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Recently, Sam Nord, the Territory Account Manager for California at Listen Technologies had the opportunity to give a presentation on Assistive Listening: ADA Compliance & Hearing Loop Technology to members of the San Francisco Chapter of the HLAA.

Sam’s presentation covered:
·  ADA Changes: What you need to know
·  Assistive Listening Devices in public venues
·  Trends in hearing aids
·  What venues need to know about people with hearing loss
·  Three types of assistive listening technologies (RF, IR and Hearing Loop)
·  Hearing Loop technology
·  Loop America Movement

One of the primary missions of the HLAA-CA is to educate people who have hearing loss, as well as their family members, friends, coworkers, teachers, and government representatives. As he was there to educate the members about Assistive Listening, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Hearing Loops, Sam’s presentation fit right in with their mission.

Of the many highlights at the event, Sam expressed particular excitement about the number of attendees. “I was very excited by the attendance at this event, which I was told was nearly double the usual attendance at these meetings. Clearly Hearing Loops are a hot topic of interest right now,” Nord stated.

Hearing Loops are gaining more popularity in the United States for a number of reasons. Firstly, more people have hearing aids that are equipped with t-coils making Hearing Loops the Assistive Listening technology of choice. People who have these types of hearing aids or cochlear implants don’t have to check out equipment that has been previously used by others; they can use their own devices.

Secondly, more people with hearing loss are demanding the technology. There are many Loop Movements, like the Loop Utah Movement, gaining momentum all over the country. “I was happy to learn that there are already the beginnings of a grassroots campaign in the area to get more and more facilities looped. There were non-HLAA members in attendance at this meeting who specifically came because they have had requests to put Hearing Loops in their facilities and wanted to learn more about what was required,” Nord said.

Finally, the number of qualified and certified Hearing Loop installers is growing in North America to meet the explosive demand for Hearing Loop systems. Throughout Europe Hearing Loops must be installed to the IEC Standard (IEC- 60118-4); integrators in the US are realizing that this quality standard is key to providing end users the best results. A properly designed, installed and operating Hearing Loop system delivers real tangible benefits to T-coil hearing aid users. It is a profound emotional experience. Proper training and certification to meet the IEC 60118-4 standard is critical to that experience.

Eventually, all of us will face issues surrounding hearing loss, whether it is our own or that of someone we love. Therefore, creating more awareness about these issues continues to be important for everyone. With double the attendance at his recent presentation in San Francisco, Sam helped build more awareness about some of these important topics.

If you know someone with hearing loss (or even if you don’t), we encourage you to become more aware of the ADA requirements for Assistive Listening and Assistive Listening Systems. You can do so by following our blog, visiting our resource pages on hearing loss advocacy and legislative compliance, joining your local chapter of the HLAA, help build the ALDLocatordatabase, or becoming an advocate in your area by starting a Loop Movement of your own.
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