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Author Topic: hearing loop popularity  (Read 876 times)

Ken Cross

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hearing loop popularity
« on: October 21, 2017, 11:08:17 am »

I've noticed people are finally understanding the need for hearing loops (T-coil compatible systems). Since 1967 telephones have been required in the US to be compatible with hearing aids, but hearing aids haven't been required to be compatible with telephones. We installed a loop system in our Church sanctuary about 3 or 4 years ago. At the time we were the only installation I could find north of Seattle. Now they are popping up all over, and I ask myself why audiologists don't seem to tell hearing aid users what this can do for them.

Do you talk with people about the need for this system? Most of us who hear normally seem to assume louder will make hearing better for those people who do use hearing aids. (That couldn't be farther from the truth.) This is an area most of us should get familiar with. We put in an Oval Window system that was only $895 (plus our volunteer labor.) Offering from only one hearing aid wearer can easily pay for it.

Ken

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Ken Cross

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Re: hearing loop popularity
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 09:58:41 am »

I should have included a link:

This will show how these systems work. Almost all congregations have hearing aid users.
Those who don't have "T" coils in their hearing aids can just use a receiver and headphones (around $100 each) for the same benefit.

Here are a couple links:
http://www.ampetronic.co/How-do-loops-work
http://www.ovalwindowaudio.com/satellite.html

Ken
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: hearing loop popularity
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2017, 01:05:19 pm »

I should have included a link:

This will show how these systems work. Almost all congregations have hearing aid users.
Those who don't have "T" coils in their hearing aids can just use a receiver and headphones (around $100 each) for the same benefit.

Here are a couple links:
http://www.ampetronic.co/How-do-loops-work
http://www.ovalwindowaudio.com/satellite.html

Ken

Ken,
All ADA compliant systems have individual hearing loop capability simply by plugging an individual loop in instead of an earphone. 

Most churches that I deal with have some type of assisted listening system installed.

As far as induction loop systems go, for spaces of any significant size a single loop does not work very well because the level to listeners will vary by too much, instead there is a need to install a phased loop and that requires installation on (or maybe under, depending on construction materials) the floor every few rows. 
For most installations this is quite expensive. 

There can also be problems related to steel reinforced concrete and/or large steel beams in support structure.  Both of these cause problems to the radiated magnetic field.  All of this can and should be tested for prior to deciding on any specific loop system.

For live performance where electric guitars or other pickup-coil based musical instruments are used they can also be problematic especially when using a simple open loop rather than a phased loop. 

The main reason that I have seen for induction loop systems not being done more often throughout the U.S. is the cost when compared to an FM based system.

Lee
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Lee Buckalew
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: hearing loop popularity
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2017, 01:22:57 pm »

Ken,
All ADA compliant systems have individual hearing loop capability simply by plugging an individual loop in instead of an earphone. 

Most churches that I deal with have some type of assisted listening system installed.

As far as induction loop systems go, for spaces of any significant size a single loop does not work very well because the level to listeners will vary by too much, instead there is a need to install a phased loop and that requires installation on (or maybe under, depending on construction materials) the floor every few rows. 
For most installations this is quite expensive. 

There can also be problems related to steel reinforced concrete and/or large steel beams in support structure.  Both of these cause problems to the radiated magnetic field.  All of this can and should be tested for prior to deciding on any specific loop system.

For live performance where electric guitars or other pickup-coil based musical instruments are used they can also be problematic especially when using a simple open loop rather than a phased loop. 

The main reason that I have seen for induction loop systems not being done more often throughout the U.S. is the cost when compared to an FM based system.

Lee

We have had local audiologist offer to donate induction loop installs in a couple local theaters.  We have politely declined.  We are very happy with our FM system.  We have hearing aid compatible receivers.  Our patrons are happy.  Its good.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Ken Cross

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Re: hearing loop popularity
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2017, 02:47:53 pm »

We have had local audiologist offer to donate induction loop installs in a couple local theaters.  We have politely declined.  We are very happy with our FM system.  We have hearing aid compatible receivers.  Our patrons are happy.  Its good.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

The thing I like best about loop systems is that no extra equipment is needed for those with T coils in their hearing aids.

As for dynamic interference (such as guitar pickups) just don't install the loop in their area. My experience is mostly in smaller (200 seat) churches and I have seen no problems with signal level. You are certainly right that it's important to avoid running the loop parallel to long metal objects.

As for user satisfaction, they seem to rave about the loop system, they don't feel singled out by needing extra equipment to hear, and aren't seen with headsets.
Our old RF system has many people refuse to use it because of a stigma.

Few churches in our area have the assistive listening equipment and the majority of members seem to have grey hair. I'm throwing this out to ask folks to consider helping these people.

Ken

Ken
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Daniel Levi

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Re: hearing loop popularity
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2017, 03:49:13 pm »

Weirdly in Britain it's pretty much all loop systems where assisted listening is needed. This also includes portable systems used in shops and the like.
All churches that I know of have them and the similar is to be said of theaters/cinemas.
They even do home systems which in my Gran's case meant that you could actually watch TV in the same room as her without being near deafened.   
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: hearing loop popularity
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2017, 04:59:44 pm »

The thing I like best about loop systems is that no extra equipment is needed for those with T coils in their hearing aids.

As for dynamic interference (such as guitar pickups) just don't install the loop in their area. My experience is mostly in smaller (200 seat) churches and I have seen no problems with signal level. You are certainly right that it's important to avoid running the loop parallel to long metal objects.

As for user satisfaction, they seem to rave about the loop system, they don't feel singled out by needing extra equipment to hear, and aren't seen with headsets.
Our old RF system has many people refuse to use it because of a stigma.

Few churches in our area have the assistive listening equipment and the majority of members seem to have grey hair. I'm throwing this out to ask folks to consider helping these people.

Ken

Ken

For ADA compliance I believe that every seat must be covered so you can't choose some (public) seating areas to not cover.  An open loop, covering to the edge of the seating will effect a coil pickup onstage.

Lee
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Lee Buckalew
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Ken Cross

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Re: hearing loop popularity
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2017, 09:32:24 am »

The ADA (American Disabilities Act) specifically says it doesn't apply to houses of worship. So no legal requirements there. To move back from the locations of such instruments in many cases doesn't affect the plans because they only need to be 10 to 12 feet outside the loop. In our case, I've tried to see if I could induce feedback with an electric guitar and couldn't get it to feed back anywhere inside the loop.   
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: hearing loop popularity
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2017, 12:19:16 pm »

The ADA (American Disabilities Act) specifically says it doesn't apply to houses of worship. So no legal requirements there. 

Yes and No.  If the church never allows any outside entities (scouts, AA, school groups, etc.) to lease their facilities then they are exempt from the Public Accommodation portion of the ADA.  If they donate the use of their facility to a community organization then they are still exempt.  If they lease the facility then ADA applies.  There are many what if's for this; restaurant or fitness space within the church open to the community, etc.

To move back from the locations of such instruments in many cases doesn't affect the plans because they only need to be 10 to 12 feet outside the loop. In our case, I've tried to see if I could induce feedback with an electric guitar and couldn't get it to feed back anywhere inside the loop.

The issue is not necessarily one of feedback but of the Loop sound getting into the guitar pickup.  This will greatly depend on the guitar.  Humbucking coils will reduce or eliminate the problem but that also limits what instruments can be played.


Bottom line is that there are certainly pro's and con's of each hearing assist option. 
One of the biggest reasons to go to a loop system is the ability for individuals with a hearing aid to be able to use the loop without having to use additional equipment that may draw attention to their disability.  This does not fix the situation for those with a hearing deficit but who don't wear a hearing aid, they still need a pack with an earpiece in order to receive the loop signal.

If you also designate only one area to the loop you are back to singling out the users, much in the way that they feel singled out by having to use an ALD with a neck loop.

All of the options have some compromises.


Lee
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Lee Buckalew
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Ken Cross

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Re: hearing loop popularity
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2017, 01:54:50 pm »

Yes and No.  If the church never allows any outside entities (scouts, AA, school groups, etc.) to lease their facilities then they are exempt from the Public Accommodation portion of the ADA.  If they donate the use of their facility to a community organization then they are still exempt.  If they lease the facility then ADA applies.  There are many what if's for this; restaurant or fitness space within the church open to the community, etc.

The issue is not necessarily one of feedback but of the Loop sound getting into the guitar pickup.  This will greatly depend on the guitar.  Humbucking coils will reduce or eliminate the problem but that also limits what instruments can be played.


Bottom line is that there are certainly pro's and con's of each hearing assist option. 
One of the biggest reasons to go to a loop system is the ability for individuals with a hearing aid to be able to use the loop without having to use additional equipment that may draw attention to their disability.  This does not fix the situation for those with a hearing deficit but who don't wear a hearing aid, they still need a pack with an earpiece in order to receive the loop signal.

If you also designate only one area to the loop you are back to singling out the users, much in the way that they feel singled out by having to use an ALD with a neck loop.

All of the options have some compromises.


Lee

Lee, thanks for responding, all good points.

As for our installation, the listeners aren't within the recommended 10 to 12 feet separation of the guitar player.

The other really big deal: the hearing aids are tailored to individual hearing losses so using the loop system still accommodates all those adjustments the audiologist has applied to that particular appliance.  I suspect that's why the users rave about the quality of sound.

My point here isn't that a loop system is an end-all solution. It isn't. But in some areas (such as our sanctuary) it's a great improvement. I'm told in many places in Europe, loop systems are now government mandated. As I see it, for $900 (plus volunteer installation labor) if it attracts even one person to the worship facility, their donations likely paid for it in a short time.

I just think considering those who have poor hearing really is a necessity and we have had poor luck with our RF system. So I threw this out mainly to get people thinking. I do know many churches make no accommodation for hearing impaired people, with the uneducated opinion I suppose that louder will make it better.

Ken
 
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