Aug. 8, 2007

Public loudspeaker announcements at airports can be difficult for hearing impaired travelers to understand against the levels of intense background noise often found in these locations. In England, airports and other noisy public areas are taking steps to overcome the inconvenience by using ’hearing loop’ or ’telecoil’ technology.

Recent model hearing aids have a ’T’ setting, a feature that allows users to activate a small receiver in the devices and permits them to function as wireless speakers that accept public announcements. Information about departures and arrivals made at the site can be transmitted directly into the hearing aids using the ‘T’ setting.

For hearing aid users whose devices lack this technology, a special head-set may be issued.

No integrated PA system hearing loops are available at this time in US airports, but the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has made plans to become the first American airport to introduce this service.

Source: hear-it.org

Original Source: Muskegon Chronicle: ”Upgrade will help hearing-impaired air travelers” and Saturday Evening Post: "Good news for people with hearing loss"