It’s wonderful that churches, schools, and businesses have made themselves accessible to the visible minority of people in wheelchairs. Our 2002 initiative in the adjoined cities of Holland and Zeeland, Michigan, encouraged these institutions also to make themselves accessible to the larger but largely invisible minority of hard of hearing people. This is most effectively accomplished through induction loop systems that broadcast sound directly through hearing aids.
As widespread as hearing loop systems are becoming in Britain, Scandinavia, and other northern European countries, they were as yet virtually absent in the U.S.A. In an effort to optimally serve the growing hard of hearing population, we sought to make Holland-Zeeland a model looped community.
Would you like to do the same for your community? Here you will find our goals and strategies, which perhaps might assist you in supporting the hard of hearing where you live.
What were your objectives and strategies for the community initiative
What organizations did you invite to your kick-off meeting and how did you tailor the invitation letters to the different types of venues those organizations represented?
Holland Sentinel article about meeting.
Here are sample ways to introduce loop systems in a church bulletin or newsletter.
What are the results of the hearing loop initiative?
During 2002, most of the community’s major churches and many of its public facilities were looped. (See list.)
For further information, see Holland Sentinel progress report
June 13, 2002 op-ed piece in the Holland Sentinel
Hearing Loss, November/December, 2003 article.
Where can I find vendors of induction loop systems?