Norman Residents with Hearing Loss Can Now Participate with Ease in City Council Meetings
Citizens with hearing loss in the city of Norman, Oklahoma can now hear better in city council meetings thanks to the installation of a hearing loop system! The city of Norman chose to install the hearing loop during the recent remodel of the Norman City Council Chambers. The new hearing loop will allow citizens to hear every word of the city council meetings with ease and clarity. Attendees can bring the sound from the council person’s microphones directly to their ear using their hearing aid’s telecoil program. Assist2Hear, Inc., a leading national installer of hearing loop systems, installed the Norman City Council hearing loop.
The hearing loop covers the entirety of the Norman City Council chambers, including all public seating and the dais. This means that both the public and the members of Norman City Council can benefit from the hearing loop system.
A hearing loop system is also present now in the small meeting room located at Norman City Hall. A phased array design in both spaces allows for meeting privacy, as well as ensures a uniform sound for users.
“Privacy and seating orientation are key considerations when designing a hearing loop system,” says Erin Nichols, the head loop engineer for Assist2Hear. “In this space, privacy was important. Both spaces have considerable seating around the perimeter, which was important to consider in the design phase. Less experienced installers might have chosen to just ‘run a wire around the room’ in the smaller meeting room. This might have been easier, but it would not have met the customer’s needs, and users seated long the edge of the room would have had poor signal, in addition to a huge amount of spill leaking through the walls!”
Most citizens who use the new Norman City Hall hearing loops will simply change to the “telecoil” program on their own hearing aid to use the system. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, 81% of hearing aids on the market today have a telecoil in them or a telecoil option. 100% of implants such as Cochlears contain a telecoil. If someone does not have a hearing aid or does not know if their hearing aid has a telecoil in it, hearing loop receivers and headsets are available at the information desk located just outside the city council chambers.
Residents of the city of Norman can also enjoy hearing loops at the following locations:
- Norman Central Library
- St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church
- St. John’s Episcopal Church
Any venue looking to explore hearing loop technology can receive a free quote through Assist2Hear. To do so, a form is available on their website, www.Assist2Hear.com.
Another Methodist Church Gets in the Loop!
Assist2Hear is pleased to announce that yet another United Methodist church has chosen to install a hearing loop! This past Easter Sunday, congregation members with hearing loss at the United Methodist Church of Johnstown got to enjoy the Word clearly and easily via the new hearing loop system. The church is located at 108 King Avenue in Johnstown, Colorado.
The hearing loop installation was a stand-alone project for the church. This means the loop was installed as a retrofit, not during a time of new construction or a remodel. To install the hearing loop in the church, carpet modification and restoration were necessary. All installation services – hearing loop wiring and carpet work – are performed by Assist2Hear employees. In doing so, Assist2Hear is able to make system installation affordable for customers.
How to Use the Hearing Loop
The hearing loop system is accessible for all worshippers, regardless of whether or not they use a hearing aid; however, the majority of hearing loop users will listen with their own telecoil-enabled hearing aid. To use the hearing loop, a user simply changes their hearing aid to the “telecoil” or “M1” program. Additionally, hearing loop receivers and headsets are available for use for those without hearing aids or telecoils. Attendees who need a receiver can pick one up at the audio booth, located in the rear of the church sanctuary. If someone is unsure if their hearing aid has a telecoil program, giving their audiologist a call can help clarify.
A Unique Church History
The United Methodist Church of Johnstown has a long and colorful history in Colorado. In 1903, the church merged with a local Episcopal congregation to become the first United Methodist church west of the Mississippi! Today, the engaged and friendly congregation is led by Pastor Jeremy Scott. For more information on the United Methodist Church of Johnstown, its many methods of outreach to the community, and the schedule of services, please visit its website at www.johnstown.church.
Hearing Loops in the United Methodist Faith
The United Methodist faith is deeply committed to making worship accessible to congregation members with hearing loss. United Methodist churches with hearing loops can be found throughout the nation. Assist2Hear has installed many hearing loops within the faith. Some of these hearing loop installations include:
- St. Andrews United Methodist Church (Highlands Ranch, CO)
- Littleton United Methodist Church (Littleton, CO)
- Washington Park United Methodist Church (Denver, CO)
- Boston Avenue United Methodist Church (Tulsa, OK)
- Asbury United Methodist Church (Tulsa, OK)
For a complete list of Assist2Hear loop installations, please visit our online hearing loop directory. For more information about a hearing loop installation for your church, send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org or give Assist2Hear a call!
On Wednesday, September 29, 2o21 at 3:00 PM, the Lakewood Cultural Center is hosting internationally renowned speaker and hearing loss expert Juliette Sterkens, for “Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids, and How Hearing Loops Can Help.” The speaking event will be held in the Community Room and conclude with a tour of the main theater and a demonstration of the newly installed hearing loop system, now available for Lakewood theater fans to enjoy.
The event is being co-hosted by Let’s Loop Colorado, a locally hearing loop advocacy group, and Assist2Hear, a leading U.S. installer of induction hearing loops. It coincides with the grand reopening of the Lakewood Cultural Center with its newly installed induction hearing loop system. Village Roasters coffee and light refreshments will be hosted by LCC patron and hearing aid expert, Kevin McConnell of Ideal Hearing. Ideal Hearing will also be on hand to discuss individual hearing aid questions at that time!
The event is free and open to the public! Anyone interested in learning about how to more effectively use their own hearing aids or who would like to learn more about how hearing loop technology can assist them in hearing better in a specific space, such as a theater, church, or other large public space would benefit from attendance.
Lakewood Cultural Center’s hearing loop is funded by the NextFifty Initiative. To purchase tickets to a Lakewood Cultural Center production, go to https://lakewood.showare.com/.
The Lakewood Cultural Center’s post-pandemic performance debut tonight consists of a Jazz-age musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone, and a newly installed hearing loop system. The hearing loop system will allow theater attendees to clearly and crisply hear the dialogue and music of the production, using their hearing aid telecoil program.
“Does my hearing aid have a telecoil program?” is a common question the first time a hearing aid wearer encounters a hearing loop. Luckily, the Lakewood Cultural Center has thought about that! Kevin McConnell, a theater-lover and Lakewood-based hearing instrument specialist will be on hand to answer inquiries about the telecoil program, as well as schedule free hearing tests.
Patrons with or without hearing aids can enjoy the hearing loop at the Lakewood Cultural Center! For theater attendees who do not have a hearing aid, or do not have their telecoil activate, receivers are available for checkout at the customer service desk, located in the lobby.
For more information about hearing loops and other locations, check out the Assist2Hear hearing loop installation directory or Let’s Loop Colorado. Click here to purchase tickets for a Lakewood Cultural Center production.
Historic Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colorado Installs Hearing Loop System
Assist2hear is excited to announce the final completion of another new Colorado hearing loop installation at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colorado. The installation includes hearing loops in both the orchestra and balcony of the historic Aspen music venue. The décor of the theater now consists of new, lush, carpet in the aisles and original flooring within the seating area of the orchestra, and full carpet in the balcony. The hearing loop design for both segments is a phased array system.
A huge part of hearing loop installation in theaters is maintaining the integrity of a venue’s décor, particularly when working with a historic theater. The Wheeler Opera House opened its doors to the Aspen community in 1889, making it 132-years old today. The necessity for a phased array installation in historic venues such as this requires the experience and custom finishing expertise that only Assist2Hear brings to the table, with over ten years of Contacta field-certified hearing loop installation
Phased arrays hearing loop systems ensure a uniform sound for all users, regardless of seating location. They are a best practice for large theaters due to key factors such as size and rise of seating. The Wheeler Opera House required a phased array design in its orchestra because of the large size and the in the balcony primarily because of its rise. Theater patrons will have to look hard to find any indication of wires, as they are well hid either underneath carpet or seats “disguised as a shadow”.
What does “disguised as a shadow” look like? We hope you will go, enjoy the theater’s new hearing loop, and see for yourself. The Wheeler Opera House reopens its doors to the Aspen Community for the Aspen Music Festival taking place July 1st through August 22nd. For more upcoming events at which to enjoy the Wheeler’s new hearing loop, visit AspenShowTix.com.