Assistive Listening Systems & UVA’s Decision to Prioritize Hearing Loop


Presented at 8:00am in Matchless on Thursday, November 9, 2023.



  • Lori Kressin, Coordinator of Academic Accessibility, University of Virginia
  • Kristin Roush, Coordinator of Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Accessible Media Services, University of Virginia

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


Required by the ADA for effective communication, assistive listening systems (ALS) are necessary in our classrooms and venues across campus when sound amplification is in use. How do you choose which ALS is going to be the best fit for you? This session will walk you through the University of Virginia’s decision to designate Hearing Loop, sometimes called Induction Loop technology, to be given first consideration when providing an ALS.


The ADA requires “… in each assembly area where audible communication is integral to the use of the space, an ALS shall be provided...” In addition, an ALS is also beneficial for individuals with cognitive challenges, helping to provide focus on what is being said.

If a microphone is required for effective communication, an ALS must be available for those with hearing loss to participate fully in the event. There are a number of systems available but how do you choose the right fit for the variety of venues on your campus?

There are a number of factors to take into consideration such as the size of the venue, the venue’s intended purpose, management of systems within the venue, state of construction (new, renovation, or none), and of course cost.

The types of systems commonly in use are:

  • FM System
  • IR System
  • Wireless systems (Bluetooth + WiFi)
  • Hearing loop/induction loop systems

This session will present the pros and cons of each system and explain the rational behind UVA’s choice to prioritize Hearing Loop systems in our venues. Whether the venue needing an ALS is new construction, renovation, or “as is”, this session will provide take aways to help you make the right decision for your campus.


  1. Effective Communication is required by the ADA and this includes our venues across campus.
  2. There are a number of solutions, but not all are a good fit for your campus.
  3. Individuals with hearing loss prefer hearing loop by 86% over other ALS solutions.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Administrative/Campus Policy, Assistive Technology, Legal, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Lori Kressin

Reporting under the Executive Vice President and Provost, Lori Kressin is in her ninth year as the Coordinator of Academic Accessibility, having served the University of Virginia for over 30 years in a variety of positions. Her role is to assure the accessibility of the academic experience for all, including the built, digital, and attitudinal environments. Focusing on coordination of effort across the University, Lori relies on the connections she has made during her tenure to create key partnerships across departments to further accessibility efforts University wide.

She has presented at a variety of regional, national, and international conferences and workshops including Accessing Higher Ground, the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, and the NADP Conference in England.

Kristin Roush

: Kristin received her doctorate in audiology from James Madison University in 2004. She was a clinical educator at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C where she supervised graduate students in the provision of audiological services, taught advanced hearing aid topics, supported clinical research, and coordinated externships. In 2015, she came to the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development as clinical faculty where her primary area of focus included adult and pediatric diagnostic services within the clinic and teaching of Introduction to Audiology and Introduction to Aural (Re)Habilitation courses. She became the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Coordinator at SDAC in January 2021 and strives to broaden access for those with low hearing and collaborate and educate about disability as it relates to hearing in the context of diversity at the University.