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Meetings Blog

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Helping your Attendees to Hear with the Loop System

Published: April 18, 2019

Data shows that 15% of the American population suffers from some level of hearing loss. Of that percentage, men between the ages of 20-69 are almost twice as likely as women to have hearing loss. Because of this percentage, it is important that your attendees have access to high-quality hearing assistance at your conference so they are not missing out. But with background noise, it is sometimes very hard to hear someone else talking. How can you achieve pure uncluttered sound?

Back in November 2018, the John G. Shedd Institute of the Arts unveiled their installation of the loop system into their main theater space, the ticket office and a classroom so that people with hearing aids could better enjoy the shows. The end result was happy theater-goers and a renewed discussion on how individuals with hearing loss can still participate in activities such as live theater, conferences, etc.

What is a Loop System?

The loop system uses old technology to deliver pure, uncluttered sound directly to the hearing aid. A hearing loop system is a series of wire loops that are installed around the perimeter of the room. The wire is connected to an amplifier which is connected to the performers’ microphone. With the loop system, the hearing aid user only hears what is being run through the sound system which leads to a much better experience.

As more and more people develop hearing loss, the loop system is important as it allows those people, who would otherwise feel alienated, to fully participate in the conference and truly engage with the other attendees.

Volume Adjuster

How you can utilize the Loop System

If your conference caters mostly to older professionals, it would be a good idea to invest in a loop system as there will be people with hearing loss in your group.

Just because the loop system has been used in theaters doesn’t mean it can’t be used anywhere else. Hotels can loop their lobbies, Convention Centers can loop their conference rooms, you can even loop your own living room. To engage as many group attendees as possible, a loop system is an inclusive and easy accommodation that ensures an equitable and successful conference.

If looping an entire room is out of your budget, there are smaller loop systems that work for one-on-one conversations that are much more affordable. The problem is that their range is limited and only work when you talk face-to-face.

Ask your venue if they have a loop system. If they do not, make sure an advocate for one as you are making the experience better for attendees with hearing loss. 

Contact us for more information!

Author: Katerine Morton

An Oregonian at heart, Katerine Morton grew up in Lane County and attended Oregon State University, where she got her degree in Digital Communication Arts before returning to Eugene-Springfield. She loves running, trying out new restaurants and is passionate about dance.

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