Courtroom proceedings can be complicated to understand even without the presence of audio inadequacy.
The Wood County Court of Common Pleas takes the commitment to ensure communication access in its courtrooms seriously, according to a press release.
Recently, the courthouse upgraded technology systems to the most up-to-date systems which allow all people interacting with the court to engage and feel included.
Judges Matthew Reger, Mary “Molly” Mack, Joel Kuhlman and David Woessner employed these new devices within Courts #1, #2 and #4, the Domestic Relations Court, and the Probate Court.
The new “Listen Technologies” hearing assistance devices provide a dedicated personal audio feed to individuals in the courtroom.
As the goal is to ensure the necessary details during court proceedings can be clearly and accurately heard, these devices are not only available to persons with hearing impairments, but also to anyone who may wish to use them.
The system is also designed to wirelessly connect with hearing aid devices equipped with telecoils, so that any affected court participants may comfortably and adequately participate in the proceedings without the use of a headset.
When a judge determines a particular piece of evidence or audio submission might be challenging to pick up, he or she may pause the proceeding to distribute the devices to jurors, members of the public, or participants even if they had not already been requested.
“Because of the sensitive nature of what we do, courts are held to a higher standard when it comes to accessibility of communications,” said Court Administrator Brandy Hartman. “In Wood County, we are pleased to have the means to meet and exceed those expectations so that we can provide the best experience to all who interact with our courts.”