Get in the Hearing Loop Honors IHLMA

The International Hearing Loop Manufacturers Association (IHLMA) has joined the Get in the Hearing Loop movement, and IHLMA was honored by Cheri Perazzoli and the Get in the Hearing Loop leaders at the 2019 HLAA convention in Rochester, New York this summer.

The IHLMA aims to “support good quality loop installations around the world,” and is available to support and guide anyone interested in hearing loop systems. The association members adhere to a a code of conduct, and they offer technical resources and standards.

Members of IHLMA include….

Ampetronic    
Bo-Edin (Univox)     
Clear Audio Systems 
Contacta       
Conversor   
C-TEC   
Geemarc Telecom 
Hearing Products International 
HumanTechnik  
OPUS Technologies    
OTOjOY    
Sarabec 
Signet (AC)    
Williams Sound   

 – Manufacturer
 – Installer
 – Consultant
– Distributor
 – Training
 – Designer
 – Maintenance

IHLMA’s offices are based in Gloucester, UK. You can reach them at admin@ihlma.org, or for technical advice, technical@ihlma.org

 

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Lincoln Theatre Loop Still Going Strong

We were copied on this lovely note to Roger at the Lincoln Theatre from hearing loss advocates Jerry and Joanna Olmstead.

The Lincoln Theatre in Mt. Vernon was looped earlier this year—read more about it here.

You never know how many lives you touch with that simple copper loop, but notes like this remind you of why this work matters.

note from Jerry and Joanna
Click to enlarge.

 

 

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What hearing loss is really like: Kimberly Parker gives a rare workshop

kimberly 48 million

Kimberly Parker at the Poulsbo Library, September 21, 2019.

If you’ve seen Kimberly Parker’s one-woman show Lost in Sound, you know how talented and wise she is—and how powerfully she conveys the experiences of people with hearing loss through drama, story, and song. She’s also one of the stars of the Like the Mic video produced by Rooted in Rights.

On September 21, 2019, Kimberly brought her insights to the Poulsbo Library to present a rare workshop. She shared her own journey, which began with a genetic form of hearing loss–long undetected–that progressed to deafness at age 40, and then her experiences after her cochlear implant. 

Kimberly the young mom

Kimberly Parker as a young woman.

She also gave communication strategies and resources to help people with hearing loss determine how they can best move forward in their journey.

To provide the very best hearing access, a temporary loop (from Steve Peck–thank you!), CART, and ASL were available.

Kimberly credits HLAA for supporting her hearing loss path,  and we at HLAA-WA and Loop Seattle credit Kimberly for being a tremendous advocate and performer, shining the light on hearing loss in unique and relatable ways.

Thank you to the Washington State Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) for arranging this talk, especially Di Cinney, who attended in person. We’re proud to be your partner in serving Washigntonians with hearing loss.

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A small-town theatre invests big in a hearing loop

Mount Vernon 6

Do you love old theatres as much as we do? Especially theatres with springy seats, ornate artwork, tall curtains, the faint smell of popcorn, and a rich history of creating memories for their communities, however big or small?

Sometimes, though, these grand spaces don’t have the best acoustics. Not so for the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, Washington: this beautiful venue is now in the loop.

Mount Vernon 7

The Lincoln Theatre, a restored 1926 historic vaudeville and silent movie housepresents a year-round schedule of concerts, current and classic films, and community and fundraising events. The theatre works with local school districts, hosting school performances and workshops by performing artists on tour. The local youth symphony plays at the Lincoln, as does a community-sponsored children’s theatre. Currently, the theater seats 489 and still houses the original 1926 Wurlitzer organ.

In January 2014, Jerry and Joanna Olmstead, award-winning hearing access heroes with  10 years’ loop advocacy experience (!), began the project by meeting with the folks at the Lincoln.  Later, the Sound + Hearing Campaign was born, led by The Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation. The campaign was successful in gaining donations and finally in establishing a high-quality audio and a loop system.

Mount Vernon 1

Lincoln Theatre also provides mobility accessibility for guests and performers–a lift gives performers wheelchair access to the stage, and guests .  Closed captioning devises and other assisted listening devises are also available.

Roger Gietzen, Lincoln Theatre Executive Director, is key in making the project come to life. Thank you, Roger. And thank you to the Olmsteads and to all who donated to enrich this wonderful community space, making it hearing-friendly and welcoming to all.

Mount Vernon 8 colorful

Venue Information:
Lincoln Theatre

712 S 1st Street
Mt. Vernon, WA
360-336-8955
Roger Gietzen, Executive Director
roger@lincolntheatre.org
Mount Vernon is roughly two hours north of Seattle.

Loop Installer:
Dimensional Communications, Inc.
Audio Visual Consultant
1214 Anderson RD.
Mt. Vernon, WA
360-424-6164

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Captions Now Required on Televisions in Public in Washington State. Here Are the Details.

Captions are now required on all televisions in public spaces across Washington State, thanks to the passage of Washington State Senate Bill 5027.

That means that in public places—think bars, restaurants, lobbies, salons, and transportation hubs–if there are televisions, captions must be turned on as the default. People with hearing loss shouldn’t have to request captions–they should be the default.

There are a few exceptions, such as if a television isn’t caption-capable, or if a another federal or state law exempts the business. But in most cases, captions should be always on.

For more information, please see below for an excellent presentation for businesses and employees from Deborah O’Willow at the Washington State Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH), and a guide from the Washington State Human Rights Commission.

The law takes effect July 25, 2021, and venues have until October 23, 2021 to be in compliance.

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New Hearing Loop Requirements from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

A photo looking out from an airport terminal window. The nose of the blue plane is prominent. Chairs are on both sides of the terminal window.

Hearing loops will be required at New York and New Jersey airline gates and information counters at airports, bus, rail, and ferry facilities, thanks to updated accessibility guidelines from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Loops are not, at this time, required at ticket or service counters, such as baggage or rental cars.

At airport passenger gates, loops must transmit all audible announcements, unless the loop is required to be in the floor for effectiveness and the installation would compromise the structural integrity of the floor. Loops will be required to adhere to the IEC-60118-4 guidelines.

The new requirements, released in an October 2020 manual, were established in conjunction with disability groups. To view the manual on the Port Authority site, click on Documents, then Supplemental Accessibility Requirements, then Manual.

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Hearing-Friendly Vaccine Sites: City of Seattle Leads the Way

Becoming vaccinated in the Seattle area just got easier, less bewildering—and much more hearing-friendly.

Cheri Perazzoli, HLAA-WA President, tours the portable hearing loops at the City of Seattle vaccination site at Lumen Field, Seattle.

At the City of Seattle’s mass vaccination site at Lumen Field, a portable hearing loop awaits people with hearing loss at each entry point. A staff member will roll the loop cart along with you all the way through the process so you can hear everywhere you go.

Hearing loops are available to accompany you at each entry point at the City of Seattle vaccine site at Lumen Field.

Knowledgeable assistants are available to help, which is especially wonderful if you’re new to hearing loops—and encouraging and comforting even if you’re familiar with them. Sign language interpreters are also available. No appointments are necessary, so please feel free to drop in.

City of Seattle staff are happy to provide hearing and communication access via a hearing loop at Lumen Field in downtown Seattle in the SoDo district.

When you arrive, ask for hearing assistance via a hearing loop. Then, ask the staff member to hold the microphone close, and remember to turn your hearing aid or CI to the telecoil or “T” setting to connect to the loop.

Hearing loops and friendly, trained staff are waiting for people with hearing loss at the Lumen Field mass vaccination site in SoDo, Seattle.

The pandemic has hit the hearing loss community hard. Masks make speech reading impossible, and social distancing and glass barriers diminish speech understanding. Very few vaccine locations had captions, loops, or tablets available for people who need communication access.

We’re thrilled that the City of Seattle once again leads the way for hearing loops and communication access. We’re sending a humungous, warm thank you to Deborah Witmer, Autumn Harris, Holly Delcambre, and all the wonderful folks who made hearing-friendly vaccines a reality.

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What’s in your toolkit?

If you’re advocating for loops in your community, but you’re not sure where to start or you need some help, check out HLAA’s Get in the Hearing Loop program toolkit.

What’s a toolkit? It’s information, brochures, sample letters, presentations, guidelines, and other ways to help you talk to venues, find installers, make sure a loop is done right, promote a loop, and so much more.

If you feel overwhelmed, unsure, or stuck, the toolkit is a wonderful resource to help you.

Watch our social media (@loopseattle, LetsLoopSeattle on Facebook, @githl1, and GetInTheHearingLoop on Feacebook) for examples and explanations of how the toolkit can help you.

Below is a list of toolkit contents. You can find the toolkit here.Whats in your toolkit January 2020

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Disabilities Legislative Reception Jan 22

Join us and other disability organizations at the Disabilities Legislative Reception on Wednesday, January 22, 2002, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the Columbia Room, Legislative Building at the State Capitol in Olympia.

A temporary loop and CART are provided. Note that the loop is temporary and will be in a limited area only—look for a sign, or ask where you should stand so you can hear. If you need further accommodation, contact Emily Heike, eheike@esd.wa.gov.

Here’s a flyer with more information.

Special thanks to Steve Peck at The Washington State Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) for working so hard to secure hearing access at this event.

disabilities reception snip

 

 

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