Imagine spaces as small as a city cab to a large train station to a music auditorium as being inclusive environments to those with hearing impairments. With the advent of the audio induction loop, it is possible now for many public spaces to be navigated with greater ease and clarity. Here, we take a look at the remarkable technology of hearing loops.
WHAT IS THE “LOOP”?
Audio Frequency Induction Loop Systems (AFILS) is known commonly as the “Loop”.
Let’s start with the environment that the loop system is a part of. Look for a label indicating that the site has the “Loop” system available. The location will be equipped with a microphone connected to an amplifier. The amplifier is connected to wires within and around the floor or ceiling of the space. It then sends out a current which generates magnetic signals. Your hearing device or cochlear implant is equipped with a telecoil that picks up the magnetic signals.
Telecoils are also available in other assistive listening devices such as the IR (Infrared) or FM systems with a neck loop. The “Loop” system is known for delivering clarity in sound and speech in otherwise highly challenging environments for people with hearing loss. It cuts out distortion and enables the user to hear speech clearly without having to fight to differentiate it from background noise.
The flexibility of the system means environments that were once a nightmare for the hearing impaired to navigate are now much less so. From ticket booths to the corner pharmacy to pick up prescriptions to musical plays to places of worship, the Loop system is opening up a world where sounds are not a source of anguish for those with hearing loss.
The “Loop” system is gaining traction with businesses and institutions worldwide. The push for public awareness and education is making the system advantageous for those in need and for places that have to be ADA compliant.
THE ADVANTAGES OF HEARING LOOPS
The system delivers the clarity of speech despite ambient and noisy background sounds. The user can receive sound programmed to their needs and in accordance with their own personally programmed requirements. Because of the loop induction system installed in the space, the telecoil in the user’s hearing device is picked up directly!
Across the board
One of the reasons the “Loop” is highly advocated is that communication is effectively facilitated over a wide range of public and private environments. These range from an apartment to an auditorium!
You can experience clarity of sound while dealing with ticket counters for trains, airports, and buses or getting your prescriptions at pharmacies. All you have to do is switch your device to its telecoil program based on your hearing needs and you’re ready to go!
Easy to implement
It’s not necessary to switch to headphones or earbuds used by others in public places. You have a greater level of hygiene and that is a big plus for the health of your ears.
Finally, imagine a high level of clear speech and sound being delivered to your personal hearing device that is barely noticeable to others. It makes for a more inclusive experience!
As of 2010, the ADA Standard for Accessible Design continued its advocation for more public awareness and implementation of the “Loop” in venues that are required to be ADA compliant. This means those with hearing loss can look forward to engaging in an even broader spectrum of activities that a lot of us take for granted.
Surveys have shown user experiences of the “Loop” system have been graded extremely high and that there really is a need for further public education and advocacy to both those with hearing loss and those without.
ARE MY HEARING AIDS EQUIPPED WITH TELECOILS?
If you currently have hearing aids and are curious if they’re equipped with telecoils, contact us at Audiology Associates of Redding. Our hearing professionals will be able to let you know, and we’ll also take the time to explain the benefits of the loop induction system to you so that you can enjoy a more inclusive and wider range of hearing experiences. We can also inform you of programming options that will fit your needs and better serve you.
AUDIOLOGY ASSOCIATES OF REDDING
At Audiology Associates of Redding, we take pride in empowering people with the information and education to better their hearing health for their overall well-being. We look forward to your call, and our first appointment together for a healthier, happier you!