May is Better Speech and Hearing Month
How can you share information about hearing loss and hearing access this month?
SeaTac airport accessibility meetings
May 18, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm and May 19, 2-4 pm – Airport Accessibility Community Meetings. Join an informal meeting to share with SeaTac planners how they can improve hearing access. Both meetings will have CART; the May 19 meeting is confirmed to have ASL.
The Thursday, May 18 Meeting is in Room 4A at the Airport Office Building at SeaTac Airport. Take the elevator or stairs behind the Lufthansa counter to the Mezzanine level and check in with the receptionist.
The Friday, May 19 meeting is in downtown Seattle, City of Seattle Central Building, 810 Third Avenue, first floor conference room. For parking information: https://www.downtownseattle.com/downtown-parking/.
May 1, 2017 – Urge your legislators to include funding for adult hearing aids under Medicaid.
April 11, 2017 – Senate Bill 5177, which requires long-term care workers be trained to recognize hearing loss, passed the House unanimously!
April 4, 2017 – Senate Bill 5179 will be heard in the Appropriations Committee today, 4/4. Let the Committee know you support the bill.
March 31, 2017 – Contact your legislator to include funding for Senate Bill 5179 in the final budget.
March 27, 2017 – Senate Bill 5179 needs a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee. Urge Rep. Ormsby and the Committee to add 5179 to their agenda before it’s too late.
March 13, 2017 – Senate Bill 5177 (requiring hearing loss training for long-term care workers) passed the Senate and is now in the House Committee on Health Care and Wellness. Urge the committee to move the bill forward and watch or testify at the March 15, 2017 hearing.
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 comprehensive guide to looped locations in Washington State (updated August 2016).
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.
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.