Some technologies are overtaken by new discoveries, but others just keep getting better. One such technology is hearing loops. The basic technology remains the same but improvements are being made over time. Thinking that modern hearing aids have improved so much that people don’t need augmentation in meeting venues is a bit like saying wheelchairs have improved so much we don’t need ramps.
In his latest newsletter, Andrew Stewart nicely addresses all the myths and misconceptions about hearing augmentation systems and says that the hearing loop is still the most efficient and effective for users, and the most convenient for venue managers. Other systems are not popular because of additional equipment that needs to be worn or used which singles users out from the crowd. Andrew also provides the BCA references at the end of the newsletter.
It is noteworthy that recent research is showing that one in three older people do not use their hearing aids – it will be worth finding out why because it is one of the key factors in social isolation.
Picture is of Sydney Centennial Hall (Town Hall). A hearing loop is installed.