News & Action Alerts
March 21, 2018 – Senate Bill 5179 passed and was signed by Governor Inslee! Thank you to everyone who wrote to their lawmaker or testified in support over the bill—and of course, huge thanks to Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature for taking this step toward helping some of our most vulnerable Washingtonians.
Hearing aids are covered for adults on Washington State Medicaid, effective January 1, 2019.
Our hearts are full.
Please share this information with anyone who may need it.
January 29, 2018 – Let the House Appropriations Committee know you support SB 5179, which will include hearing aids for public employees and adults on Medicaid. Feel free to send and refer to our flyer in your talking points or email.
January 19, 2018 – Support House Bill 2856, which requires audiologists and hearing aid dispensers to tell consumers about telecoils. The telecoil is the key to universal hearing access via connectivity to hearing loops and other assistive listening systems. It’s now in the Health Care and Wellness Committee.
January 19, 2018 – SB 5179 passed the Senate and awaits passage in the House.
January 9, 2018 – Hearing aid coverage for adults under Medicaid is back in play! Let your legislator know you support SB 5179, which restores important coverage for some of Washington’s most vulnerable citizens. You can download a flyer for more information or to send to your legislator here.
December 15, 2017 – Hearing aids for adults under Washington State Medicaid are in Governor Inslee’s 2018 Supplemental Budget. Stay tuned for more details.
October 28, 2017 – Letter to Governor Inslee: Read our letter to Governor Inslee requesting that hearing aids for adults under Medicaid be included in his supplemental budget request to the legislature for the 2018 season.
September 1, 2017 – We’re gearing up for new legislative work. Stay tuned for how you can help in the 2018 Washington State legislative session.
April 11, 2017 – Senate Bill 5177, which requires long-term care workers be trained to recognize hearing loss, passed the House unanimously!
March 31, 2017 – Contact your legislator to include funding for Senate Bill 5179 in the final budget.
January 17, 2017 – Act now! Support the Let Washington State Hear Campaign.
- House Bill 1264 – Medicaid hearing aid coverage
- SB 5179 – Covers adult hearing aids under public employee plans and Medicaid.
- SB 5177 – Requires hearing loss recognition training for LTC workers.
- SB 5178 –Requires the Department of Health to develop a hearing loss education program for health care professionals
See our advocacy page for more details.
Coming Soon: A New Name and Website
Loop Seattle is becoming Loop Washington, to better reflect our statewide efforts to promote Hearing Loop solutions and achieve greater hearing access for Washington’s citizens. Over the next few months, we will also be updating our website and are excited to share with you our new look, more information, and helpful resources.
Join us as we make Washington State the most hearing-friendly place in America.
Let’s Loop Seattle is dedicated to universal hearing and communication access. Universal hearing access breaks down communication barriers to employment, transportation, public accommodations, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
More and more churches, theaters, town halls, retirement homes, hospitals, and even cabs and ticket windows are getting in the hearing loop the world over.
Emotional and social impact
The emotional and social impacts of hearing loss can be tremendous. Many people, feeling the stigma that surrounds hearing loss, hesitate to treat it or ask for accommodation. Yet untreated hearing loss can isolate people from their friends, families, and communities. Hearing loops and other assistive listening devices are life-changing for many, reconnecting them and re-engaging them with hobbies, jobs, and community services.
The financial impact of hearing loss not adequately treated or accommodated has been estimated at $122 billion in lost income and $18 billion in unrealized tax revenue.
Hearing access creates opportunities, civic engagement, professional success, and cultural appreciation. Universal loop technology can be used almost anywhere worldwide, helping communication in transient situations every day for millions.
Experience a loop
Let’s Loop Seattle has helped bring loop technology to many Washington venues. For a list of looped locations in Washington, visit our Loops in Washington page, download our special guide, “Roadmap to a Looped Community” (updated April 2016), our brochure, or our comprehensive guide to looped Washington venues (updated July 2017).
Washington State’s Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) has installed loops across the state. Check this list with loops and addresses to access State of Washington government services and assistance via a hearing loop.
To find loops nationally, try LoopFinder, also available as an IOS app, or Loop America. If you’d like to join a loop campaign closer to you, download a a list of other local loop campaigns around the country.
We welcome you–venues, organizations, disability groups, senior groups, veterans groups, and everyday folks of all hearing abilities–on our journey to universal communication access and hearing-friendly neighborhoods.
Commuting and traveling are safer, easier, and more enjoyable when fully accessible to everyone. Airport terminals, trains and train stations, metros, buses, taxis, and all check-in and ticket counters all benefit tremendously from hearing loops.
Clear communication is critical in health care settings. All heath care services– emergency room care, inpatient and outpatient services, surgery, clinics, classes, cafeterias, and gift shops–should be hearing accessible to ensure patient safety and confidentiality.
Participation in public forums is a right of all citizens. Government agencies that create universal access by readily providing communication aids and services (hearing loops, real time captioning, interpreters) encourage collaborative civic engagement.
We must provide all students with an education they deserve and equal opportunities to achieve their goals. Classrooms, auditoriums, and learning centers need to be accessible so that all students can participate and learn.
Universal access allows everyone to understand and enjoy performances without standing in line to check out and wear stigmatizing equipment that may or may not work. Arenas, theatres, and venues can easily provide communication access at ticket windows and food and vendor counters via a simple loop.
The unemployment rate for people with hearing loss is 20% higher than that of the general population. Most people with hearing loss report lifetime earnings of nearly half a million dollars less than their hearing counterparts. Communication access in the workplace is vital to an inclusive 21st century workforce.