FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 20, 2012
Director of Marketing
Hearing Loss Association of America
301.657.2248 Ext. 106
Chair, NYC Loop Committee
Bethesda, MD: The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) applauds Amtrak’s commitment to travelers with hearing loss evidenced by the installation of hearing loops in New York City’s Penn Station at two ticket windows, the information booth and the customer service desk. The NYC Loop Committee of HLAA’s Manhattan Chapter, which advocates for and works to coordinate the installation of hearing loops in cultural institutions and public and private places, was instrumental in the effort to provide loops in Penn Station. New York’s Penn Station is the first Amtrak station to utilize this technology.
Passengers with hearing loss using telecoil-equipped hearing aids or cochlear implants will be able to hear Amtrak personnel by accessing sound transmitted electromagnetically by the hearing loop - a wire that circles the area and is connected to a sound system. The telecoil functions as a wireless antenna that links to the sound system and delivers customized sound to the listener while eliminating background noise. No receivers are required.
“This was a collaborative effort by many organizations, demonstrating how important it is for the 36 million Americans with hearing loss to have access to hearing assistive technology when traveling,” said Ellen Semel, chair of the HLAA Manhattan Chapter’s NYC Loop Committee.
The committee worked with the national office of HLAA, New York City and New York State, Alexander Graham Bell Association, Center for Hearing and Communication, Children’s Hearing Institute, Hearing Access Program, Helen Keller National Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, Mill Neck Family of Organizations, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center and NYU Langone Medical Center,.
Ted Finkelstein of the NYC Human Rights Commission provided invaluable assistance for the project to loop Penn Station. Contacta, Inc., the U.S. distributor of Univox, designed and installed the systems.
For more information about hearing loops, visit HLAA's Loop Technology page.
About Hearing Loss Association of America
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), founded in 1979, opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy and support. HLAA publishes the bimonthly Hearing Loss Magazine, holds annual conventions (Convention 2013 is in Portland, Oregon, June 27 -30), produces the Walk4Hearing, and more. HLAA has an extensive network of chapters and state organizations. The headquarters is located at 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200, Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone: 301.657.2248