News (Edmonton): Walterdale Theatre launches a new system for the hard of hearing

WALTERDALE_LOGO_RGBThe following is abridged from Walterdale Theatre’s blog post “Hear Ye Hear Ye! T-Coil Launches March 25!”. Click here to read the full post. Congratulations Walterdale Theatre on your innovative work to assist audience members with disabilities!

Walterdale Theatre becomes the first live theatre in Canada to install a T-Coil loop system for people with hearing disabilities.

The hard of hearing are the largest disability group in Canada. It is a hidden disability that has many causes and each hearing loss is unique to the individual. One out of ten Canadians has a hearing loss, including six out of 1000 children.  

Over the past few years, Walterdale Theatre began looking at ways to improve its theatre for people with disabilities. Technical Director Richard Hatfield contacted Shelly Thompson of the Advisory
Board for Services for People with Disabilities (ABSPD). She informed him of the serious lack of support for the hard of hearing. “Shelly directed me to the Edmonton branch of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, where I listened to the concerns and limitations that the hard of hearing have. As a hearing person I never thought about the difficulties and social stigma people who are hard of hearing face. I immediately wanted to do something and that’s when I looked into the different systems and approached the Walterdale Board to install the T-coil or telecoil loop.”

“Although there are other systems on the market, research proved that the T-coil system is far superior for our needs in the theatre” says Hatfield. The hearing loop is a wire that circles a room and is connected to a sound system. The loop transmits the sound electromagnetically. The electromagnetic signal is then picked up by the T-coil in the hearing aid or cochlear implant. To use a hearing loop, you simply flip on the T-coil switch on the hearing aid or cochlear implant. It’s just that easy; there is no need for expensive or bulky headsets.

Walterdale Theatre is proud to officially launch their new system for its opening of Edward Albee’s American classic Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf which runs April 8 to 18 at 7:30 pm on most nights. There will be a preview and demonstration of the T-coil system for all who are interested on Wednesday March 25th from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. For more information go to www.walterdaletheatre.com

If you would like more information on the T Coil hearing system, please go to the links below,

http://www.hearingloop.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_induction_loop

http://www.nchearingloss.org/telecoil.htm