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July 03, 2007

Get announcements delivered directly to your hearing aids in airports

The airport can be a true nightmare for hearing impaired travelers. Noise and confusion makes it hard to pick up public loudspeaker announcements about arrivals and departures. But it does not have to be like that.

In England, airports and other crowded public areas are likely to feature 'hearing loop' or 'telecoil' technology.

People with recent model hearing aids can set their devices to 'T' in order to activate a small receiver in their devices. This will turn the hearing devices into small personal wireless speakers and result in all public announcements in the respective site being transmitted directly to the hearing aids.

If your hearing aids do not support this technology, you can often be temporarily issued a special head-set.

No airport assistance in the U.S.

No integrated PA system hearing loops are available at this time in U.S. airports. But the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has made the decision to become the first American airport to introduce this service. U.S. airports have been slow to consider the new technology, even though 28 million Americans are hearing impaired and hearing loops and telecoils could make life a lot easier for large numbers of people.

Source: Muskegon Chronicle: ”Upgrade will help hearing-impaired air travelers” and Saturday Evening Post: "Good news for people with hearing loss"

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