Hi Ginevra - You're absolutely right in your assessment that hearing care providers are a big roadblock in raising awareness and availability of telecoils and loops. In my opinion they are the biggest one and I don't see that the situation has improved much over the last 20 years.
"Unfortunately, a recent survey showed that less than 50% of all hearing aid dispensers even mentioned the possibility of a telecoil to their clients. Dispensers cannot, of course, require that their clients include a telecoil in their hearing aids, but people can be given enough information so that they can make an informed choice. Many people would be more than willing to accept the need for a slightly larger hearing aid if the potential benefits of a telecoil were explained to them."
I believe that, since the advent of Bluetooth the percentage could even be smaller and, in reaction to looping advocacy, some providers go a step further and try to discourage clients from having the technology included in their HAs.
They're often ignored and violated but state regulations mandating telecoil counseling prior to the dispensing of hearing aids help. Only a handful of states have such regulations - many as a result of HLAA chapter advocacy - and that's what's needed elsewhere to overcome what is sometimes the outright refusal of some providers to provide such counseling.
Members of this and other HLAA lists and their local chapters are the logical leaders of such efforts in any state that does not have such a requirement. I believe it's way past time for HLAA chapters to step up and take action on this issue as we did here in NM and others have done in IN,UT, RI, DE etc.
Stephen O. Frazier, Hearing Loss Support Specialist
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GET IN THE HEARING LOOP
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Hearing Loss Association of America
---------- Original Message ----------
From: "Ginevra Ralph" <GRalph@...>
Subject: Re: [HLAAGITHL] HLAA Not Promoting Telecoil & Hearing Loops #Advocacy #GITHL-Toolkit #hearingloop
Date: Mon, 05 Sep 2022 08:03:28 -0700
Clearly one roadblock continues to be hearing specialists – maybe we could picket their conventions…
Seriously though, do you have a relationship with your own provider that you could ask some probing questions such as these:
- · Do you tell all your clients about telecoils?
- · Do you include telecoil as a default in new devices or does the client have to request it?
- · Do they need to request Bluetooth or is it automatic?
- · How many looped sites in our area would it take for our local specialists to stop saying “nothing’s looped”?
- · When do you activate a telecoil in a new pair of hearing aids and do you teach the client how to use it in a looped exam space? [We have had customers show up with telecoils but they can’t use the program!!]
If everyone in a chapter asked their provider questions like this, it can provide both some local advocacy strategies and collective ones if you share the answers with all of us on your websites. [Do you suppose the answers swould be different in the UK compared to the US!?!]
The Shedd Institute, Eugene OR