Proud supporter of “Get in the Hearing Loop”

Let’s Loop Lakeland

The Hearing Loss Association of America, on behalf of people with hearing loss, announced a public education campaign, “Get in the Hearing Loop” in June 2010.

“Get in the Hearing Loop” is a campaign to enlighten and excite hearing aid users, as well as audiologists and other professionals who dispense hearing aids, about telecoils and hearing loops and their unique benefits.  Hearing loops transmit the audio from a PA system directly to telecoil-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants.  The telecoil functions as an antenna, relaying sounds directly into the ear without background noise just like Wi-Fi connects people to the Web.

Hearing Loss Association of America - Lakeland Chapter

This is the Hearing Loss Association of America, Lakeland Chapter

Hearing aids can easily and affordably become wireless receivers for use with telephones and hearing assistive listening systems – hearing loops and neckloops – by adding a telecoil option to the aid.  Sixty-nine percent of all hearing aids dispensed in the U.S. today have telecoils.  Yet far too few consumers know about them and not enough hearing professionals recommend them.

The Hearing Loss Association of America, Lakeland Chapter, has identified a goal of Looping Lakeland, as part of the “Get in the Hearing Loop” program.

“Get in the Hearing Loop” is our advocacy effort to get Hearing Loop Systems into local public venues (places of worship, playhouses, movie theaters, pharmacy checkouts, bank teller stations, store checkouts, and other locations where communication improvement will benefit those with a hearing loss.

The Hearing Loop System is the only system that sends clear, superior sound from a microphone directly into a hearing aid or cochlear implant without interference.

Cochlear ImplantThis is the official sign designating a venue that has a Loop System.  Note the capital white “T” in the lower right corner.  This designates a system that sends the sound directly to a T-Coil, a tiny wireless receiver that the hearing aid must have to receive the sound.

To learn more about hearing loops, continue reading:



How Hearing Loops Work

Helping the DeafHearing Loop Systems are the ideal solution for people who wear hearing aids or cochlear implants to hear better in theatres, churches, banks, restaurants and so many other public places.  A hearing loop is the only system that sends the sound of a voice or instrument from a microphone directly into a hearing aid or cochlear implant for the clearest, most superior sound currently possible.  Popular for over 40 years in many European cities, the system is starting to take hold in the U.S.

Hearing Loop Systems are very affordable and require no maintenance.  The system simply entails an amplifier that is hooked up to an existing microphone or sound board that connects to an induction loop which is placed around the perimeter of the theatre, meeting room or area where an audience or congregation sits.  The magnetic field created projects the sound directly to a T-Coil, a wireless receiver that acts a loudspeaker inside a hearing aid.

Most hearing aids come equipped with a T-Coil which is shown in the picture in the next section.  If you have never used your T-Coil, see below.

How to Use Your T-Coil

It is estimated that 70% of hearing aids in use today have a T-Coil.  Nearly 90% of all new hearing aids come equipped with one.  The primary exceptions are the tiny aids, especially the all the way in the ear models, which do not have the space for one.  A good rule of thumb to remember is overall hearing aid performance increases with the aid size.

deafnessMost T-Coils are accessible by flipping a switch on your hearing aid.  In a few cases, the T-Coil is automatically engaged in the presence of a hearing loop system.  In some other cases, your audiologist needs to activate your T-Coil before you can access it.

If you have never used your T-Coil, we recommend seeing your audiologist to confirm you have one and to learn how to engage it.  If your aid doesn’t have a T-Coil, talk to your audiologist about adding one.

Once you have access your T-Coil, we suggest coming to one of our monthly meetings where we always have a Loop System to support the speakers.

Most theatres in town could be looped at some point….your voice counts, so let them know about your concerns.  Learn how to use your T-Coil so you can enjoy these performances fully.

Below are three videos developed by the Sertoma Club that provide an overview of Looping. Each video is 2-3 minutes in length.