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Salt Lake City — 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 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.”
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.
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.
The Hearing Loop installation also enables the Sanderson Centers to be compliant with the current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for assistive listening.