Let's go to the movies and enjoy the sound! I recently sat down with Jeff Logan of Logan Luxury Theatres in Mitchell, Huron, and Dell Rapids to discuss individuals who would enjoy going to the movies but due to the acoustics, both for hearing and hearing impaired, don't benefit from this entertainment experience. Logan and I reviewed not only the assistance one may take advantage of at the movies but also church, restaurants and schools. We are fortunate in the cities of Mitchell, Huron, and Dell Rapids because Logan cares about his patrons having the best experience at the movies. He has purchased closed caption devices that set in the cup holders for individuals who prefer to read due to speech understanding or comprehension difficulties.
He also has new amplification headphones. The devices have a sound reduction effect, that limits the background noise thus amplifying speech. It also has a fabulous aspect for the visually impaired as it can be programmed to tell what is happening (i.e. Joan enter the room and looks at the letter.) The movies are just one area that assistive listening devices are and can be utilized. One of the areas whit the greatest difficulty hearing is while attending worship services. Many churches have installed amplification systems to assist hearing impaired parishioners in hearing the sermons, teachings, or homilies. And some restaurants have remodeled their space to improve acoustics and make a more enjoyable dining experience.
The hearing aid manufactures have also created new hearing aids that are connected to your phone. most are available for the iPhone or iPad, but few are streamable with Android. Manufacturers have also developed devices beyond the hearing aids to assist with various aspects of a better listening environments. The schools provide a FM system - or loop system - for students with hearing impairments. These work with the wearer's hearing aids or cochlear implant as the signal is transmitted directly from the educator to the hearing device. They may be a neck loop, body worn or at ear level.
The most important part is the student is receiving the best learning environment in spite of their hearing impairment. People with hearing loss struggle with understanding speech, even though the hearing aids are working overtime to pick up signals. Give your hearing aids a reprieve and reduce your listening fatigue by considering utilizing the facility's system, such as those used at Logan Luxury Theatres, churches, or schools. Don't be afraid to ask for assistance and let's enjoy going to the movies, places of worship, and school.
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Patricia Larson Shields, AuD FAAA MA CCC-SP/L is a doctor of audiology with her degree from The School of Audiology of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in February, 2003. She has been in business in Mitchell, SD since September, 1991.