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!

How_a_HearingLoop_Works

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@asklar02492

to nightwatchrenband

Yes definitely hearing loops need to be more widely publicized. There are very few in my area in Western Mass. When I think about requesting more (I'm just vaguely considering it at this point) I always get hung up on three things: 1. People need to have the telecoil as part of their hearing aides to use them (I'm not sure many people around here would have the feature since there are few places the telecoils are available and the audiologists aren't pushing them), 2. They're expensive for a venue to install ($10,000 or more) so it's a lot to ask for and 3. They only help out in situations where there is a microphone or other central source of sound. All that aside, however, it's a great idea and I will looking more closely at the HLAA article and the info on Mayo Connect. Ann

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It can be frustrating. Knowing that you have a telecoil is only good if you have looped spaces. With regard to costs, the range is very wide. A counter-top loop for 1-to-1 conversations is well under $1000 and requires no installation. Depending upon the size of a room, a full room loop can be anywhere from $1500 to over $10k. Seems like a lot to ask of businesses — but there is a federal tax credit available for this work, and there are many benefits for customers/patients/visitors and the employees who need to communicate with them.

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@pegbell

It can be frustrating. Knowing that you have a telecoil is only good if you have looped spaces. With regard to costs, the range is very wide. A counter-top loop for 1-to-1 conversations is well under $1000 and requires no installation. Depending upon the size of a room, a full room loop can be anywhere from $1500 to over $10k. Seems like a lot to ask of businesses — but there is a federal tax credit available for this work, and there are many benefits for customers/patients/visitors and the employees who need to communicate with them.

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@pegbell
Hi,
I would like to add to this about looping entertainment venues such as theaters and auditoriums.
A starting point to convincing the powers to be that make the decisions about installing loops might be
to inform them that the entire theater or auditorium does not have to be looped. A section or couple of rows
could be looped and reserved for those who need the area. If the area is not filled to capacity for a show, for
example, then the remaining seats can be filled by those who do not need a loop. It will cost less and no
seats would go unused. The looping section can always be expanded if needed.

Regards from FL Mary

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Here’s a link for info about tax credit for accessibility improvements for small businesses
https://www.ada.gov/archive/taxpack.htm

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@asklar02492

to nightwatchrenband

Yes definitely hearing loops need to be more widely publicized. There are very few in my area in Western Mass. When I think about requesting more (I'm just vaguely considering it at this point) I always get hung up on three things: 1. People need to have the telecoil as part of their hearing aides to use them (I'm not sure many people around here would have the feature since there are few places the telecoils are available and the audiologists aren't pushing them), 2. They're expensive for a venue to install ($10,000 or more) so it's a lot to ask for and 3. They only help out in situations where there is a microphone or other central source of sound. All that aside, however, it's a great idea and I will looking more closely at the HLAA article and the info on Mayo Connect. Ann

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The Induction Hearing Loop is OLD NEWS everyone. It is found in Europe for the last decade and has been in the US for the last 5 years. The Hearing Loss Association of America has been teaching and promoting this 'old' technology for some time but the problem is those who should be helping all of us use it, don't want to show and tell us about it. https://www.hearingloss.org/hearing-help/technology/hat/hearing-loop-technology/
The reason…it requires telling us about the little coil in our hearing aids – not all hearing aids have them remember… but this telecoil (t-coil) needs to be 'turned on' and also needs to be used in an environment that has an electromagnetic field or room that can hear within the loop system. It works like a mini WIFI system for your hearing aids. Granted, the loop sound system can't always be found everywhere because it has very specific standard with which it functions in order for you to hear with your aid/CI. Request need to be made to have the loop placed in rooms/auditoriums, houses of worships, theaters, etc and then specific measurements, assessments of the building, foundations, layouts of how the loop can be done for the benefit of the recipients must be made along with other considerations of the installers, all contribute to the cost of laying the induction hearing loop.
It's always much easier to lay the loop in a building that is being built than after the fact or if any renovations are being considered. That is why, if you all know of any renovations being considered around you, always be the first to offer your townships, cities the idea of placing the hearing loop for ADA accommodations for hard of hearing community involvement. They would be surprised at the number of people that are HOH nation wide especially in libraries. There is federal monies available for libraries to loop their community rooms and special computer rooms… Go after your libraries… I did in WI…and most of our libraries are looped now.
Also, ask your audiologist to tell you about the tcoil and show you what it is and how to use it. It helps you use your cell phone, it helps you use assistive listening devices and can be connected to other devices. Learn about it. IT's new and old – all in one.

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I'm late to the discussion here. I just joined Mayo Connect.
We installed a hearing loop in our church last year. I was amazed at how many hearing aid users couldn't use it.
First of all most of the users are veterans and the VA did not supply them with t-coil equipped hearing aids. I had to specifically ask for mine and VA then provided them.
Second. Most folks either didn't know if they had t-coils or didn't know how to use them or the t-coils weren't activated by the audiologist.

What a shame on all accounts.

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Arrowshooter: Couldn't agree more! We installed one in my church last year and found out that there is an educational process that needs to take place! I found that most people thought that the system will automatically turn on their hearing aids! I try and watch people coming and going and talk to them after church to see if they are hooked up properly! As you are well aware, more and more people are reaching that age where they are wearing hearing aids…I would estimate on a given Sunday that 20% of members either have hearing aids or should have! We even have the neck loops available for those who do not have hearing aids but most people are not comfortable putting them on! Appreciate your comments.

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@arrowshooter I’m sorry to hear of your experience. That is so disappointing to hear. We shouldn’t have to ask for coils! The should promote them. There’s just a huge disconnect with audiologists who don’t seem to care about truly helping those of us w hearing loss. Many seem to just want to sell you aids. Those who do try to promote all the technology that is available run into the population that doesn’t care or can’t fathom the technology. Then when we have the t-coils and find the very limited number of venues that have loop systems it all becomes discouraging. We tried to get our church to install one but they had an FM system so stuck with that. Our HLAA chapter installed our own loop in the ceiling of the room where we meet. Now we’re having to find a new place and there are no sites in our area. We’re currently trying to get a loop installed in our library. The ability to understand speech is so exponentially improved with tcoils and loop systems I don’t understand why the hearing loss community isn’t broadcasting it and doing more to advocate for it!

Liked by pegbell

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@scottk

Arrowshooter: Couldn't agree more! We installed one in my church last year and found out that there is an educational process that needs to take place! I found that most people thought that the system will automatically turn on their hearing aids! I try and watch people coming and going and talk to them after church to see if they are hooked up properly! As you are well aware, more and more people are reaching that age where they are wearing hearing aids…I would estimate on a given Sunday that 20% of members either have hearing aids or should have! We even have the neck loops available for those who do not have hearing aids but most people are not comfortable putting them on! Appreciate your comments.

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Thank you for your feedback. The amount of confusion/lack of awareness is, unfortunately, fairly common but there are many people at HLAA working to change this, nationally and locally.

This past June, the "Get in the Hearing Loop" campaign committee of HLAA introduced a tool kit for all advocates and users of hearing loops. Three popular postcards can be reprinted for anyone's use. They cover
— how to access an installed hearing loop with your hearing aid;
— what to ask your audiologist about telecoil activation and
— what to say to the owner/manager of a public space that is not yet looped.

The full kit with PDFs for downloads is here: https://www.hearingloss.org/programs-events/get-hearing-loop/hearing-loop-toolkit/

Ask YourAud postcard p1

Ask YourAud postcard p2

GITHL_Ask 4 Hearing_Loops_Postcard

GITHL_HEAR HERE Postcard -1

GITHL_HEAR HERE Postcard -2

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Thank you @pegbell for sharing. It’s all great info!

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@judysmayo

@arrowshooter I’m sorry to hear of your experience. That is so disappointing to hear. We shouldn’t have to ask for coils! The should promote them. There’s just a huge disconnect with audiologists who don’t seem to care about truly helping those of us w hearing loss. Many seem to just want to sell you aids. Those who do try to promote all the technology that is available run into the population that doesn’t care or can’t fathom the technology. Then when we have the t-coils and find the very limited number of venues that have loop systems it all becomes discouraging. We tried to get our church to install one but they had an FM system so stuck with that. Our HLAA chapter installed our own loop in the ceiling of the room where we meet. Now we’re having to find a new place and there are no sites in our area. We’re currently trying to get a loop installed in our library. The ability to understand speech is so exponentially improved with tcoils and loop systems I don’t understand why the hearing loss community isn’t broadcasting it and doing more to advocate for it!

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Judysmayo, I've talked to quite a few audiologists about t-coils and hearing loops. They all agree with me (to my face) that both should be more common and are under-prescribed and under used. But I've talked to some of their patients and the patients never heard about hearing loops from their Audi.

While I advocate for hearing loops two of our local libraries have removed their desk top loop systems. When I asked them why they said they weren't being used.

I requested VA to install a hearing loop in the check-in desk and waiting room at our local VA clinic. First I was told that it would be a HIPAA violation, and after I sent them some information on hearing loops they just didn't respond. No sector of population has more hearing heath problems than veterans and this is what we get.

Liked by pegbell

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@arrowshooter

I'm late to the discussion here. I just joined Mayo Connect.
We installed a hearing loop in our church last year. I was amazed at how many hearing aid users couldn't use it.
First of all most of the users are veterans and the VA did not supply them with t-coil equipped hearing aids. I had to specifically ask for mine and VA then provided them.
Second. Most folks either didn't know if they had t-coils or didn't know how to use them or the t-coils weren't activated by the audiologist.

What a shame on all accounts.

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Welcome! This conversation has no expiration date 🙂 and I hope that sharing experiences will help everyone affected and everyone who could make a big difference. Personally, I tried to pilot a desktop loop program at a VA Hosp (Audiology Dept.) in south Florida and at the last minute, was told, "No can do" with no explanation. It's a shame; there are so many senior vets living down here and from what I have heard at audiology conferences – most interns at VA Clinics "always include the telecoil." Younger docs expect wireless solutions that are simple and effective?? Maybe that will help, eventually.

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Some years ago, I tried to work with the VA in starting a support group for the Veterans in the area and negotiated on how it could work. One of their staff was a member of HLAA and helped me work out the logistics to make it work. It would have been wonderful to have the vets meet on a monthly basis to augment their working knowledge of their hearing aids (made available by the Veterans) and what we would give them about how they could deal with their hearing loss in daily life. When the high ranking staff heard about our plans, they decided to transfer our HLAA member out of state and scrubbed our plans for a support group for the vets in the area. It was such a disappointment. We were not allowed to advertise our HLAA chapter meetings in the VA Hospital either. What these veterans could use, we learned, was limited within the walls of the hospital unless they wanted to go outside of their hospital system. They do receive what they need but perhaps not all of the in-depth hearing loss information that could help them in the long run.

Here in Sun City Center, FL, we will follow the Mission of the HLAA organization by opening the world of communication to all people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy – no matter who they are and where they are located.

Liked by pegbell

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@nurseheadakes

Some years ago, I tried to work with the VA in starting a support group for the Veterans in the area and negotiated on how it could work. One of their staff was a member of HLAA and helped me work out the logistics to make it work. It would have been wonderful to have the vets meet on a monthly basis to augment their working knowledge of their hearing aids (made available by the Veterans) and what we would give them about how they could deal with their hearing loss in daily life. When the high ranking staff heard about our plans, they decided to transfer our HLAA member out of state and scrubbed our plans for a support group for the vets in the area. It was such a disappointment. We were not allowed to advertise our HLAA chapter meetings in the VA Hospital either. What these veterans could use, we learned, was limited within the walls of the hospital unless they wanted to go outside of their hospital system. They do receive what they need but perhaps not all of the in-depth hearing loss information that could help them in the long run.

Here in Sun City Center, FL, we will follow the Mission of the HLAA organization by opening the world of communication to all people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy – no matter who they are and where they are located.

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Interesting, it seems VA can be our worst obstacle and our best friend at the same time.

I have good relations (I think) with staff at my local VA Audio Clinic. The workers seem both competent and caring. Administration, on the other hand, seems untouchable.

I have hopes of working with VA from both ends – top and bottom. Grass roots requests from our members are what we can do best. And we should work with members of the House of Representatives and Senate VA Oversight Committees to make our needs known. They are the ones most likely to influence VA administration. I urge people to contact their Senators and Representatives, even if there are not on the Oversight Committees, and make our issues known. Change doesn't just happen – it needs a force to put it into motion.

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I agree whole hardheartedly. If you can't get them directly, then go around them to those who can change the rules. I have always worked with my own Representatives from Congress and have made inroads with them over the years. This is the ONLY ways to go. If you know whom to contact, then this is the way to begin the process since all our Vets deserve the best alongside the rest of our community. Since all have hearing loss – all deserve to have services. Period.

Liked by pegbell

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@nurseheadakes

Some years ago, I tried to work with the VA in starting a support group for the Veterans in the area and negotiated on how it could work. One of their staff was a member of HLAA and helped me work out the logistics to make it work. It would have been wonderful to have the vets meet on a monthly basis to augment their working knowledge of their hearing aids (made available by the Veterans) and what we would give them about how they could deal with their hearing loss in daily life. When the high ranking staff heard about our plans, they decided to transfer our HLAA member out of state and scrubbed our plans for a support group for the vets in the area. It was such a disappointment. We were not allowed to advertise our HLAA chapter meetings in the VA Hospital either. What these veterans could use, we learned, was limited within the walls of the hospital unless they wanted to go outside of their hospital system. They do receive what they need but perhaps not all of the in-depth hearing loss information that could help them in the long run.

Here in Sun City Center, FL, we will follow the Mission of the HLAA organization by opening the world of communication to all people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy – no matter who they are and where they are located.

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Does anyone know of any VA facility anywhere that has installed a hearing loop??????

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