Seventy-five loops? That’s a lot of loops. That’s what you’ll find at Washington State Community Services Offices (CSOs) and Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) offices across the state. Oh, and two of those loops are in their mobile vans.
Inspired by the Let’s Loop Seattle and Let’s Loop America campaigns, the Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) began its own Let’s Loop DSHS campaign. The loops were funded with State General Fund dollars, and more funding has been added for repairs and replacements.
“For DSHS to be proactive and ready to provide loops should any client with hearing loss walk into the office to me is an excellent customer service. This is preferable to being reactive and unprepared without the proper equipment. Hence we committed the resources to accommodate clients’ communication needs,” said Eric Raff, ODHH Director.
You can find hearing loops at the Seattle North and Mercer 1 & 2 offices and the Spokane, Puyallup, White Center, and Kennewick offices—plus lots more. The mobile CSOs are an especially handy resource in rural areas. The vans can help with cash, food or childcare assistance, eligibility reviews, EBT cards, and some Medicare and Medicaid questions. Check the mobile CSO’s schedule to find out when a looped van is near you.
Eric and the ODHH staff welcome feedback on the loops so they can track who’s using them and how well they work. When you visit, look for the sign, turn your hearing aid to T-coil mode, make sure the loop is on (it’s OK to ask!), and give it a try. If the loop doesn’t work, politely let them know, and refer them to us if they need assistance. The ODHH is working on providing more signs and publicity so even more people can use the loops.
The State of Washington ODHH provides many services for people with hearing loss, including relay services, public video phones, interpreters, CART, and case management. For more information about their services, visit their website.
Let us know if you’ve used these loops and how they worked for you: firstname.lastname@example.org. To see if the office near you is looped, visit the front page of www.loopseattle.org for a downloadable and printable list. As always, please thank ODHH staff for this valuable service and share the news with people with hearing loss.