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Cuesta College to install hearing loop technology 

An example of a hearing loop installed at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Photo from hearingloops.org.

An example of a hearing loop installed at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Photo from hearingloop.org.

Will be first establishment in county to install the systems

This month, Cuesta College will become the first establishment in San Luis Obispo County to install hearing loop systems, an assistive listening technology for individuals with reduced ranges of hearing.

On the San Luis Obispo Campus, the technology is being installed in the Associated Student Center (room 5401) and in the Cultural and Performing Arts Center (CPAC). The hearing loops consist of physical loops of cable that generate a magnetic field throughout the looped space which can be picked up by a hearing aid, cochlear implant processors and specialized hand-held loop receivers.

“While loops have been around for years, most people are unaware of the substantial benefits that can be afforded to students, faculty, staff and campus visitors,” said Stephen Roldan, Cuesta College’s director of Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS). “Installing hearing loop technology represents the commitment Cuesta College has to providing accommodations and support to people of all disabilities.”

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 10 percent of all Americans have some form of hearing loss that is disabling. Among returning veterans, it is the third most prevalent disability acquired in war zones. Cuesta College serves approximately 24 students annually who identify as deaf or hard of hearing.

“The deaf and hard of hearing communities will be thrilled to know we’re installing this accommodation on campus,” said Roldan, who is himself deaf. “We want to set the pace for SLO County and by showcasing this technology, others, including government agencies and private businesses, can become more aware of the benefits of disability access.”

DSPS is funding the technology and installation which will essentially transfer microphone sound directly to a hearing aid or cochlear implant.

“The beauty of this system is it’s not as visible as bulky FM headsets, or the captioned glasses,” said Roldan. “One just needs to push a button on their hearing aid and presto – streamlined pure sound with no background noise. I’ve tried it already and it’s pretty great.”

DSPS promotes the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of their postsecondary education. For more information on the program and the hearing loop technology,  call (805) 546-3148 or email at dspsinfo@cuesta.edu.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the A-Town Daily News wrote and edited this article from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@accesspublishing.com.

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