Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fox Cities P.A.C. Receives National HLAA Award

Community Feedback, Involvement raises Awareness
for Hearing Loop Technology

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is the proud recipient of the national “Get in the Hearing Loop Award 2013.” The honor was awarded to the Center by the Hearing Loss Association of America at the national HLAA Annual Convention on June 30 in Portland, Ore. The Fox Cities P.A.C.’s proven dedication to providing equipment and services to help patrons with hearing loss and other disabilities made the Center an excellent candidate for the award, according to the HLAA.

“This group is way ahead of the curve in caring and doing something about it,” said Julie Olson, HLAA Fox Valley Chapter founder who nominated the Center for the award. “Congratulations to the Fox Cities P.A.C. on receiving the award. It’s well deserved.”


The Center, built in 2002, has remained committed to serving patrons with hearing loss. In the late 1990s, a group of visionaries and donors formed a committee of people with disabilities to advise the Fox Cities P.A.C. Through the passionate work of  the Center’s Accessibility Committee, community outreach and partnering with the HLAA Fox Valley Chapter, hearing loop technology was installed in the ticket office area and Kimberly-Clark Theater. The next step of the dream came prior to the opening of the 10th Anniversary season when the technology also was added to Thrivent Financial Hall, the theater’s main performance space. This major enhancement improved the Fox Cities P.A.C.’s front of house live theater experience for people with hearing loss. 

A hearing loop is a wire that encircles a room or space that is connected to a sound system and transmits sound electromagnetically. The signal is picked up by a t-coil upon flipping the t-switch in a hearing aid or cochlear implant which in turn allows a person with a hearing impairment to easily adjust their hearing device and enjoy a performance without distortion. 


About 48 million adults, or 20 percent of the population, report some degree of hearing loss, according to John Hopkins Medicine. This includes a majority who are in age groups that are still in the workforce or in educational settings. It also is estimated that 30 children per 1,000 have hearing loss.

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