Spreading Love for Hearing Loops
Our most recent feature story ("In the Loop," by Rob Senior) profiles Ed Ogiba, the president of the Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota, and his effort to create an expansive network of hearing loops in public places.
In reading this article, I was fascinated by Mr. Ogiba's passion for the cause and how uniquely positioned he is, as the owner of a marketing firm and having experienced sudden hearing loss, to push for community buy-in. Because of his work, Sarasota is now home to a groundbreaking initiative, "Let's Loop SRQ," which aims to make the city one of the most hearing-friendly in the country.
At the end of the story, Ogiba makes a valid point regarding the potential return on an investment in hearing loop technology. "Hearing loops have the power to transform those with hearing loss into more active consumers and community-minded citizens," he says. "We can become the highly visible business-building force that most organizations are searching for in our down economy."
When you consider that 16.1 percent of Sarasota's population has some degree of diagnosed hearing loss -- that's 110,000 people -- it's hard to argue with his point. And when you consider that the rate of hearing loss is increasing across the country, it's possible that a broader installation of hearing loops could have a positive impact not only on the lives of people with hearing loss but on the economy at-large.
What are your thoughts on this timely issue? Are you aware of any initiatives like Get In the Hearing Loop? Please let us know!