Dr. Greg Nelson, a veterinarian at Boulevard Animal Clinic in Forest Hills, recently received a portable countertop hearing loop on May 9, donated by Dr. Carol Letzter, director and owner of Harmony Hearing & Speech Center, located in Howard Beach. Letzter donated the hearing loop to the animal clinic as part of her participation in the Help Loop America Campaign.
Hearing loops provide a magnetic field in which an audio signal can be picked up by an individual’s hearing aid that contains a T-coil, or telecoil. Even when a person with a hearing loss is using a hearing device such as a hearing aid, the user may still encounter difficulty hearing in noisy environments or where the acoustics are poor, resulting in echoes and reverberation that make speech hard to understand. A hearing loop eliminates all background noise, allowing the person wearing a hearing device such as a hearing aid or cochlear implant to receive a signal that is clear and discrete.
Hearing loops may be portable, such as the one now being used at the animal clinic, or permanent, where an entire room is looped.
Boulevard Animal Clinic is the first veterinary practice in New York to offer individuals who have difficulty hearing a portable, wireless countertop hearing loop.
“It is very important for my clients’ owners to hear important health information about their pets and the hearing loop will ensure that they are hearing information that pertains to their pet’s care,” said Nelson, who is the doctor for Letzter’s cat Tori, the official mascot of Harmony.
“A hearing loop is the only assistive listening device which provides clear transmission of the speaker’s voice directly into the user’s hearing aid or cochlear implant, as long as the device has a T-coil,” Letzter explained. “A T-coil can be installed in a hearing aid very inexpensively or at no charge at all. It is the only simple component that provides universal advantages to any hearing aid regardless of the manufacturer.”
Letzter has donated similar loops to other businesses and institutions, including Cross Bay Diner and Cross Bay Chemists in Howard Beach and St. Helen Church.