the tour and who is running it – it never hurts to ask!), the Valley Forge park service has self guided call phone tours while Gettysburg has something similar with their CD tour. Both of these, paired with a personal hearing aid or device, can offer you or your family a personal history lesson. The NPS Valley Forge website also mentions closed captions for the visitor center film and the possibility of assisted listening devices for use on demand.
Self guided audio tours are the new museums, and Philadelphia’s new Museum Without Walls: AUDIO, seems tailor made for those who may have difficulty hearing in noise:
“Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is a multi-platform, interactive audio tour, designed to allow locals and visitors alike to experience Philadelphia’s extensive collection of public art and outdoor sculpture along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Kelly Drive. This innovative program invites passersby to stop, look, listen and see this city’s public art in a new way. Discover the untold histories of the 51 outdoor sculptures at 35 stops through these professionally produced three-minute interpretive audio segments. The many narratives have been spoken by more than 100 individuals, all with personal connections to the pieces of art.”
Their website is easy to use, and offers a variety of options.
The Constitutional Walking Tour is a similar personal audio tour experience.
By downloading an app to their smartphone, a hearing aid user should be able to stream self guided and mobile device tours to their hearing aids by using the hearing aids’ streaming capabilities.