Eliminating communication barriers at the Sanderson Center
It was a great pleasure of ours to visit the Robert G. Sanderson Community Center in Salt Lake City, Utah to participate in a Hard of Hearing Assistants Training Session. The Sanderson Center is dedicated to eliminating communication barriers in order to create a refuge for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. It’s a place where Deaf and Hard of Hearing people can come and meet, socialize, and participate in all kinds of activities. Its 32,000 square feet contains a large lounge with a big-screen television, a pool table, a gymnasium, a kitchen, three classrooms, a lecture hall, a bookstore, and interpreter lab, and two beautiful courtyards. It also houses the offices for the Division of Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Along with creating a wonderful place for the Hard of Hearing community to gather and socialize, the Sanderson Center also hosts training seminars like the one in which we participated for Hard of Hearing Assistants.
Hard of Hearing Assistants make a world of difference
Hard of Hearing Assistants are trained in order to help those who are living and coping with Hearing Loss. For many, coping with this is a new thing and having a Hard of Hearing Specialist to help them makes a world a difference. These specialists do so much. They work with families who are adjusting to hearing loss. They assist with problems that may arise at work or school. They provide case management services; give information about resources and support groups, and offer education and assistance with listening assistive technology, among many other things. Hard of Hearing Assistants also provide individuals important information about rights and responsibilities related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which can be incredibly beneficial for someone who is unaware of their legal rights.
It takes a great deal of effort to become a Hard of Hearing Assistant. The Assistants in Training we met at the Sanderson Center were all incredibly passionate people visiting from all over the state of Utah to train on such topics as: Living with Hearing Loss, Grief and Hearing Loss, Body Language, Family Communication, Assistive Listening Device Training, and others. Many of these Assistants have loved ones who are affected by hearing loss or have hearing loss themselves and it is incredible to see how dedicated they are to making improvements in their community.
Sharing ideas and technology
Kristin Rector, our Director of Marketing, delivered a presentation to the Hard of Hearing Assistants in Training at the Sanderson Center on the General Guidelines of the ADA. Many of the Assistants in Training, who were made up of a varied group of passionate women from all over the state of Utah, were unaware of all of the requirements of the ADA. As most of these women personally have loved ones who are Hard of Hearing or Deaf, they were thrilled to learn of these requirements, because they quickly recognized how it would benefit the people they love, as well as themselves.
Once the ADA Requirements were gone over, a presentation was given about Hearing Loop. Many of the Assistants in Training were excited about this technology, especially when the benefits of future applications were discussed. There were all kinds of ideas flying through the room: Why couldn’t they put a Hearing Loop in a car, or a drive-thru window? Why couldn’t they put one in every airport in the country? Every courtroom? Every restaurant? The ideas just kept coming and coming. It was fantastic.
Kristin also discussed an upcoming event that Listen Technologies is very excited about, the kick-off of Loop Utah, which begins in September! This movement not only brings awareness to Hearing Loop, but it also vastly benefits the lives of the Hard of Hearing community, their loved ones, and any venue that installs the technology. We are thrilled to be part of this continued effort and cannot wait to participate even more in the future.