Redbook: How To Fight For The Cause You Believe In

Janice was furious when listening equipment at public places didn’t work as it was supposed to. At plays, for example, the equipment only pumped in instruments or vocals, not both, and video exhibits at museums didn’t provide captions. “It was heart- wrenching to see Arielle’s disappointment because she couldn’t enjoy the experience,” Janice remem- bers. “I thought, This makes no sense! There are 36 million people in this country with hearing loss. Why aren’t there better programs available?”
An idea for a solution hit Janice during a vaca- tion in London back in 2003. That city was equipped for the deaf and hard of hearing in ways she’d never dreamed of. “We saw symbols of ears in taxis, museums, and pharmacies, meaning the locations contained induction loops,” Janice says. The loops transmit sound magnetically to hearing aids with telecoils, making hearing easier. By simply switching to the “T-setting” on her hearing aid, “Arielle could hear the taxi driver, the museum displays—everything! I couldn’t believe we didn’t have this in the United States, especially once I learned that the loops could be installed cheaply and easily,” Janice says.
So she founded the Hearing Access Program and started pushing for change. Now, eight years later, Janice’s program has helped develop hearing programs in dozens of locations, from Yankee Sta- dium and the Pentagon to national parks around the country. “Whenever I see people using the technology, it gives me chills,” Janice says. “I tell Arielle that there is nothing holding her back, and because she’s seen all that I’ve been able to ac- complish, I know she believes it.”

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