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February 22, 2012

New Hearing Loop System Enhances Edman Chapel

A new hearing loop system recently installed in Edman Memorial Chapel at Wheaton College is enhancing the venue’s accessibility to members of the community with hearing impairments.

Hearing loop systems transmit sound through a line of electromagnetic wire installed around the venue. The transmission is received through a coil in hearing aids and cochlear implants. The activated coil receives the sound being transmitted from a microphone, without background noise.

J.R. Smith, Director of Academic and Media Technology at Wheaton, says the hearing loop system is an improvement over the FM receiver assistive listening system also installed at Edman.

“This system enables those with hearing aids and cochlear implants to hear services and performances more clearly,” Smith says. “Listeners can switch their assistive devices to the ‘T,’ ‘T-Coil,’ or ‘telephone’ position to take advantage of it. For those who do not have T-Coils, we offer self-contained assistive listening devices at Edman to help them enjoy events at the chapel.”

Dr. Tony Payne, General Manager of the Wheaton College Artist Series, says he has received positive feedback from patrons who have used the new system at recent Artist Series events on campus. “I’ve already been approached by patrons who are taking advantage of this resource and enjoying it,” he says. “This enhancement makes Edman Chapel a more usable, more welcoming space.”

Audiometrist Scott Lightbody of Hearing Specialists of DuPage provided labor for the installation of the hearing loop, and can assist users who wish to install or optimize T-Coils in their hearing aids or cochlear implants. Hearing Specialists of DuPage is located at Town Square in Wheaton.