Sanderson Centers Become First Two Public Buildings in Utah to Install Hearing Loop Systems
Posted on Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Hearing Loop systems from Listen Technologies provide crystal clear sound for visitors to the Sanderson Center who need assistive listening.
SALT LAKE CITY—Nov. 13, 2013—The Robert G. Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Taylorsville and its satellite office in St. George became the first two public buildings in the state of Utah to install new Hearing Loop systems from Listen Technologies. The Hearing Loop systems enable visitors with hearing loss who need assistive listening to receive crystal clear audio signals directly through their T-Coil hearing aids, cochlear implants or Hearing Loop receivers.
“As a government program that serves deaf and hard of hearing people, we strive to provide the best assistive listening technology available,” said Marilyn Call, Executive Director of the Sanderson Community Center. “Historically, we have focused on providing RF assistive listening systems, because even though hearing loop technology has been around for a while, we have been underwhelmed with its performance until recently. I am hard of hearing myself, so I fully understand the importance of quality sound and I can say that the new hearing loop system we have installed in the Sanderson Center and in our St. George location provides phenomenal clarity of sound. I can’t overstate how important that is for increasing understanding.”
A Hearing Loop system consists of a thin wire that is installed (usually under the carpet or in the ceiling) around the listening area. This wire is connected into an amplifier and microphone. Speech, music and other audio signals from the microphone are amplified and sent through the wire. This creates an electromagnetic field in the looped area. The T-Coil in a hearing aid or cochlear implant picks up the electromagnetic signal and allows the listener to hear a clear signal directly through the hearing aid.
The Hearing Loop systems were installed in a large classroom and at two reception counters--one at the front desk and one in the Technology Demo Lab at the Community Center. In the St. George building, the conference room area was looped—this area is used for trainings, meetings, presentations, and conference discussions.
Call said she uses hearing aids that work well in quiet, one-on-one conversations, but fail at public meetings and events. “I want to be engaged in life, but that is hard to do if I can’t hear clearly,” she said. “I am now a big fan of hearing loops and I want all hard of hearing people to experience the ease and quality of sound provided by loop technology. At the Sanderson Center we want to lead the way in having looped rooms for hard of hearing people to use when they come to events and classes. We invite all people with hearing aids to come and try it out. Beyond that, we also strongly encourage other venues, public and private, to look into hearing loop technology. Listen is bringing attention to this cause and other businesses may join the movement soon as well.”
The Hearing Loop installation also enables the Sanderson Centers to be compliant with the current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for assistive listening. Three technologies are available for venues, including government buildings, to meet ADA compliance: radio frequency (RF), infrared (IR) and Hearing Loop. RF and IR systems transmit signals over radio waves or infrared signals to an individual through a receiver and earphones. Hearing Loop systems, however, are becoming the preferred technology for assistive listening because no receivers or earphones are required to obtain the signal, as the signals are transmitted directly to an individual’s T-Coil equipped hearing aid or cochlear implant.
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