UUSC congregants can now clearly "hear the word"
Despite wearing hearing aids, several congregants at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland (UUSC) labored to understand messages from the pulpit. Those hearing-impaired listeners can now experience new clarity due to the installation of an induction-hearing loop in the church sanctuary, said Rev. Joseph M. Cherry, UUSC minister.
Commenting on the new technology, currently available in only a few places in Greater Cleveland, Cherry said, “We’re a community that prides itself on welcoming diversity, including persons who are physically challenged in one way or another. The new hearing loop helps us live this mission."
The hearing loop system consists of a copper wire, inconspicuously installed around a space, which emits electromagnetic signals picked up by a tiny receiver--the T-coil. T-coils are used in most modern personal hearing aids. With this receiver in the "on" position, listeners are connected directly to the pulpit microphone, thus eliminating interfering background noises.
Cherry noted that hearing loop technology is decades-old in Europe, where it is available in airports, hotels, theaters, banks and taxicabs. Today, about 70 percent of U.S. hearing aids can receive loop signals. A recent push by the American Academy of Audiology and Hearing Loss Association of America is promoting wider use, he added.
Brown Audio Service, of Tallmadge, installed UUSC's loop. Brown’s first installation was at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Akron, in 2013. Since then, it has installed dozens more throughout Ohio.
The Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland is located at 2728 Lancashire Road, Cleveland Heights. Visit UUSC's website at www.uucleveland.org.
Walter Nicholes, resident of Cleveland Heights for more than 50 years, now resides in Shaker Heights. He continues to appreciate the diversity of the Heights.