In January, following a successful 18-month pilot program, New York’s taxi fleet will be authorized by the city to have induction loops installed. Loop systems, which transmit sound directly to telecoil-equipped hearing aids and to cochlear implants, are found in many public buildings and transportation systems in Europe, including in London’s taxis, where they have been mandatory since 1998. However, the New York pilot project, which involved 13 taxis, was the first in the United States.
The project was spearheaded by the Hearing Access Program and its dynamic founder and chair, Janice Schacter. Schacter, a former attorney, decided to dedicate herself to advocating for people who are deaf or hard of hearing after her daughter, Arielle, was discovered to have a hearing loss at age 2-1/2.