Portable Hearing Loops at Covid vaccination site

An HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America) member reports on a very welcome initiative. Cherie wrote, ‘Finally, a looped vaccination site! The City of Seattle has portable hearing loops at the Lumen Field mass vaccination center. The hearing loop and a trained staff member meet you at each entry point, then accompany you throughout.’

This prompted a response from another person, saying that getting vaccines was an extremely isolating experience. Without help, she would not have known where to wait, when or where to move, etc. There was a continuous background sound that blocked out the voices of the people giving directions. People with hearing loss and without help, were in considerable difficulty and were liable to delay what was supposed to be a quick process.

There was also a follow-up question whether a portable loop would work at the prescribed US social distance of 6 feet. The answer, of course, is that some portable loops would work for some hearing aid users at that distance, but it is an extreme range. To safely reduce the distance, the guide could hold the portable loop at arm’s length.