Cost-Effective Hearing Technology
Hearing loss is often referred to as the invisible disability and it is one of the fastest growing disabilities affecting Americans today. It is estimated that nearly 50 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss and the number of individuals living with hearing loss is expected to rise dramatically in the next few years. Today it is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans have hearing loss and 1 in 15 of those are teenagers.
Hearing aid and assistive listener manufacturers have made major advancements in the technology that is available today. The advanced digital technology allows people wearing hearing aids and other assistive devices to hear better and in more environments than ever before. But even with the advancement in technology, the millions of Americans wearing hearing aids and using assistive devices often continue to have limited ability to hear in many public places.
In many cases, people with hearing loss would prefer to avoid public and social settings. Why go when you cannot hear and participate? The experience is often frustrating and socially isolating. But all sounds can be made clear by installing a hearing loop technology.
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What is a Hearing or Induction Loop
A Hearing Loop, also referred to as an "Induction Loop", is an assistive listening system that can provide clear, customized sound to people wearing tele-coil equipped hearing aids. The loops can be installed in homes and in most public buildings.
Simply put, loops are listening systems that send audio input signals from an amplifier, through a wire that is installed in a specific area. The loops are usually installed at the floor or ceiling level of the specific room or area.
When the loop system is turned on, the broadcast sound from a PA system or a microphone is sent through the amplifier that is attached to the installed wire. The audio input creates a magnetic field when it is transmitted through the wire. When a person wearing tele-coil equipped hearing aids puts their aids in a tele-coil position, the hearing aids can receive the magnetic signal from the loop and the signal is converted to high quality sound directly into their hearing devices. Whatever is being broadcast through the loop is heard as clear, concise, customized sound that is free of echo and nearly all background noise.
When a loop is installed, the listening experience for the hearing impaired person is extraordinary and the hearing aid performance is nearly doubled.
Where Can a Hearing Loop Be Used?
Hearing loops are available in a variety of sizes and configurations. Induction loops are available for small applications like, listening to a TV in a private residence, a pharmacy window or drive up teller. They can also be designed and installed to accommodate large public facilities, like an airport, auditorium, resorts or place of worship. Hearing loop systems can be designed and installed in most public buildings and facilities… small or large.
Where Do People Struggle to Hear?
- Places of Worship
- Funeral Homes
- Airports - Trains - Buses - Subways
- Hospitals - Medical/ Dental Offices
- Auditorium - Meeting Rooms
- Pharmacy - Bank - Drive Up Window
- Television - Radio
- Assisted Living Facilities - Nursing Homes
- Courtroom - Municipal Buildings
- Performing Arts Facilities
- Schools - Universities
- Movie Cinemas
- Hotels - Motels - Resorts
- Gyms - Senior Centers
- Dining Rooms - Restaurants
Why Install a Hearing LOOP?
Hearing in many places is so challenging and unsuccessful, that many people with an option just avoid trying to participate in social and public settings. People often say that the speech is loud enough but it is not clear enough to be understood. Imagine a child in school with a hearing loss trying to learn and develop who cannot hear and understand their teachers or their classmates. Or imagine the job insecurity of an individual trying to work and earn a living who struggles to hear and understand their coworkers and customers. How well can anyone do if they only understand a portion of every sentence? The frustration and disappointment of trying to hear is often overwhelming, alienating and debilitating. When hearing technology is available, people with tele-coil equipped hearing aids and assistive listening devices hear and understand speech clearly and with ease. Installing hearing loop technology is a cost-efficient solution that changes the listening experience for those millions of Americans who are currently living with hearing loss.
Is Hearing Loop Technology New?
No. Hearing or Induction Loop technology has been used with great success for many years in other countries. The Looping initiative began in the United States largely due to the extraordinary efforts and inspiration of people like Dr. David Myers, ( hearingloop.org) and hearing advocacy groups like Sertoma, (sertoma.org).