Council meetings are now more accessible to individuals with hearing loss.
The District of Lake Country is pleased to announce the installation of the Auris Loop assistive listening system in the Municipal Hall Council Chambers.
“Lake Country has been making large strides towards being a more accessible, inclusive community and eliminating barriers to participation in events and activities,” said Mayor James Baker when the Auris Loop system was installed in the Creekside Theatre in 2016.
“It’s important to make public facilities more accessible to people with hearing loss,” said Greg Buchholz, Director of Infrastructure Services for Lake Country.
“Individuals of all ages that use hearing aids will now be able to enjoy listening to the lively discussion and debate at Council meetings.”
In most public venues where public address systems are used, hard of hearing individuals 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. Induction loop systems take sound straight from the source and deliver it right to the listener — without extraneous noise or blurring of the sound due to the distance from the sound source.
Councillor Owen Dickie was on hand to test the Auris Loop system as soon as it was installed Monday and said “adjusting the setting to take the sound from the microphone system directly to my hearing aids means that I will hear the discussion more clearly and with less distraction than the other Councillors around the table. I guess there are some benefits to embracing using hearing aids.”
A hearing loop magnetically transfers the microphone sound signal to hearing aids and cochlear implants that have a tiny, inexpensive “telecoil” receiver. This transforms the instruments into in-the-ear loudspeakers that deliver sound customized for an individual’s own hearing loss.
In many settings, hearing aids are insufficient, because turning up their volume magnifies extraneous noise and reverberation as well as the desired “signal.” Assistive listening systems – like the Auris Loop system installed at the Lake Country Municipal Hall and Creekside Theatre – clarify sound by eliminating the negative effects of distance, noise, and reverberation.