Re: [HLAAGITHL] HLAA Not Promoting Telecoil & Hearing Loops #advocacy #githl-toolkit #hearingloop



You’re a good person to ask. I’ve been promoting room loops for years. I got my church to install one. I did get the T-coil logo posted on a sign outside the building but they refused to put it on the pulpit or some other conspicuous place. I also got them to put an explanation on the front page of the order of service. I don’t know of anyone but me who uses it. 

I meet a lot of people who tell me they have hearing aids because wherever I go I use accessory mics and have to explain them. That leads people to tell me they wear hearing aids and I can promote mics. But when I ask if they have telecoils no one who is not a member of HLAA (which is virtually everyone I meet outside of HLAA meetings or conventions) has ever understood the question. When people join our chapter they learn of telecoils for the first time. 

I submitted to the city council a petition signed by dozens of people explaining loops and asking that they be required in all new buildings that use amplification. The council endorsed it unanimously, but the city manager refused. He said ALDs were just as good, even tho’ the petition listed seven reasons why they were not. The manager just retired and a council member got back to me about the looping.

Here’s my problem. I am uncomfortable urging looping any more. I know many audiologists call it the “old technology,” but I’ve learned more about what is being done with bluetooth and wifi. I know it’s in the works even though they haven’t yet solved the delay problem. Also, we now have ASR as an alternative that serves the Deaf as well as those with some hearing. Loops are very expensive so I am reluctant to recommend that expenditure any more. What’s your take on that?



P.S. As for the neck loops being provided. Less than half the time I attend a lecture or performance are ALDs available. Most of the venues are rented, and the organization knows nothing about them. Or they are in a locked cabinet and no one has the key. Or, most often, the batteries are dead. When they actually do have functioning ALDs there are rarely neck looks. That’s whey I started bringing my own.

On Sep 5, 2022, at 3:03 PM, Stephen O. Frazier <hlaanm@...> wrote:

Carol - you're absolutely right.  Since March of 2012 any new or substantially upgraded PA system in a qualifying place of assembly is required under the ADA to have an assistive listening system - and it must be hearing aid compatible.  That means it must be a hearing loop or it must have neckloops for 25% of the FM or IR or WiFi receivers.  There must also be  adequate signage to alert people to its presence.  That being said, it's doubtful that many communities of any size are without some venue or venues that offer telecoil connectivity. 
Though churches are not covered by the ADA mandate, they are the largest group of venues using either loops or neckloops for communication access.  The hearing care providers are either poorly informed or disingenuous when they offer lack of loop availability as an excuse for not counseling clients on the technology.  This also does not take into account the mobility of a large segment of the hard of hearing public that travels and has opportunities elsewhere in this country and abroad to connect to a hearing loop.
In my 7 years of service on the board that regulates hearing care providers in New Mexico I found that hearing aid dispensers were less supportive of the technology than audiologists but that both were opposed to being told they had to provide telecoils counseling.  After the licensing board twice voted down a counseling requirement I had to take the matter to the state legislature to get such a mandate successfully enacted.  We had support from AARP, various state agencies that deal with the HoH, church leaders, the NAD and others that convinced legislators who had no dog in this fight that they should support the needs of the hard of hearing over the objections from those who supposedly serve their needs.
As for loaner ALS receivers, they are likely always offered with earphones but very probably there are neckloops also available if requested.
If we, the hard of hearing public, want this technology we need to stand up and speak out - too few hearing care providers are going to do so.
Stephen O. Frazier, Hearing Loss Support Specialist
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---------- Original Message ----------
From: "Carol in Boston" <carolagate34@...>
To: HLAATech@...
Cc: HLAAGITHL@..., HLAA Tech <>,
Subject: Re: [HLAATech] [HLAAGITHL] HLAA Not Promoting Telecoil & Hearing Loops #Advocacy #GITHL-Toolkit #hearingloop
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2022 14:31:20 -0400

Too often audiologists use the chicken and egg argument, that there are too few places that are looped. But what they keep missing is that it’s not necessarily looped rooms that are the reason for telecoils. Public venues are supposed to at least have assistive listening devices. (Whether they are actually available and working is another matter.) ALDs usually come with headphones, sometimes earbuds, and less often neck loops. Headphones generally don’t work well with hearing aids and earbuds not at all. Since many places don’t have neck loops, it’s simple enough to bring your own. I’ve yet to hear of an audiologist who advocates neck loops as a reason to have telecoils.

Carol Agate 

On Sep 5, 2022, at 12:12 PM, Stephen O. Frazier <hlaanm@...> wrote:
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.
Here's a quote from a 2002 article in Hearing Review:
"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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  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!?!]

Ginevra Ralph
The Shedd Institute, Eugene OR

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