Cheri Perazzoli, left, of the Hearing Loss Association of Washington praises the Hearing Loop technology during an Aug. 3 tour of the Performing Arts and Event Center in Federal Way.

Federal Way’s first Hearing Loop serves hard-of-hearing patrons at new arts center

In a first for Federal Way, the Performing Arts and Event Center comes with Hearing Loop technology for patrons who live with hearing loss.

The system sends the voices of performers from their microphones directly into hearing aids or cochlear implants. Hearing Loops reduce background noise and send pure sound to devices that are equipped with telecoil hearing aid technology.

The Performing Arts and Event Center, 31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S., is the first such facility in Federal Way to offer this user-friendly technology. With the Hearing Loops, patrons can sit anywhere and tap into the system with a simple switch on their hearing devices.

“It’s a real empowerment to people who have hearing loss,” said Cheri Perazzoli of the Hearing Loss Association of Washington, during a recent tour of the arts center.

Perazzoli is also part of an organization called Let’s Loop Seattle, whose goal is to make Washington state the “most hearing-friendly place in America.” The organization has published a comprehensive guide to “looped” places in the state.

“It’s extremely difficult to find facilities that accommodate people with hearing loss,” she said, noting that Hearing Loops are more desirable than a sign language interpreter. “We work hard to get the message out about assisted listening technology.”

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