Queen's University - Accessibility Guide - 12 Communications
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12 Communications
- Public Telephones
- Assistive Listening Devices
- Public Address Systems
- Intercoms

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12.1 Public Telephones

This section is important for people with mobility impairments  This section is important for people with hearing impairments  If more than one type of telephone is provided at a particular location then at least one of each type (eg, card, coin, internal, taxi call) should be accessible to both persons who use wheelchairs and/or persons who are hard of hearing.

12.1.1 Protruding Parts
Telephones, enclosures, and related equipment shall comply with Clause 2.5.

This section is important for people with visual impairments  12.1.2 A telephone shall have pushbutton controls. Large buttons with numbers and letters well contrasted with their background are recommended for use by people who have limited vision.

12.1.3 The minimum handset cord length shall be 1000 mm.

12.1.4 The minimum illumination level at operating mechanisms, the directory and shelf shall be 200 lux.

This section is important for people with mobility impairments  12.1.5 Telephones for use by Persons in Wheelchairs
The maximum height of operable parts of the telephone, including the coin slot, shall be 1370 mm from the floor. The preferred coin slot height is 1200 mm. Coin slots should be well contrasted with their background.

A clear floor space not less than 750 mm wide 1200 mm deep shall be provided in front of the telephone and this space may extend a maximum of 480 mm underneath the telephone if a clear height of 720 mm is provided for knee space.

A flat telephone directory shelf at least 500 mm wide and 350 mm deep shall be provided.

Consideration should be given to a fold-down seat, provided it does not interfere with access for a person in a wheelchair when it is folded up.

12.2 Telephones for Use by People who are Deaf, Deafened or Hard of Hearing

A telephone shall
a) have a volume control;
b) have a flux coil; and
c) comply with CSA Standard T515.

This section is important for people with hearing impairments  12.2.1 A level shelf at least 250 mm wide by 350 mm deep, with at least a 150 mm clear space above the shelf, shall be provided to accommodate the use of a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) or Teletypewriter (TTY). An additional shelf should be provided for the telephone directories.

12.2.2 The top surface of a section of the shelf or counter serving at least one telephone shall
a) be not more than 865 mm from the floor, and
b) have a knee space not less than 685 mm high.

Public telephones with a TTY incorporated into the unit are now available for public use. Many deaf and hard of hearing persons use a TDD or TTY with the standard telephone for communicating visually via the telephone system. Persons using TTYs sometimes carry their own unit and require shelf space for it beside or beneath the telephone.

12.2.3 Telephones for use by deaf and hard of hearing persons shall be identified by the symbol of accessibility.

12.3 Directional Signs

This section is important for everyone  When directional signs for telephones are installed, they shall include the appropriate access symbol.

12.4 Assistive Listening Systems

This section is important for people with hearing impairments  12.4.1 Induction loops, infrared systems, direct connect and FM radio frequency systems shall be considered acceptable types of assistive listening systems for hard of hearing persons. (Figure 12.1)

These types of assistive listening systems can be used by hard of hearing persons with or without hearing aids with T-switches or audio input capability and which will not interfere with the listening enjoyment of people with normal hearing. All four systems transmit a signal which can be picked up by special-purpose receivers provided to those requiring them. Receivers for such systems can be equipped to be compatible with hearing aids with T-switches or audio input capability. Hard-wired systems can meet this requirement if adequate provisions are made to accommodate persons with hearing aids. The choice and size (power) of the system will depend on the type of application and the size of the room. The accessibility symbol for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing shall be displayed to indicate the existence of such a facility.

To use a loop system, a transmitter can be jacked into an existing P.A. system amplifier or used independently with microphones. The induction loop system requires users to sit in the area circumscribed by the loop; though installation of the loop is relatively simple, the installer should be knowledgeable about these systems if proper functioning is to be achieved. FM or infrared systems can be designed to broadcast signals which cover the entire room and, thus do not restrict seating to any one area. The diagrams show the general configuration of FM and infrared systems. Although portable systems (FM in particular) are available, these are best suited to small audiences.

This section is important for people with hearing impairments  Hard wired systems (where a jack is provided at a particular seat) will meet this requirement if adequate provisions are made to accommodate persons with hearing aids. In choosing the most appropriate system, a number of factors should be taken into account including cost, installation and maintenance, suitability to the audience, ease of operation and the need for privacy.

PDF image - Figure 12.1  assistive listening systems

12.4.2 Assistive listening systems shall be available in lecture halls and classrooms as specified in Section 13.3. All public meetings and public performances should provide some type of audio amplification.

12.5 Public Address Systems

Public address systems shall also provide audio amplification to accommodate persons who are hearing impaired.

12.6 Intercoms

Intercoms should provide information in a variety of formats to ensure they can be used by everyone.

12.6.1 Intercom speakers and buttons should be provided at a maximum height of 1200 mm.

This section is important for people with visual impairments  12.6.2 Buttons to operate intercom systems should be well contrasted with their background.

This section is important for people with hearing impairments  12.6.3 Telephones at intercoms should be equipped with flux coils and volume control devices.

This section is important for people with learning impairments  12.6.4 Where telephones or speakers are provided to facilitate communication, visual displays should also be provided to ensure that people who are deaf are also able to communicate.

12.7 Emergency Call Systems

This section is important for everyone  All emergency communication systems shall be provided in both visual and auditory formats to ensure that everyone is made aware of an emergency.


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