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A Sound Investment Series: A Look into Looping Technology

In many ways, we have made the world accessible to all people through the Americans with Disabilities Act and other efforts. However, in some ways we have failed to make that access complete. We have worked hard to remove the barriers that limit use of a public facility for those who cannot walk, but have done little for those who cannot hear. For the millions of Americans using hearing assistive devices, the ability to hear in public facilities is limited. Yet all those sounds can be made clear by the simple act of installing an available, simple and cost effective technology -- the induction loop.

The goal is to make the sounds through public address and amplified systems in public facilities readily accessible to those that use hearing assistive devices. We can achieve this goal by promoting and assisting in installing looping technology of public buildings and facilities. This effort will not only provide access that should be available, but will promote the value and importance of hearing health services and technology.

Looping is a simple technology that allows hearing assistive devices to serve as wireless loudspeakers, delivering clear, sharp, customized sound right from inside the ears. It can be adapted to use in large public spaces, such as airports and auditoriums. But it can just as easily be installed in churches, drive-up business windows and even into a single room at home so the TV or stereo sound becomes a broadcast going directly through the hearing assistive device. The induction loop is to hearing aids, what Wi-Fi is to laptops.
In many ways, we have made the world accessible to all people through the Americans with Disabilities Act and other efforts. However, in some ways we have failed to make that access complete. We have worked hard to remove the barriers that limit u...
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