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.
Hearing Loops at New Catholic Shrine Site
Oklahoma Catholics with hearing loss will have the best sound in the house when they worship at the Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine next year. The site will house a 2,000 seat Catholic church, the largest in Oklahoma, as well as the Blessed Stanley Rother shrine and an educational complex. In addition to being the largest Catholic church in Oklahoma, the church and chapel on the shrine site will also include induction hearing loop technology for worshipers. The hearing loop systems will bring the Word of God directly to the ears of Catholic worshipers with hearing loss and eliminate the echo, reverberation, and ambient noise that often make hearing in church extremely difficult.
Why Catholic Churches Need Hearing Loop Technology
Traditionally, Catholic churches are beautifully cavernous structures with high ceilings and hard surfaces. Unfortunately, the construction of these spaces also causes sound to bounce, a factor that no amount of money spent on a sound system can overcome for a person with hearing loss. In these types of spaces, the ability to hear the Word clearly and intelligbly is nearly impossible for people with hearing loss unless a hearing assistive technology, such a s hearing loop, is utilized. With hearing loop technology, all of the peripheral sounds of a space are filtered out and the sound from the audio system comes directly to the user’s ear. With a telecoil-enabled hearing aid, the Word of the Lord comes directly to their hearing aid wearer’s ear, as clearly as if the Father was sitting on their shoulder giving the sermon! The user simply needs to switch their own personal hearing aid to the telecoil program in order to access the technology – there is no need for additional equipment. If a user does not have a telecoil-enabled hearing aid, then utilize a receiver, however, most people enjoy the system by simply using their own hearing aids.
The History of the Blessed Stanley Rother
Father Stanley Rother was born and raised in Okarche, Oklahoma in 1935. He joined the priesthood in 1963, and in the 1970s brought the Word to worshipers in the parish of Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. While preaching in Guatemala, a civil war between the militarists and guerillas killed thousands of Catholics. Despite the threat to his safety, Father Rother continued to teach the Word and educate the people of Guatemala. In 1981, Father Rother was executed for his refusal to abandon his people in the time of war. He is the first martyer in the United States and the first U.S.-born priest to be beatified, according to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma. His heart remains enshrined in Guatemala to this day. Visit the website of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma at https://www.archokc.org/stanleyrother for his full biography.
Hearing Loops in Oklahoma Catholic Churches
Hearing loops are in many Catholic churches in the Oklahoma City corridor, including St. Thomas Moore in Norman, Holy Spirit in Mustang, and St. Eugene’s in Oklahoma City. When in the Tulsa area, Catholics with hearing can enjoy the Word through hearing loops located at the Catholic Church of St. Mary or Holy Family. Assist2Hear is the installer for all Oklahoma hearing loops listed, with the exception of Holy Family. For more Oklahoma hearing loop locations, click here .
Since 2010, Assist2Hear has been a leading national installer of induction hearing loop systems throughout the U.S. If your church would like a quote on a hearing loop, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on how hearing loops can help people in your church better hear the Word, please visit our blog post Hearing Loop Systems in Churches.
For more information on the Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine, please visit the Catholic Diocese of Oklahoma’s dedicated page at https://archokc.org/shrine.