loop - Archive

Wegmans installs stations to assist customers with hearing loss

January 7, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Rochester, N.Y. – Local Wegmans Food Markets have begun installing induction hearing loop stations at its stores at pharmacy counters, customer service desks and designated checkout lanes to assist customers with hearing loss.

17 stores currently have these hearing assistance systems, including at least one store in each of the six states where Wegmans operates.

More stations will be added in 2016, working toward a goal of having hearing loop systems in all stores by the end of the year.

“The beauty of induction loops is that they’re so unobtrusive,” said Matt Sawyer, whose information technology team at Wegmans is working on the installation project. “They help those who can benefit, while others in the area are usually unaware of the hearing loop’s presence. Those with hearing loss don’t have to ask others to speak up because the system helps them hear speech more clearly.”

Read more . . .  Wegmans Audio Loop

WHEC, Rochester, NY
Watch Captioned VIDEO FROM 04/04/2015 
By: Amanda Ciavarri

Learn about Hearing loops at www.hearingloop.org ” Get In The Loop!”

December 22, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

www.hearingloop.org

People with hearing loss can dream of a future when hearing aids might also serve as wireless loudspeakers, delivering clear, customized sound from inside their ears. They can dream of communities where worship places, auditoriums, business windows, and home TV rooms all broadcast their sound through these in-the-ear loudspeakers. Thanks to the refinement of “induction loop” systems–which magnetically transmit sound to hearing aids and cochlear implants with telecoils (T-coils)–that future can be now!

Learn more at www.hearingloop.org

Hearing loop advocate coming to New Mexico

December 10, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

mvtelegraph.com
Updated 

New Mexico will be the latest state visited by hearing loop advocate Juliette Sterkens, Au.D., when she meets with hard of hearing groups and also with hearing care providers in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces in January of 2016. Her workshops on loop/telecoil technology will be jointly sponsored by the New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons and the state’s three local chapters of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).

Dr. Sterkens’ advocacy for this time tested but largely unknown technology began after attending a workshop on hearing loops conducted by Prof. David Myers of Hope College in Michigan. She went back to her home town of Oshkosh, WI and began promoting the the use of hearing loops with her patients, then in the community, and then throughout the state. She drafted her husband, a retired engineer, to be a hearing loop installer and, when that became a burden, coaxed audio visual firms throughout the state to learn the ins and outs of such installations. The result has been nearly 400 hearing loop installations in churches, theaters, council chambers, libraries and other public facilities in cities spreading from Lake Michigan to the Minnesota border.

Read more  . . . Hearing loop advocate

A Technological Godsend to Counter Hearing Loss

September 1, 2015 in Technology

 

 

The ‘hearing loop’ is a remarkable advance, but all too hard to find in the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal
By DAVID G. MYERS

The first time I clicked on my hearing aids’ telecoils, it seemed like magic. It was 1999 and my wife and I were sitting in a historic abbey on Scotland’s Isle of Iona. I had gradually become hard of hearing and had gotten my first hearing aid in my 40s, and the abbey wasn’t built with acoustics in mind. The amplified voice of the worship leader caromed off the stone walls, reverberating into a fog by the time it reached my ears.

Then my wife noticed a sign with a capital T and an outline of an ear, which indicated that the abbey was wired with a “hearing loop” that could magnetically transmit sound from the PA system to the telecoils in my hearing aids. When I flipped the switch to turn my T-coils on, the fog instantly dissipated. I could hear a crystal-clear voice speaking seemingly from the center of my head. The experience took me to the verge of tears.

Hearing loops are now ubiquitous in Britain. They’re in churches and auditoriums, at tens of thousands of ticket windows, post offices and pharmacies and in every London taxi. At spacious Westminster Abbey, with my hearing aids’ microphones turned off and my T-coils turned on, I hear better than most in the audience.

After that epiphany on Iona, I became an evangelist: Why not loop America? Theaters and other public venues in the U.S. generally offer “assistive listening” devices. But that typically requires people with

Read More  . . . Loop

Wisconsin Woman Devotes Retirement To Hearing Loops

January 7, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

fdlreporter.com
by Noell Dickmann
January 3, 2015

Juliette Sterkens spoke softly to a dozen people at the Bethel Home Chapel in Oshkosh.

“Can you hear me now?” she nearly whispered in a demonstration, papers muffling her voice. A delighted “yes” was the reply.

Sterkens was speaking at the chapel, which recently had a hearing loop installed, to educate the staff and residents on what having a loop means for them.

As the Hearing Loss Association of America Hearing Loop Advocate, Sterkens travels the country presenting to consumers, ministers, audiologists, and the public about hearing loops.

The benefits of hearing loops are something Chris Prust, HLAA vice president of the Fox Valley and state chapters, knows well — she said hearing loops have changed her life.

Born with hearing loss, Prust has a cochlear implant. She’d gone through life with captions on TV and being unable to understand the minister at her church. When she was introduced to hearing loops everything changed, she said.

Now with the push of a button Prust can connect directly to her television — no more captions. She can hear the minister speak at church and understand the words of musical performances at the Fox Valley Performing Arts Center.

“It’s made life so much better for me,” she said.

Read more  . . .

Nation’s highest court gets “looped,” joining many other prominent institutions

September 19, 2014 in Community News, Technology

 

 

Hearing News Watch
By 

WASHINGTON, DC—Following ancient custom, the United States Supreme Court will begin its next term on the first Monday in October. However, when the nine justices hear their first case on October 6, there will be something new in the courtroom that will assist hearing aid wearers present in following the proceedings: a hearing loop system, installed this summer.

The new induction listening system, which is in addition to the High Court’s existing FM and infra-red listening devices, transmits sound through an electromagnetic signal that can be picked up by the telecoil of a hearing aid or cochlear implant.

Who will take advantage of the hearing loop? According to Kathy Arberg, the Supreme Court’s public information officer, the new system is intended for use by court visitors. But, she added, it will also be available to attorneys appearing before the court.

Will any of the justices be availing themselves of the hearing loop. Arberg did not say, a reticence in keeping with the tradition of the justices to keep their personal lives private. However, given that the average age of the nine current justices is 68.4 years and that four are over 75, it’s a good bet that some of them are—or, at least, should be—wearing hearing aids. So, they too will take advantage of the new system.

IT TOOK PERSUASION

The looping installation at the Supreme Court didn’t just happen; it was the product of active advocacy. Last December, Richard Williams, a retired attorney who serves on the board of theSarasota, Florida, chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), contacted the management of the Supreme Court, urging that a hearing loop be installed.

Read More  . . .

 

Loudoun County Board Room has Assistive Listening System

January 17, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

New Assistive Listening System for Loudoun County Board Room

From Loudoun Announcements 1/15/2014

Loudoun County has installed a hearing loop system in the Board Room of the Loudoun County Government Center, which allows people with hearing aids to receive a clear signal without any background noise, and makes the room more accessible to people with hearing disabilities.

The hearing loop system is integrated with the room’s audio/visual system to provide program audio and voice directly to those with “T-coil” (telecoil)-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants. The hearing loop is a wire that has been placed around the perimeter of the Board Room. The wire acts as an antenna that radiates the magnetic signal to the hearing aid. When hearing aid users select the ‘T’ (telecoil) setting on a hearing aid, they can pick up the sounds spoken into the room’s microphones instead of the hearing aid’s internal microphone. This allows the listener to receive a clear, magnetic, wireless signal without any background noise.

Loudoun is among the first local governments in the region to install a hearing loop in its main government meeting room. The Board Room is the site of many government meetings, including those of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The county also has new FM assistive listening devices in the Board Room. The devices include headsets and receivers and provide an alternative for people with a hearing loss, or people who have a hearing aid without a T-coil, to hear more clearly.


Distributed 2014 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030; www.nvrc.org; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. You do not need permission to share this information, but please be sure to credit NVRC.  This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.

HLAA Workshop: Sounds for Seniors: an Honest Look at Hearing Loss in the 55+ Community

July 8, 2011 in Education & Outreach

 By Bonnie O’Leary  7/7/11

I chose this workshop because I have spent so many years providing outreach to the senior community here in Northern Virginia.  Sheila Adams of DeLand, Florida, gave a very interesting program with a personal touch to it.

Ms. Adams lost her hearing when she was a  young adult, getting her first hearing aid at the age of 27.  At 47, she received her first cochlear implant, and she got her second implant at the age of 55.    Her career as a school teacher was filled with struggles caused by her hearing loss, and she talked about overcoming  those challenges.

Ms. Adams spent some time talking about her own family whom she feels represents senior citizens in many ways.  Her mother has been hard of hearing all her life, but very active because she has worn hearing aids and used assistive listening devices.  She has been married to Ms. Adams’ father for 63 years, but he now has Parkinson’s disease which causes him to speak softly and makes it harder now for her mother to communicate with her father.   Both have a slight memory loss.  One of Ms. Adams’ aunts is 88, and can still hear.  Another aunt is 90 and has glaucoma as well as macular degeneration.  Just observing these and other aging family members, Ms. Adams sees a wide range of senior issues that impact socialization and communication.

Seniors were categorized as “young-old” (ages 55-75) and “old-old” (ages 75+) as Ms. Adams discussed successful aging.  Successful aging depends on how well seniors accept change and loss.  These can include physical, psychological, social, economic, and interpersonal.  A lot will depend on the senior’s endurance and attitude as well as manual dexterity.    An “old” senior, for instance, can’t go back to normal after bad sprains or broken bones.  Those sprains become the new normal, and they have to accept that they need help, which is not easy for seniors who have been active and independent throughout their lives.  Adapting to  hearing loss is also difficult, especially when the senior has had a lot of other issues to contend with, whether they be physical or emotional, such as grieving over the death of friends.  Sometimes, Ms. Adams has found in her own family that “one’s perception of health is a greater influencing factor than one’s actual health.” 

How aging impacts hearing

The accumulation of noise over the years eventually takes its toll in the inner ear, causing age-related hearing loss.  But there are other physical changes happening at the same time.  There is often more and harder wax that accumulates and is increasingly difficult to remove.  The ear canal narrows, and the sensitivity of the hair cells changes, often producing a greater sensitivity to noise.  With these changes, there is a slowing of the message-carrying ability of the ear which can produce changes in perception.  Cognitive changes include a shortened attention span as well as fatigue.

Quality of life

Staying connected is a huge party of successful aging, maintaining the relationships that are important to seniors.  Having something meaningful to do, a purposeful activity, is also important, as well as have opportunities for intellectual growth and learning.  Recreation and entertainment are a part of staying connected, and Ms. Adams remarked how ironic it is to have more time in retirement but also more limitations in our abilities to do things.  Finally, a senior’s quality of life is also enhanced by spiritual growth and as well as a sense of hope, of having some positive prospects.  Hearing loss can render all of these desired aspects of life very challenging.

Factors affecting how a senior handles hearing loss

The temperament and personality of a senior will play a large part in determining how well he or she handles hearing loss.  Someone who is passive and has never had a lot of self-confidence is likely to become more quickly withdrawn than someone who is an assertive, or even aggressive, type of individual.  The perception of need is also important, accepting that it’s okay to get help, that hearing loss does not make him weak or “less than”.  But some seniors are content with their situations, their connections, and therefore are in no hurry to get hearing aids or undertake any other self-help types of activities to compensate for their hearing loss.  It is important for seniors to understand the impact that their hearing loss has on others as well, on their families and friends who can feel very frustrated when trying to communicate too.  A senior’s “knowledge base” is another factor that contributes to how he or she will handle a hearing loss.  There is a lot of misinformation about hearing aids and cochlear implants which could shape a  senior’s attitude towards getting help.  An understanding of options is important, and whether or not there are resources within their communities.

Solutions

There are 4 A’s to consider:  Amplification, Advocacy, Assistive listening devices, and Alternatives.  Seniors need to know the sources for financial assistance for hearing aids if they need it, and audiologists need to be more vigilant and honest in the way they fit seniors for hearing aids.  Seniors should also be kept up to date on hearing resources available in theatres and  movies, how to use captioning on television, how to develop better communication strategies with their families and friends.

If you would like to e-chat with Sheila Adams about the impact of hearing loss on seniors, you can reach her at Sheila_ci777@yahoo.com.

Hearing Aids

July 7, 2011 in Technology

Hearing Aids: What You Should Know Before You Buy!

  1. See your doctor first unless you have had a physical within the last 6 months. Some hearing aid specialists will ask you to sign a medical waiver in order to speed up the process of hearing aid sales.  This is not in your best interest.
  2. Check out the business selling hearing aids by contacting your local Better Business Bureau, consumer protection agency, or state attorney general.
  3. Know the difference between Audiologists and hearing aid dealers! Today, Audiologists require an Au.D., Doctor of Audiology, to certify. (This is NOT an M.D., however!).  Most have at least a Masters in Audiology, and they provide diagnostic audiological services.  They also have training in areas such as  listening/communication strategies and the perception of sound.  Hearing aid dealers become experts in hearing aid technology through numerous courses and apprenticeships with other hearing aid dealers.  Both are in the business of selling hearing aids.  What matters most is that the professional you choose is knowledgeable, ethical and provides a patient-driven service rather than a sales-driven service.
  4. Take someone with you when you go for your hearing aid evaluation who will take notes for you.  The results of the hearing test and the options for hearing aids can be confusing.
  5. Beware of ‘the deal’! If the Audiologist or dealer  tries to pressure you with promises like  ‘10% discount’, ‘$1,000 off’, ‘a lifetime of free follow-up visits’, ‘a lifetime of free batteries’, etc., this is a good indication that he or she is sales-driven.  Many are under contract to sell a certain number of hearing aids a year, putting their own interests ahead of yours.
  6. Take advantage of the 30 day trial period. In Virginia, you can return the hearing aids at the end of that time if you are not happy with them.
  7. Ask about fees for returning the aids. Each dispenser has his or her own business policies regarding the fee for returning them – it can be anywhere from 4% to 20% of the cost of the hearing aid.
  8. Please remember:
    • Hearing aids do NOT stop hearing loss.
    • Hearing aids will NOT restore your hearing to normal.
    • ALL Audiologists and dealers will provide free hearing aid adjustments during the trial period.
    • There is NO BEST HEARING AID because everyone’s hearing loss is different; what works for one person might not work for someone else.
    • You own your audiogram, be sure your specialist gives it to you.
    • A hearing aid should fit comfortably and not whistle.
    • No hearing aid cuts out background noise, but it can be made more tolerable.
  9. Ask about the telecoil – is it appropriate for your hearing loss. The telecoil is a small magnetic coil inside the hearing aid that bypasses background noise when you are using the telephone or an assistive listening device.  It is a very valuable feature and you can activate it with the push of a button.

Articles related to Hearing Aids

NVRC Related Fact Sheets

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If you have a complaint contact:

Better Business Bureau
1411 K Street NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC  20005-3404
202-393-8000 phone
202-393-1198 fax
info@dc.bbb.org email
www.dc.bbb.org

Virginia Dept. of Professional
and Occumpational Regulation
3600 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA  23230
804-367-8500 phone
804-367-9753 tty
804-367-2475 fax
hearingaidspec@dpor.virginia.gov email
www.dpor.va.gov