Come meet Juliëtte Sterkens, Au.D., the new HLAA hearing loop advocate. Dr. Sterkens is an audiologist in private practice and has led a successful hearing loop initiative in her community of Oshkosh and the Greater Fox Valley area of Wisconsin, which has resulted in nearly 200 hearing loop installations in the state. Saturday, May 18, 2013, 1:30 – 4:00 pm Northborough Public Library.
Do you know of venues that need to be looped? Need to educate architects or others about the benefits of loop systems? As you can see below, Dr. Juliette Sterkens, an audiologist from Wisconsin, is available to come speak to your group at no cost to you. Dr. Sterkens is a volunteer; a grant covers the cost of her travel. Resource packets about loops are available also at no charge.
“Hearing loss affects more than volume alone and often people with hearing loss complain they can hear but cannot understand,” Dr. Sterkens explains. “Hearing loss requires the user to receive speech with an improved signal-to-noise ratio. Although hearing aid and cochlear implant technology has improved dramatically, the ear-worn microphones cannot entirely deliver what the user needs to understand speech with ease – something that has long frustrated me professionally.
“The good news is that a hearing loop can connect a user wirelessly to the sound system via the telecoil in a hearing aid or cochlear implant, much like Wi-Fi connects a computer to the Internet. Hearing loops can be installed in auditoriums, classrooms, pharmacy checkout counters, metro cars, places of worship, meeting rooms, TV rooms, museums, nursing homes, hospitals and businesses – wherever acoustics, noise and distance from the speaker make hearing difficult. Hearing loops are inconspicuous and effortless to use, and, best of all, deliver sound customized for each person.”
Brenda Battat, executive director of HLAA said, “We are delighted that Dr. Sterkens will devote her sabbatical year to working with HLAA volunteers to become effective advocates for hearing loops and to expanding the number of hearing-friendly places.” Dr. Sterkens will write a blog of her looping activities; a link to the blog can be found on the Loop Resources page.
Dr. Sterkens resides in Oshkosh, Wisconsin with her husband LeRoy Maxfield and her two children. She holds a doctorate in audiology from A.T. Still University – Arizona School of Health Sciences in Mesa, is a member of the HLAA-American Academy of Audiology “Get in the Hearing Loop” National Task Force, and has published as well as spoken publicly about hearing loop technology and hearing aid telecoil programming. She has received awards for her advocacy work on local, state and national levels.