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Newham Borough Council headquarters

Newham support hearing impaired community

The Public Sector is one of the most significant for hearing loss accessibility. From council offices, community centres and public facilities, all venues would benefit from assistive listening equipment, in accordance with UK regulations and standards.

The London Borough of Newham were keen to ensure their facilities met these standards and reached out to Contacta in 2020 to discuss products and maintenance services. Situated on the borders of inner and outer East London, Newham has a population of 353,134 which is one of the highest of the London boroughs.

Following an internal review of its hearing accessibility provision, the borough believed some of its public buildings already had assistive listening equipment installed but were unsure what they had and if it was working. They asked Contacta to attend to 18 buildings, to maintain and update existing systems and install new equipment where needed, to ensure their facilities were accessible to their community members with hearing loss.

These facilities included community centres, town halls and libraries. All of which are regularly used by the public, and with 1 in 5 people suffering with some form of hearing impairment, it was extremely important that everyone’s listening needs were met.

Based on surveys carried out by a contractor, a range of products were recommended to the Borough of Newham and in March 2021 a selection of Large Area Hearing Loops, Infrared systems and 1 to 1 Hearing loops were installed across the 18 buildings. All of which transmit sound signals to a hearing device enabling clear sound.

The multi-technology project required the expertise of 2 senior engineers who have almost 30 years of combined experience with Contacta. The installations involved laying loops under flooring, working at a height, uninstalling timers to ensure the loops stay on, and taking extra protective precautions due to one of the venues being a Covid test centre.

Contacta head office Service Delivery team liaised with the Borough every step of the way, to ensure an efficient service was provided, that timescales were met, and disruption to services was avoided.

On the service provided by Contacta, Maryam Badat, Community Neighbourhoods Service Development Co-ordinator said:

“We have been happy with the service received. Gemma [Service Delivery Manager] was great to work with.”

The Service Delivery team continue to provide on-going planned preventative maintenance to ensure the equipment installed at all 18 sites is performing well. Enabling the hearing-impaired community to access the large number of services supplied by the London Borough of Newham.


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