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Hearing Loop system for hearing impaired in the Theater

A Hearing Loop system to assist individuals with a hearing aid or cochlear implant with tele coil (T-coil) capability has been installed in the Visitor Center Theater.  As you enter the Theater, a sign states “Get in the Hearing Loop.”  By activating the T-coil setting in a hearing aid or cochlear implant, the T-coil system is ready to go.  For people who don't have devices or implants, there are four portable receivers and headphones to loan out at no cost, and they are available at the front counter of the Visitor Center.

A sign at the entrance to the Theater advises people to "Get in the Hearing Loop" by turning hearing aids and cochlear implants to the T-coil (telecoil) setting. A wire installed around the base of the Theater is connected to a loop amplifier. The T-coil receives a signal from the loop, and converts it into sound. The normal reverberations and most background noises are eliminated.

The loop refers to an audio-induction loop system. The loop of wire, installed in the Theater, creates a magnetic field according to Richard Archbold who, along with Warren Willard, own Hearing Now USA., a business that installs and services hearing loops.  Archbold stated, “the telecoil is built into all cochlear implants and 90 percent of hearing aids. However, an audiologist must activate it.”

MTRP Foundation Executive Director, Jay Wilson, learned about loops from Dorothy Leonard who was directly involved in the installation of Heariang Loop system at St. Dunstan Episcopal Church. Leonard is a founding member of the MTRP Foundation, serves as secretary/treasurer of the MTRP Foundation board, and also chairs the MTRP Citizens Advisory Committee.

Leonard said the Americans with Disabilities Act requires assisted-listening devices in public buildings. Leonard and Wilson learned from Steve Haupt (City of San Diego open-space district manager) that the city would pay the approximately $5000 installation cost.

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