Contributed by Emily Mandelbaum,
Hearing Loss Association, East Jefferson County Chapter
Universal symbol for hearing assistance
NOTE: Please read important information about various types of hearing assistance devices and their use below this list.
Headphones and neckloops for FM system. Equipment will be available at most performances.
Headphones and neckloops for FM system. Call the organization responsible for the event you want to attend—as far in advance as possible!
JEFFERSON HEALTHCARE HOSPITAL and CLINICS
Staff is trained to communicate with hard-of-hearing people but you should explain your hearing loss and ask for assistance. If you don’t understand something ask for a repetition or written note. Your health is at stake. Ask to have the hearing loss symbol attached to your records.
Wired (pocket talker) and wireless amplifiers used with headphones or neckloops; amplified phones; captioned TV’s and TTY.
Amplifiers work well for office visits, any one-on-one communication.
JEFFERSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Infra-Red wireless listening system:
Can be used with headsets or neckloops (available at the Courthouse). Your receiver must always face (“see”) the transmitter without obstructions. If not you will hear static, buzzing.
Speakers must speak into their microphones for this system to work.
Also recordings must be jacked into the sound system.
If you are a participant for any reason, contact the court in advance and work with court officials to be sure the system works well enough for you to hear.
Infra-Red wireless listening system:
Can be used with headsets or neckloops (both available at theater). The side of the receiver without on-off and volume controls must face the front of the theater without obstructions. Ask at the concession.
Some showings have open captions (makes understanding so easy and much less intrusive than TV closed captioning!). Check the newspapers. Or call the theater.
Recent news: There is a new ADA ruling requiring public theaters to provide closed movie captioning and audio description when showing a digital movie that is available with these features. The Justice Department’s press release:
KEY CITY THEATER
Wireless FM Receivers to be used with headsets or neckloop and hearing aid telecoil.
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
Headsets and receivers for FM system.
Infra-red system available in the Maritime Meeting Room only. Listeners use headsets or neckloops. Neckloops require functioning telecoils in hearing aids.
PORT TOWNSEND CHURCHES WITH ASSISTIVE LISTENING DEVICES
(Those who responded to our inquiry)
Earphones usually mean there is a wireless FM system bringing sound directly from the speaker to your ears.
Quimper Unitarian Fellowship————– Loop (just turn on your telecoils)
San Juan Baptist——————————- PA (public address) system only
St Mary Star of the Sea———————–Earphones
Christian Science——————————-PA only
Church of Christ Sheridan St—————-PA only
Lutheran Church of the Redeemer———Earphones
New Song Four Square———————–PA only
St Paul’s Episcopal—————————–PA only
If you do not understand well, ask your church to improve their system. This might mean adding something like an FM system. You can refer them to us as a resource. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require churches to accommodate you. However, most churches are eager to help.
About Various Types of Hearing Assistance Devices and Their Use
These devices are FREE although you may have to leave your driver’s license or a credit card until you return the equipment.
Equipment is usually a small, wearable box that picks up sound (called a receiver). It has an on-off switch and a dial to adjust the volume. It runs on batteries. You connect this box to your ears or hearing aids with either:
(1) Headsets( Earphones). These don’t work well with behind-the-ear aids. They may work with in-the-ear aids or they may cause feedback (squealing). If your hearing loss is not severe, you may want to use headsets without your hearing aids. You may also get a special cord from your audiologist/dispenser to connect it directly to the device.
(2) Neckloops which require a properly functioning telecoil in your hearing aids. Switch to the telecoil setting or program. You may have to move the eckloop around for the best sound.
Telecoils must be functional and set up to work with listening systems. Sometimes they’re disabled, sometimes they work only with telephones, sometimes they’re not strong enough or oriented properly. One’s audiologist or hearing aid dispenser must set these up.