Church Introduces Hearing Loop Technology to Congregation for an Inclusive Worship Experience
Waco, TX — First Presbyterian Church in Waco has taken a step towards ensuring an inclusive worship experience for all its members by introducing a state-of-the-art hearing loop system to the worship experience. The hearing loop installation provides clear audibility of sermons, scripture readings, and music, benefiting all congregants with hearing loss.
With a strong commitment to embracing modern technology and prioritizing inclusivity, the church has created an environment where everyone can fully engage in the worship experience.
Merging History with Modern Technology
The hearing loop system is in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church, a building that dates back to 1911. The hearing loops wiring discreetly integrates into the existing church decor and preserves the architectural integrity of the 112-year-old building. The installation of hearing loop technology provides an excellent example of the utilization of modern technology to enhance one’s experience in a historic venue.
“Churches often don’t realize that a hearing loop can be be integrated into a historic building relatively easily and generally without disrupting the existing décor. The architectural elements of historic churches – high ceilings, wood pews, hard surfaces – make it extremely difficult to hear, regardless of whether you wear a hearing aid or not. For people with hearing loss, it can make it virtually impossible to hear,” shares Erin Nichols, owner of Assist2Hear, whose company installed the hearing loop. “The good news is that this issue can be mitigated with the use of hearing assistive technology.”
Hearing Loops Foster Inclusivity in Worship
The new hearing loop installation not only increases inclusivity for worshipers at First Presbyterian Church, but it also enhances the sense of community within the church. When the congregation gathers to worship, they know that everyone can participate in the worship experience, regardless of their auditory capabilities.
“It is a delight to witness the positive impact of the hearing loop installation in each congregation that we install in,” says Ms. Nichols. “First Presbyterian Church’s dedication to inclusivity sets an inspiring example for other places of worship and the city of Waco.”
Come and Listen for Yourself!
First Presbyterian Church is located at 1100 Austin Avenue in Waco, TX. Join them in person for services at 8:30 AM or 10:30 AM each Sunday, or on their FirstPres Waco Youtube channel.
Draw Seasonal Visitors Back into the Flock
Churches can expect an influx of visitors, in addition to their regular attendees, during the Easter season. According to Senior Pastor Central, more than likely 25% of all visitors to a church annually will come for Easter services. This is an excellent opportunity to promote your church’s hearing loop, helping ensure regular attendees and guests with hearing loss enjoy your Easter services.
A hearing loop signifies to attendees that all are truly welcome in your church community. Make this message loud and clear by taking the following easy steps to promote your hearing loop during the Easter season:
- Briefly explain hearing loop technology before the start of services and remind attendees to turn on their telecoil program.
- Promote the presence of your hearing loop in your church bulletin.
- Add a slide with hearing loop information to your PowerPoints (if used).
- Assign a point person to help answer questions about the system and/or assist with loop receivers before the service.
- Have extra receivers on hand. Assist2Hear is happy to help you with additional receiver purchase or rental if needed.
A hearing loop is a true blessing for people with hearing loss! It significantly enhances the church experience by providing clarity to every word spoken. Most notably, hearing loops filter out the echo, reverberation, and background noise that traditionally make it difficult to hear the sermon in church. Attendees with or without hearing aids can utilize the hearing loop system.
The Easter season is a prime opportunity to promote the hearing loop to your attendees and guests, offering them an enhanced worship experience. By actively promoting your hearing loop, you are also increasing the odds of turning an Easter visitor into a regular attendee!
First United Methodist Church Installs New Hearing Loop
For those living with hearing loss, attending religious services can often be a challenging experience. In Cheyenne, the First United Methodist Church has taken a step towards making worship more accessible. After much research, the church decided that hearing loop technology would be the best fit to improve hearing accessibility. They chose Assist2Hear to install a hearing loop system for worshippers – the newest hearing loop in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
What is a Hearing Loop System?
An induction hearing loop system (also known as an “assistive listening loop”) uses magnetic induction to transmit sound directly to hearing aids or hearing implants equipped with telecoil (T-coil) technology. The majority of hearing devices have a telecoil program available, but users are often unaware it exists until they ask their hearing professional to activate it. For worshipers without a telecoil-enabled hearing device, receivers with headsets or earbuds are available to use.
How the Hearing Loop System Was Installed
The Cheyenne church underwent several tests by Assist2Hear to ensure optimal hearing loop installation. These included surveys of construction and materials transitions, tests for electrical magnetic interference, metal loss, and frequency variation. The architecture of the church divides the sanctuary into three distinct segments – a wide semi-circular set of pews in the front half, two sets of narrower rectangular pews in the back half, and the choir. To ensure accessibility for all, the church chose to install the hearing loop system in all three sections. As a result, every worshipper with hearing loss is able to benefit from the hearing loop, regardless of where they sit!
Each section’s unique layout and flooring characteristics required the use of a different design and installation technique. A figure eight loop design using flat wire installed underneath the carpet covers the back section. The front segment’s construction and narrowness allowed for a perimeter loop with the wire hidden behind the trim of the wall. The choir, located behind the altar, was installed using a mix of wire types to disguise the wire. All systems feed to the audio booth located in the sanctuary. Assist2Hear chose Contacta, Inc hearing loop amplifiers for the installation, as they are the highest quality product on the market today.
Rave Reviews for the Hearing Loop System
The new Cheyenne hearing loop has received much positive feedback from church members. They report that the sound is clear and it is much easier to understand the sermon. Additionally, congregants with hearing loss also note how much easier it is to listen easily and enjoy the sermon. The new hearing loop is truly a blessing to their ears!
First United Methodist’s Tradition of Inclusivity
The church has a long history of being a welcoming environment for members of the Cheyenne community. The church dates its history back to just a few months after the city of Cheyenne came into existence. In 2017, the church celebrated its 150th anniversary. With the installation of the new hearing loop system, the oldest Methodist church in Wyoming continues its legacy of being a pioneer!
If you are looking for a church in Cheyenne that is hearing loss friendly, the First United Methodist Church is an excellent choice. With its long history rooted in the Cheyenne community, the church provides a welcoming environment for all. Come and experience the benefits of hearing loop technology at the First United Methodist Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming!
Hearing loops are present in Methodist churches throughout the United States. To locate other hearing loops by Assist2Hear, check out the hearing loop installations page on www.Assist2Hear.com.
Trinity Church in Fredericksburg Installs Hearing Loop
The charming town of Fredericksburg, TX is now even more lovely thanks to the addition of a new hearing loop within the community. The new Fredericksburg hearing loop is at Trinity Church, located across from the Circle E Candle Factory, approximately 2 miles east of town, at 157 Schmidtzinsky Road. The town of Fredericksburg itself is located in the wine country just outside Austin. Today, the town is known for both its wine production, as well its uniquely German flair, an homage to the town’s early settlers. The church, formerly known as Fredericksburg Fellowship Christian Church, chose Assist2Hear to install the hearing loop system.
Hearing Loop Installation Experience Counts
Dark brown wood and historic-looking white walls are the hallmarks of the sanctuary at Trinity Church. The architecture and décor of the sanctuary is, of course, very German – high-quality wood, well-constructed and traditional, with clean lines. Trinity’s flooring consists of beautiful dark brown wood planks that run perpendicular to the pews and the ceiling is cavernous. Installing a hearing loop in a distinctive location such as this requires a variety of different techniques to hide or disguise wiring.
In spaces with similar size and layout, a minimum of a figure-eight loop design is necessary to ensure the end product is IEC-compliant. Anything less in a space this wide will generally result in “dead” spots, highly variable, or low sound for the user. Unfortunately, in hearing loop land, it is extremely rare to be able to just “run a wire around a room” and have a street-legal hearing loop. To minimize the disturbance to the church’s decor during the installation, the many years of design and installation experience of Assist2Hear team paid off.
“Most installers would not have taken this job, simply because of the wood flooring,” said Richard, Assist2Hear lead installer. “We have worked with so many historical churches and buildings over the years now though that we can figure out how to install a hearing loop anywhere and make it hidden. The way the materials used on the floor blended with the wood floor in this job far kind of blew my mind though -– it looks phenomenol!”
Founded in 1946 by German settlers, today the town of Fredericksburg continues to embrace its historic German heritage. German restaurants, bed & breakfasts, and wineries abound. The town is also notably home to the National Museum of the Pacific War, named after Fredericksburg native, Chester A. Nimitz. The museum is a must-visit for history buffs!
A visit to Fredericksburg, TX is definitely worth one’s time. Take heed though – throngs of tourists and weekenders arrive toward the middle and end of the week. For a quieter and more navigable experience, visit earlier in the week. To quote the locals, “the weekend starts on Wednesday in Fredericksburg”.
Tourism being the primary industry, it is expected that both locals and visitors will benefit from the new Fredericksburg hearing loop at Trinity Church!