Installed in 2012, the Calumet Theatre located in downtown Calumet became the first theatre in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to have a Hearing Loop installed. The hearing loop allows patrons with a hearing aid to directly connect the theatre’s audio using their telecoil (T-coil) equipped hearing aid.
The system was made possible by the Portage Health Audiology Department, which raised funds for the installation, then worked with the theatre and Hearing Loop Systems to install the loop and test it with hearing aids. “This technology is on almost every hearing aid we fit for our patients,” said Melissa Collard, audiologist at Portage Health. “This looping system is something that will completely change the experience people will have, and it’s something we’re hoping will be added to other area public places.”
The hearing loops are popular in many metropolitan areas in the United States, and are growing in popularity very quickly. “The hearing loop is to hearing challenged what elevators and ramps are to those in wheelchairs,” said Collard. “This is a sweeping change in not just theatres, but churches, schools, auditoriums and even businesses.”
The Portage Health Audiology Department is the Keweenaw’s leading provider of hearing services, including the U.P.’s only certified infant audiology center. The department offers comprehensive audiologic evaluations, auditory brainstem response testing, otoacoustic emission testing and services/fits a full array of assistive listening devices such as hearing aids. Visit portagehealth.org/audiology for more information about the Portage Health Audiology Department.