Let's Loop Silicon Valley

  • One in ten Americans has a significant hearing loss.
  • One out of three people over age 65 have some degree of hearing loss.
  • 14% of baby boomers have some type of hearing loss.
  • 15% of children between ages 6 - 19 have a measurable hearing loss in at least one ear.
  • A mild hearing loss can cause a child to miss as much as 50% of classroom discussion.

HEARING LOSS IS AN INVISIBLE DISABILITY: Hearing aids help but do not provide perfect hearing as glasses provide clear vision for people with poor eyesight. At a meeting, classroom or worship service where a loudspeaker is used, hard of hearing people hear the broadcast sound, but only after it has traveled some distance from a loudspeaker, reverberated off walls and gotten mixed with other room noise. For the hard of hearing person the spoken word via a loudspeaker is not much more than unintelligible noise. The problem can be alleviated simply and inexpensively by use of an Induction Loop, (also called Loop, Audio Loop, Magnetic Loop, or Hearing Loop).

LOOPING DEFINED: Inductive Looping is an Assistive Listening system consisting of a thin electrical wire looped around the listening area, a special amplifier and microphones. Speech signals are amplified and circulated through the loop wire. The resulting magnetic energy field is detected and amplified by the tele-coil, common to most hearing aids today. Speech recognition is enhanced as though the speaker is talking directly into the listener's ears. The listener receives a clear, clean understandable sound.

HISTORY OF THE LOOPING INITIATIVE: Professor David G.Myers, PhD, inspired the looping initiative in the United States. He began the looping initiative in Holland, Michigan, naming it, "Let's Loop Holland, MI." That was followed by "Let's Loop Michigan" and ultimately "Let's Loop America."

Envisioning a model city of looped public buildings such as theaters, houses of worship and senior centers, the Adult Loss of Hearing Association (ALOHA) in Tucson followed suit with "Let's Loop Tucson." The looping initiative spread to Albuquerque, New York and elsewhere around the country. Positive results of the "Let's Loop Silicon Valley" initiative are emerging with plans for looping First Methodist Church, Kirk Center and more locations.

VISION: A community where every room, auditorium or gathering place that requires use of a microphone and loud speakers is equipped with an inductive loop. The lives of all 170,000 hard of hearing residents of Silicon Valley are enriched because they also can understand the spoken word almost as well as their hearing friends and loved ones.

See www.hearingloop.org for additional information.