The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Neighborhoods South County

May 18, 2014

New technology at library helps hearing impaired

JEFFERSON — Henderson Memorial Public Library is inviting everyone to learn about the latest technology available at the library — an induction hearing loop.

Library patrons can come in and learn how they can hear better even in places where it’s hard to hear using their own hearing aid.

The hearing loop also enhances hearing for those who do not use hearing aids, but have trouble with background noise in public settings.

As part of its recent renovation project, Henderson Library has installed the first public induction hearing look in Ashtabula County. The loop is located in the meeting room and at the circulation desk.

This technology offers people with hearing loss the ability to take part in programs, check out materials, and have questions answered without interference from background noise.

Induction loops are prominent in Europe and Great Britain, and awareness in the U.S. is on the rise.

The United States decided years ago to go with FM or infrared systems in public buildings (or no assistive listening system at all), but now, inductive hearing loops are fast becoming the preferred type of assistive listening system.

Henderson’s hearing loop installation was made possible by using some of John Buza’s bequest of funds for technology enhancements.

Hearing loop systems use induction technology to excite tiny telecoils inside most hearing aids and virtually all cochlear implants. Sound that is picked up by a microphone at the circulation desk, or in the meeting room, is transmitted directly into the listener’s ears without the interference of background noise.

To use a hearing loop, one simply moves the switch on the hearing aid to the “T” (telecoil) position. No additional receiver or equipment is needed. Hearing quality is enhanced automatically by the hearing aid or implant.

For those who have hearing loss, but don’t wear hearing aids equipped with telecoils, headphones or earbuds can be used along with a small receiver that is available.

Henderson will host a special event Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. to introduce the hearing loop. Warren Brown, of Brown Audio Service, who installed the hearing loop, will give a presentation explaining the technology and benefits of hearing loops.

Cindy Lanning, audiologist, former with Ashtabula Speech, Hearing and Rehab, will also be present to discuss some of the social ramifications of hearing loss and how this new technology can help.

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