FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 23, 2012
Director of Events and Marketing
Bethesda, MD: The Hearing Loss Association of America® is delighted to introduce 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.
In her role as hearing loop advocate, Dr. Sterkens will collaborate with HLAA volunteers in the United States to further the organization's mission and increase awareness about hearing loss, and the need for an increase in the use of hearing loops to improve hearing accessibility. She will offer her public speaking and advocacy skills to help HLAA Chapters start hearing loop initiatives of their own. Dr. Sterkens was officially introduced to HLAA's membership at the Opening Session of Convention 2012 during the keynote address by David Myers, Ph.D.
“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.
About Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
HLAA opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, support, and advocacy. HLAA’s Walk4Hearing is the largest walk of its kind in the country that raises awareness and helps to eradicate the stigma associated with hearing loss. Walks are held in multiple cities across the country. Since 2006, over 26,000 walkers have stepped up and helped raise funds for programs and services for people with hearing loss and their families. In addition to the Walk4Hearing, HLAA publishes Hearing Loss Magazine, holds annual Conventions (Convention 2013, Portland, Oregon, June 27 – 30), and 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.