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by Jennifer Durrant
Do you have trouble hearing sometimes, maybe it sounds like people mumble? Or is your hearing problem more profound, and you wear a hearing aid? Well, you’re in good company. About 48 million Americans — 20 percent — have some level of hearing impairment. And if you’re older than 65, one in three Americans has hearing loss. Plus,15 percent of children are impacted by hearing impairment.
Hearing problems can make life more difficult. When your hearing is bad, it can be hard to interact with people around you, and enjoying movies or theater performances is nearly impossible. But a theater in Utah is making a difference, with hearing solutions for everyone.
“We feel like theater — really well done — offers a much-needed escape in an ever-busier world,” said Quinn Dietlein, Hale Centre Theatre’s development director and annual giving manager. “We also feel that this opportunity should be available to as many people as possible.”
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Thrive Global published April 2, 2018
HLAA leaders could have been singing the
old Steve Allen lyrics, “This could be
the start of something big” when, in
partnership with the American Academy of Audiology,
they kicked off the Get in the Hearing Loop (GITHL)
campaign in 2010. Back then there were just a few
formally organized efforts, such as Loop New Mexico
and Loop Wisconsin, promoting awareness and the
availability of hearing loops in public places. But only
in Michigan, thanks to the groundbreaking work of
Dr. David Myers of Hope College, and at many of the
nation’s HLAA Chapter meetings did hearing loops have
any real presence.
Advocating for hearing loops in public venues is
now a national consumer-led movement that’s
changing the way people hear in those venues.
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HEARING LIFE • MARCH/APRIL 2018 • HEARINGLOSS.ORG
BY STEPHEN O. FRAZIER
Saline Audiology is a full service audiology practice owned and operated since 1997 by veteran doctors of Audiology, Lisa Richey and Credonna Miller.
With offices in Benton and Hot Springs Village, the clinics offer a wide range of services for infants through geriatrics. Evaluations and follow-up care are provided for all types of hearing problems, dizziness/vertigo, and state-of-the-art hearing aid fittings.
Keeping abreast of the latest technologies in amplification devices and latest research in the field, Saline Audiology provides each patient with the assurance of excellent expertise and knowledgeable guidance with patient commitment being a top priority.
810 N. East Street
Benton, Arkansas 72105
101 Este Way, Suite 2
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas 71909
Do we speak to groups about Hearing Loops?
Yes. If you are a member of a group and you believe information about Hearing Loops can benefit you, your group, or any organization your group is associated with, please contact us and we will setup a free presentation.
What is a t-coil?
A t-coil, or telephone coil, is a small copper coil in most hearing aids that picks up a magnetic field from the loop and converts it into electrical energy. This is similar to how a microphone converts sound waves in to electrical energy. By switching the hearing aid to the “T” position, the electromagnetic field is detected. The strength of that field depends on the size of the t-coil, energy or power of the magnetic field and the relative positions of the t-coil. For telephone usage, the t-coil is best when horizontal relative to the phone receiver; however, the best reception for loops is a vertical orientation. So many audiologist set the t-coil at a 45 degree angle to work with both the telephone and induction loops. It is very important for your audiologist to take as much time programming and evaluating the t-coil as the microphone for optimal satisfaction of the user. An M/T position on the hearing aid allows the wearer to hear through the t-coil but also hear through the microphone, which is preferred by some so they can hear the person next to them or others in the room in addition to the direct signal from the loop. A manual “T” or “M/T” switch is a must to allow the user control over the programs.
Be advised that many hearing aids are fitted with a t-coil but the audiologist may not have activated the program or the volume may be set very low and need to be adjusted to hear satisfactorily through a loop. Some hearing aids that do not have a t-coil may be retro-fitted to experience the clear sound through loop in your home or in public venues.
Where are Induction Loops used?
Anywhere that has a Sound Source
Hearing loops are appropriate for two environments: transient/short term and extended/permanent. Extended time induction hearing loops are appropriate for public venues (commercial use), such as churches, auditoriums, meeting rooms and concert halls. Loop systems are available for transient locations such as bank windows, pharmacies, post offices, hotel reception desks, airport counters, information booths, etc. Even tour buses, taxis and trains can be looped. We analyze your public venue to determine the best design for you.
How does a Hearing Loop work?
The loop creates a magnetic field that is picked up by the T-coil in a hearing aid and is converted to audible sound sent from the amplifier. When the T-coil is activated in the hearing aid, feedback and background noise is eliminated or greatly reduced which results in a clearer signal from the source of the sound.
Why Induction Hearing Loops?
Induction loops improve listening clarity for those with hearing aids. The hearing aid must have a T-coil but estimates are that about 65 to 70 percent of hearing aids in use today have T-coils. Nearly all new hearing aids now have T-coils, so eventually all hearing aids will utilize the T-coil technology. Installation of induction loops is a very cost-effective way to improve communication for the hearing impaired population, while conforming to ADA guidelines.
Advantages of a loop system:
– Businesses or venues that install loop systems have virtually no maintenance on the system and do not have to purchase or maintain/sanitize/repair headphones such as those used with infrared or FM systems.
– There is no limit as to the number of users of the system – it is virtually unlimited.
– Users do not have to “advertise” their disability by using headphones – they only have to turn on their T-coil – so there is no stigma attached to the usage of the loop system.
– Users benefit from the loop technology AND their customized hearing aids for the best possible hearing experience. The loop system helps the hearing aid do its job.
– Loop technology uses a universal standard system any T-coil equipped instrument user can use at home in a TV room or worldwide.
– All hearing aid T-coils work with all loop systems. Cochlear implants also have T-coils.
– Listeners use hearing aids they own. Sound is optimized for their personal hearing loss and needs.
– Improved clarity and understanding benefits businesses and individuals.
– A loop system has a reasonable cost to install with minimal or no maintenance.
– Loop systems don’t require you to purchase, maintain, and replace portable receiving units.
– Portable units can be purchased for those without suitably equipped hearing aids at. We include one receiver for monitoring purposes. ADA requires headsets for 1% of seating occupancy so a 400 seat room would need 4 loop receivers.
– Our experience is that loop systems are far more likely to be used – and increasingly used – once installed.
How much does a Loop system cost?
Commercial loop installations vary from building to building, depending on construction, floor coverings, electrical interference, size, etc. A customized quote will be provided for each building and our professional installers will typically complete the installation in a couple of days. A professional installation is a must to ensure a quality system with even sound across the room.
How is a Loop installed?
A loop system from Saline Audiology is installed by professionals. A test loop may be run to make sure the proposed design will work before we do the permanent installation. Installations are required to meet the international standard IEC 60118-4, which defines the magnetic strength field, frequencies and measurement requirements. Installations are tested with a FSM (field strength meter) to confirm compliance.
We offer your church, auditorium, corporate meeting room, bank, senior center or private venue the support you need to successfully go “live” with the hearing loop.
– Custom design and installation to ensure you get the right product for your venue
– Signage to inform that a Hearing Loop is installed
– Plaques to commemorate the generosity of any donor(s) available upon request
– Hand outs to educate users and the general public
– Publish-ready announcements for your newsletter, church bulletin or emails
– We can help you with a news release to send to the newspaper, church magazine or blogs
– We will post your location on our website directory as being accessible for persons who use hearing aids
– With each installed hearing loop system, we will be available to answer questions, offer hands-on instruction and verify that the system works to the satisfaction of the end users. The loop will be in working order as soon as installation is completed. We typically ask that a few known hearing aid users provide us with feedback.
If you need more information, please contact us for a free consultation.
A hearing loop provides significantly enhanced functionality
for hearing aids and cochlear implants.
*Even with the most up-to-date technology, hearing aids and cochlear implants cannot completely separate important sounds from background noises; nor do they pick up all sounds from a distance such as those in a performance hall, a place of worship or even a home TV viewed from across the room. In such difficult listening settings, hearing (induction) loops are often a solution. A hearing loop is a wire connected to an electronic sound source that transmits that sound to the telecoil in a hearing aid or cochlear implant.
A hearing loop can discreetly surround a room, a chair in your home, or even be worn around the neck. Hearing loops can be connected to a public address system, a living room TV, a telephone (land line and cellular), or any source that produces sound electronically.
*A hearing aid and most cochlear implants equiped with a manually controlled T-switch is needed to hear in a hearing loop. The telecoil, also called t-coil, receives the signal from the loop and turns it back into sound in the hearing aid, often eliminating much of the background noise. The listener then hears only the sounds they desired; whether it is speech from a pulpit, a stage, a telephone conversation, or the television.
*Hearing loops can double hearing aid and cochlear implant functionality. Using the telecoil in conjunction with a hearing loop is a cost-effective way to improve the usability of your hearing aid or cochlear implant. The telecoil can also be used in conjunction with a variety of wireless or hand held hearing assistive listening devices.
Where are hearing loops used?
* Theaters and performing arts centers
* Places of worship
* High school and college auditoriums
* Court rooms and government chambers
*Board rooms and large meeting rooms
* Banquet and sports facilities
* Ticket counters and information booths
* Doctors’ offices and pharmacy counters
* Drive thru and pick up windows
* Elevators, trains and buses
* Museum exhibits
Hearing loops are also helpful in the home by using a neck or small room loop:
* Television or computer
* Telephone or cell phone
* MP3 player, iPod or stereo system
* To find a loop venue look for this sign
Hearing loss is often referred to as an invisible disability, because there are no telltale markers — no wheelchair, no white cane. It’s invisible even compared to Deafness, with its vibrant silent language.
For a long time, people with hearing loss wanted to keep it invisible. They wanted hearing aids no one could see, they pretended they could hear when they couldn’t. Even today hearing aid companies advertise: “So small no one will ever know you’re wearing them.” Hearing loss is for old people, or damaged people, and our culture values youth and health.
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if we want access equal to the access that hearing people have, we have to be open about our hearing loss. We have to acknowledge that it is a disability. That does not mean it’s disabling – it’s only disabling if we are denied the accommodations that make us equal.