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Loop Technology: 2nd Annual Conference June 18-20

The Hearing Loss Association of America will host the 2nd International Hearing Loop Conference on June 18 - 20, 2011 (Saturday – Monday) at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in the Washington, D.C. metro area. 

Loop TechnologyThe conference is designed for anyone interested in technology that provides accessibility for people with hearing loss and sound systems: consumers, audiologists, hearing instrument specialists, sound engineers, architects, audio/visual designers and installers, facilities covered by disability access laws, disability access coordinators, teachers, and government agencies – state and federal. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that public facilities and state and local governments make their programs and services accessible to people with hearing loss. One way to do that is to install hearing assistive technology such as FM, infrared and audio loop systems. 

Audio loops, or hearing loops, as they are popularly called, are a seamless, unobtrusive and cost effective way for people with hearing aids and cochlear implants to hear in large assembly areas and areas where the acoustics are poor. Even people without hearing aids can use hearing loops when provided with a receiver. 

Though we recognize the value of all types of hearing assistive technology, the main focus of the conference is hearing loop technology. The International Hearing Loop Conference resolution adopted in Winterthur in September 2009 recommends hearing assistive technology that “broadcasts sound directly to hearing aids and cochlear implants, enabling them to serve as customized, wireless loudspeakers without the need for extra equipment.” This is possible today through the connection of telecoils and hearing loops. 

Attendees will learn about hearing loop technology, basic, complex and creative installation techniques, hearing loop technology from a user perspective, integration of loop technology with FM and infrared systems and the status of hearing loop installations in the United States and in other countries. 

The Preliminary Program Outline is as follows:

Saturday, June 18th:

  • RegistrationHLAA Convention Exhibit Hall Open 
  • Evening Banquet with entertainment

Sunday, June 19th:

  • Complimentary breakfast and lunch with speakers 
  • Workshops all day; exhibits 
  • Networking and coffee breaks in the atrium 
  • Complimentary evening dinner cruise on the Spirit of Washington on the beautiful Potomac River; business casual to dressy attire is recommended for this event (no jeans or sneakers permitted).

Monday June 20th:

  • Complimentary breakfast 
  • Workshops; wrap–up session 
  • Check-out

Topics under Consideration include: 
Hearing assistive technology overview; telecoils and hearing loops: what’s all the fuss about?; the mighty telecoil – what it is and how it turns a hearing aid or cochlear implant into a wireless receiver; hearing aid compatible telephones; laws covering assistive technology in the United States; state-of-the art of looping technology - industry panel; looping installations - simple and complex in the United States, Europe and other countries; importance of installation standard and certification; verification – experience of countries that practice it; public facilities with hearing loop installations and their experience; audiologists and other hearing professionals speak about their experiences with telecoils and hearing loops; consumers talk about how and why they use telecoils and hearing loops; how to advocate for hearing loops to be installed in facilities in the community. 

Conference Accessibility includes: Hearing loops and CART with sign language interpreters available on advance request. The conference language is English. 

The 2nd International Hearing Loop Conference overlaps with the HLAA Annual Convention that runs June 16-19, 2011. There will be discounted registrations for attendees and exhibitors who attend both events that are located in the same facility. 

The 2nd International Loop Conference sponsored by the Richard and Helen DeVos Family Foundation and the David and Carol Myers Family Foundation. 

For more information including updates as they become available, please visit www.hlaa.org.

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