The following material was taken directly from the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, Department of Justice, September 15, 2010


The Department of Justice published revised regulations for Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 “ADA” in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010.  These regulations adopted revised, enforceable accessibility standards called the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design “2010 Standards” or “Standards”. The 2010 Standards set minimum requirements – both scoping and technical — for newly designed and constructed or altered State and local government facilities, public accommodations, and commercial facilities to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

Adoption of the 2010 Standards also establishes a revised reference point for Title II entities that choose to make structural changes to existing facilities to meet their program accessibility requirements; and it establishes a similar reference for Title III entities undertaking readily achievable barrier removal.

The Department has assembled this online version of the official 2010 Standards to increase its ease of use.  This version includes:

2010 Standards for State and Local Government Facilities Title II

2010 Standards for Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities Title III

The Department has assembled into a separate publication the revised regulation guidance that applies to the Standards.  The Department included guidance in its revised ADA regulations published on September 15, 2010.  This guidance provides detailed information about the Department’s adoption of the 2010 Standards including changes to the Standards, the reasoning behind those changes, and responses to public comments received on these topics.  The document, Guidance on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, can be downloaded from

For More Information

For information about the ADA, including the revised 2010 ADA regulations, please visit the Department’s website; or, for answers to specific questions, call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (Voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY).

219 Assistive Listening Systems

219.1 General.

Assistive listening systems shall be provided in accordance with 219 and shall comply with 706.

219.2 Required Systems.

In each assembly area where audible communication is integral to the use of the space, an assistive listening system shall be provided.

EXCEPTION: Other than in courtrooms, assistive listening systems shall not be required where audio amplification is not provided.

219.3 Receivers.

Receivers complying with 706.2 shall be provided for assistive listening systems in each assembly area in accordance with Table 219.3. Twenty-five percent minimum of receivers provided, but no fewer than two, shall be hearing-aid compatible in accordance with 706.3.


1. Where a building contains more than one assembly area and the assembly areas required to provide assistive listening systems are under one management, the total number of required receivers shall be permitted to be calculated according to the total number of seats in the assembly areas in the building provided that all receivers are usable with all systems.

2. Where all seats in an assembly area are served by an induction loop assistive listening system, the minimum number of receivers required by Table 219.3 to be hearing-aid compatible shall not be required to be provided

Receivers for Assistive Listening

706 Assistive Listening Systems

706.1 General.

Assistive listening systems required in assembly areas shall comply with 706.

Advisory 706.1 General. Assistive listening systems are generally categorized by their mode of transmission. There are hard-wired systems and three types of wireless systems: induction loop, infrared, and FM radio transmission. Each has different advantages and disadvantages that can help determine which system is best for a given application. For example, an FM system may be better than an infrared system in some open-air assemblies since infrared signals are less effective in sunlight. On the other hand, an infrared system is typically a better choice than an FM system where confidential transmission is important because it will be contained within a given space.

The technical standards for assistive listening systems describe minimum performance levels for volume, interference, and distortion. Sound pressure levels (SPL), expressed in decibels, measure output sound volume. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR or S/N), also expressed in decibels, represents the relationship between the loudness of a desired sound (the signal) and the background noise in a space or piece of equipment. The higher the SNR, the more intelligible the signal. The peak clipping level limits the distortion in signal output produced when high-volume sound waves are manipulated to serve assistive listening devices.

Selecting or specifying an effective assistive listening system for a large or complex venue requires assistance from a professional sound engineer. The Access Board has published technical assistance on assistive listening devices and systems.

706.2 Receiver Jacks.

Receivers required for use with an assistive listening system shall include a 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) standard mono jack.

706.3 Receiver Hearing-Aid Compatibility.

Receivers required to be hearing-aid compatible shall interface with telecoils in hearing aids through the provision of neckloops.

Advisory 706.3 Receiver Hearing-Aid Compatibility. Neckloops and headsets that can be worn as neckloops are compatible with hearing aids. Receivers that are not compatible include earbuds, which may require removal of hearing aids, earphones, and headsets that must be worn over the ear, which can create disruptive interference in the transmission and can be uncomfortable for people wearing hearing aids.

706.4 Sound Pressure Level.

Assistive listening systems shall be capable of providing a sound pressure level of 110 dB minimum and 118 dB maximum with a dynamic range on the volume control of 50 dB.

706.5 Signal-to-Noise Ratio.

The signal-to-noise ratio for internally generated noise in assistive listening systems shall be 18 dB minimum.

706.6 Peak Clipping Level.

Peak clipping shall not exceed 18 dB of clipping relative to the peaks of speech.


Learn about the Audio Everywhere Assistive Listening System