Yoga for Those with Hearing Loss & How to Get a Hearing Loop In Your Neighborhood!
How One Yoga Studio Transformed Its Practice
Yasa Yoga, a studio based in California, transformed its practice in more way than one when it was remodeled. Thomas Kaufmann, owner of OTOjOY, was a yoga enthusiast who regularly attended yoga classes – and convinced Yasa Yoga’s owners to install a hearing loop during their renovation.
“It’s difficult even for people without hearing loss to hear in yoga studios,” says Mr. Kaufmann. “From a physics standpoint, it’s a great resonance room with all the bouncing sound, but it leads to unintelligibility. Nobody in the class hears the amplified sound from the hearing loop except those already tapped into it through their hearing devices.”
As of July 2016, Yasa Yoga is the only yoga studio on the West Coast with a hearing loop for its hard of hearing customers. But if you’re a hard of hearing yoga enthusiast who’s wondering how to get the same service in your studio, read on.
What is a Hearing Loop?
A hearing loop is a technology in which a copper wire is installed into the perimeter of a room. Through electromagnetic conduction, the sound from the yoga instructor’s microphone is amplified and transmitted via magnetic waves to hearing aid that offer a telecoil function.
Mr. Kaufmann’s company, OTOjOY, is one of many hearing loop companies in the US that provides a technology that is fairly new to Americans. Hearing loops are an assistive listening system that is popular globally, from Europe to Australia.
Around the world, public venues from houses of worship to lecture halls to concert venues to public transportation systems offer this assistive listening option. Unlike other assistive listening devices, which require an extra component that the hard of hearing person must wear, telecoils and hearing loops require only a simple switch of a hearing aid function.
The hearing loop is constantly conducting amplified sound, and hard of hearing people simply need to turn on their telecoil function to be looped in. This provides a clear and direct channel of sound, without interference.
How Do I Get a Hearing Loop in My Area?
Whether it’s an artist’s lecture or a yoga instructor’s guidance, the use of a hearing loop provides those with hearing loss a great level of convenience and ease.
By decree of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, public and private places open to the general public are required to provide accessibility options for Americans with disabilities. This ground-breaking civil rights legislation is the reason businesses, public transportation, schools, and public spaces have features such as ramps and hearing amplification with portable assistive listening devices.
If you are a frequent client or customer at your local businesses, and you experience hearing loss, consider discussing hearing loops with the owners. There is a growing interest in hearing loop installations in the US. You may visit Let’s Loop America for more information on hearing loops in your area, and resources on how to encourage your local businesses to install a hearing loop system.
Hearing Aids and Active Lifestyles
For those with hearing loss, hearing aids provide amplified sound and accessibility, reconnecting people to the world around them.
At Atlanta Hearing Doctor, we offer top-of-the-line hearing aids that accommodate active lifestyles, from the fully waterproof Siemens Aquaris to the Signia Primax. Contact us for more information on hearing aids for active lifestyles and hearing loops.