Getting hard of hearing people in the loop.

People with hearing loss can dream of a future in which hearing aids also serve as wireless loudspeakers, delivering clear, customized sound from inside their ears. They can dream of communities where worship places, auditoriums, and business windows all broadcast their sound through these in-the-ear loudspeakers. Thanks to the refinement of “induction loop” systems—which magnetically transmit sound to hearing aids and cochlear implants with telecoils (T-coils)—that future can be now!

Experience hearing loop sound demonstrations and see a child’s reaction to a home TV room loop.

For 2-minute animated explanations of hearing loops, see here or here.

Evidence that people with hearing loss greatly benefit, plus new evidence of “dramatic” benefits. See also endorsements of this hearing aid compatible assistive listening, and user testimonials.

See here for a comparison of assistive listening technologies and here for a University of Virginia accessibility office case for hearing loops. Or here for a library of ~1200 articles, presentations, & other resources.

A Hearing Loss Association of America task force is advocating this transformation in U.S. assistive listening. See its explanatory loop brochure. See here, and here for a toolkit of resources and much more. And join the network of North American loop advocates here.

An induction loop system transmits magnetic energy to telecoil-equipped hearing aids through a wire that surrounds an audience.

Questions about Hearing Loops

What are common concerns and FAQs about loop systems?

Fourteen frequently asked questions

What hearing aids have telecoils and can receive loop broadcasts?

Most hearing aids and all new cochlear implants now come with inexpensive telecoil sensors… more.

Why are hearing loop systems needed?
What do loop systems cost? And where can we find loop equipment vendors and local installers?
Why are hearing loops the preferred assistive listening system?

Unlike other assistive listening systems, loop systems broadcast to hearing aids… more.

What are the pros and cons of alternative assistive listening technologies?
Is there a handout explanation?

Yes, the Sarasota Hearing Loss Association offers this for theatre staff and this for patrons.

Where are looped venues?
What hearing help does the Americans with Disabilities Act require? ADA Guide
Is there a hearing loops discussion board?

Yes, here.

What states mandate counseling hearing patients about telecoil technology?
Where are local hearing loop campaigns?

Without including loop advocacy by effective individuals, here are 39 city or state hearing loop initiatives, with links (courtesy Stephen Frazier). For the strategies and communications of the successful Holland (MI) loop initiative see here.

Might Bluetooth be a more effective assistive listening technology?

See here and (for more information) here. See here for a new joint declaration advocating both future low-energy Bluetooth and telecoils/loops. And see here and here for more on the prospects for Bluetooth “Auracast.”

How might I introduce hearing loops to a facility or community?

See sample letter (courtesy hearingloss.org). Want advice on starting a loop initiative? See here and here.

Articles and Media

Nontechnical information on hearing aid compatible assistive listening: