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Letters to the editor: UWO convention center should consider hearing loop

6:44 PM, Sep. 6, 2013  |  Comments

Congratulations on UWO Foundation and its President Art Ratjen's vision for the new Alumni Welcome and Conference Center. This facility looks poised to become one of Oshkosh' premier conference centers and a welcome development on the River Walk in the ci

Might they want to make this new facility optimally accessible to the growing number of the attendees with hearing loss? Happily, the construction phase-before carpet is laid-is the perfect and most affordable time for them to install a hearing loop in the Great Hall that communicates sound directly to hearing aids and cochlear implants (with no need for patrons to take the initiative to seek out and wear special equipment, which few will do).

As the Hearing Loss Association of America's hearing loop advocate, and on sabbatical from my private practice, I travel around the country to raise awareness about loops. I proudly tell consumers and hearing care professionals how this technology quickly gained a foothold in the Fox Valley, where now well over a hundred venues offer the technology: From the Oshkosh Convention Center, Grand Opera House, most large area houses of worship, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, meeting rooms at retirement communities, UWO new Sage building and even a funeral home (Seefeld on Oregon Street). In the state the number of loops is approaching 250 and growing fast.

UWO and Art Ratjen can be fairly well assured that, a few years from now, they will be very glad to have installed a state of the art hearing loop system, that, although more costly to install up front, will save the money in the long run center on the number of portable receiver/headset and neck loop units they would need to purchase, maintain with batteries, and replace. The goodwill? Priceless.

On behalf of Americans with hearing loss, this comes with my thanks for their consideration,

Dr. Juliette Sterkens

Oshkosh

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