Do you know about Telecoils & Hearing Loops in Public Spaces?

Posted by pegbell @pegbell, May 20, 2019

Hoping to get some honest feedback from folks on whether or not they have been told about how to use the telecoil (T-Coil) in their hearing aid or CI. Ideally, the information is shared freely and helps people take advantage of the wireless solution to hearing clearly in noisy public spaces. Like a ramp for a wheelchair, a hearing loop system delivers audio directly to personal hearing devices without the need for any other equipment at places like hospitals, theaters, courtrooms, classrooms, meeting spaces, museums, etc.
So, the questions is this: when you first got your hearing device, were you told about the telecoil and using hearing loops? Simple yes or no is fine. If you'd like to share more please feel free. THANK YOU!

@pegbell, been wearing hearing aids for 15 years and never told about coils ever.

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I know about telecoils, but have yet to use them with a loop. I have only just heard about hearing loops maybe in the last year, but have not been any place that had them.

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No, not initially — had to ask about them (Rexton hearing aids purchased e years ago at Costco).

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@mickey5909

I know about telecoils, but have yet to use them with a loop. I have only just heard about hearing loops maybe in the last year, but have not been any place that had them.

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Where do you live? Several websites keep track of loops nationwide as well as in WI and MN. Happy to share this information.

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I had used hearing aids for a decade prior to learning about SHHH, the organization that is now known as HLAA. The first national convention of the organization introduced me to the value of telecoils. That was in 1984! I have been educating and advocating ever since experiencing that experience; often to 'deaf ears' of hearing healthcare providers who have insisted for decades that telecoils and induction loops are 'old technology'. Thankfully, in the last decade, there has been a movement to Loop America, and HLAA has been behind it. It's happening all be it slowly. It should be illegal for anyone who sells hearing aids to NOT tell their customer about what telecoils do, with a complete actual demonstration so the buyer knows what they are talking about. When/if they skirt over this, most first time buyers of hearing aids are overwhelmed and don't want to hear any more than necessary. They will not understand it unless they have a chance to try it. It's like having 'binoculars for the ears', as it allows hearing aids to bypass ambient noise that is there in most settings. This technology is most often installed in large listening arenas, but can also be used on a personal level with TV, in a car, and even in a noisy 'cocktail party' setting. It requires telecoils in the hearing instrument, and a system that relates to it. This is commonly referred to as a 'hearing loop' now. A hearing instrument without a telecoil is like a car without air conditioning. You don't need it all the time, but when you do, you sure want it! Tell your provider you want this feature and tell others they need it. Educate and Advocate! It works.

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@mickey5909

I know about telecoils, but have yet to use them with a loop. I have only just heard about hearing loops maybe in the last year, but have not been any place that had them.

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You might want to purchase a good quality neckloop. It is worn around the neck and plugged into an audio device that has a jack. It works well with computers, radios, and audio devices that have a plug in feature. It also will work with your cell phone, but may require an adapter to add to the input jack on the neckloop. I enjoy listing to audio on my computer and it's great to simply plug in, turn on the telecoils and listen. It's as clear as a bell for me. A good neckloop costs around $50. Well worth it.

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YES, I am responding for my husband who has worn a hearing aid for several years. He is familiar with the hearing loop. He can't recall where, but it was before he retired. He thinks he may have heard about it at work related trainings or seminars. He was a psychologist and did some counseling with deaf and hard of hearing patients.

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When I got my present hearing aids nearly 5 years ago I asked about the loop as it had been discussed in a class I took for persons with hearing loss. The audiologist I was seeing scoffed and said the loop was old technology. I'd like to know now if installing the loop is practical for smaller venues, i.e. meeting halls as opposed to large theaters.

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@bobbiefriend

When I got my present hearing aids nearly 5 years ago I asked about the loop as it had been discussed in a class I took for persons with hearing loss. The audiologist I was seeing scoffed and said the loop was old technology. I'd like to know now if installing the loop is practical for smaller venues, i.e. meeting halls as opposed to large theaters.

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Thank you for your feedback and question. Audio Induction (Hearing) Loop technology is indeed an old technology. It is also true that the installation of loop systems is not as consistent across the US as in many European countries. Unfortunately, prior to 2006, some of the loops installed in the US delivered less-than-satisfactory performance. However, in 2006, standards for loop system performance were heavily revised by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The more complex requirements of the IEC60118-4 increased performance standards for loop systems in any assistive listening application. Adopted around the world as the reference for performance, the new code impacted the specification, design, installation and maintenance of the systems to a point that many part-time installers left the profession. (Hint: if an installer does not guarantee to commission a loop project to meet IEC60118-4 standards find a new installer!) In 2010, the ADA rules for effective communications in public spaces were also upgraded. Since then, you will find that many extremely large theaters have been looped properly and the audio quality is beautiful — no "dead spots" at any seats. Also, looping for smaller spaces is more popular now, and 1:1 conversational loops have been installed in many places. For more info., visit HLAA's website: https://www.hearingloss.org/hearing-help/technology/hat/hearing-loop-technology/
  

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@julieo4

I had used hearing aids for a decade prior to learning about SHHH, the organization that is now known as HLAA. The first national convention of the organization introduced me to the value of telecoils. That was in 1984! I have been educating and advocating ever since experiencing that experience; often to 'deaf ears' of hearing healthcare providers who have insisted for decades that telecoils and induction loops are 'old technology'. Thankfully, in the last decade, there has been a movement to Loop America, and HLAA has been behind it. It's happening all be it slowly. It should be illegal for anyone who sells hearing aids to NOT tell their customer about what telecoils do, with a complete actual demonstration so the buyer knows what they are talking about. When/if they skirt over this, most first time buyers of hearing aids are overwhelmed and don't want to hear any more than necessary. They will not understand it unless they have a chance to try it. It's like having 'binoculars for the ears', as it allows hearing aids to bypass ambient noise that is there in most settings. This technology is most often installed in large listening arenas, but can also be used on a personal level with TV, in a car, and even in a noisy 'cocktail party' setting. It requires telecoils in the hearing instrument, and a system that relates to it. This is commonly referred to as a 'hearing loop' now. A hearing instrument without a telecoil is like a car without air conditioning. You don't need it all the time, but when you do, you sure want it! Tell your provider you want this feature and tell others they need it. Educate and Advocate! It works.

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Thank you!!! I heard someone say that for every ramp built for a wheelchair user there are dozens of people with hearing aids/implants that could benefit greatly from a properly installed hearing loop. Both are seamless solutions that are available 24/7 — with no need to ask for help or extra gear on the spot, or in advance.

(BTW, there are a few states that now require telecoil education by audiologists and hearing aid specialists – which caused me to wonder if that is having any positive impact yet.)

The more complex requirements of the IEC60118-4 increased performance standards for loop systems in any assistive listening application — as of 2006. Adopted around the world as the reference for performance, the new code impacted the specification, design, installation and maintenance of the systems to a point that many part-time installers left the profession. If your loop installer does not guarantee to commission your project to meet IEC60118-4 standards — find a new installer!

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@capausz

@pegbell, been wearing hearing aids for 15 years and never told about coils ever.

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Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry to hear that. You may or may not live in a state that now requires telecoil education. Learn more on the HLAA website and ask. If that does not work, let me know. ­čÖé https://www.hearingloss.org/hearing-help/technology/hat/hearing-loop-technology/

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