Assistive Listening Devices
Assistive listening devices can help people focus or hear better in courtrooms, at service counters, or in meetings. These devices are commonly used by people with a hearing loss, learning disabilities or others who need help to focus on what is being said.
The Ministry of the Attorney General has assistive listening devices available for:
- Provincial Courthouses
- Victim Witness Assistance Program offices
- Ontario Victims Services
- Crown Attorneys offices
- Ontario’s Public Guardian and Trustee Offices
- Ontario Children’s Lawyer
Types of Assistive Listening Devices
Frequency modulation (FM) and infrared (IR) assistive listening devices are available, depending on the courthouse or ministry office.
Devices can be used in courtrooms and in smaller settings, such as meetings and at service counters.
You may use the assistive listening devices with or without a hearing aid. Different types of headsets are available to meet a range of needs.
Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants
If you use a hearing aid that has a telecoil, you may try a neck loop connection that will bring sound directly to your hearing aid. You will need to set your hearing aid to the "T" setting (telecoil).
If your hearing aid does not have a telecoil you may try a headset or head phones that may fit over your ear and hearing aid. You may prefer to take your hearing aids out if you experience feedback problems when using the headset or headphones.
If you have a cochlear implant you may be able to connect to the assistive listening device. Check with your audiologist or cochlear implant vendor for more information.
Some assistive listening device (ALD) manufacturers provide a warning about interference of ALDs with electronic medical devices such as a cardiac pacemaker. Speak with your doctor or check with the medical device manufacturer before using the ALD.
How to Request an Assistive Listening Device
Make your request to any staff member.
In a courthouse, you may also make a request to the courthouse Accessibility Coordinator. Contact information for courthouses and Accessibility Coordinators can be found on the ministry’s website in the Court Address Section.
Please provide as much notice as possible so that staff can make sure the device is available when you need it. You are encouraged to try the device before you need it to make sure it will meet your needs, particularly for a court event or proceeding.
If you have your own personal assistive listening device, such as an FM system, speak with staff about using it. For court proceedings, a judicial official may need to approve the use of your personal device. The courthouse Accessibility Coordinator can provide information about how to make a request to a judicial official.