TEMPE, Ariz. — Thanks to a government grant given to the Tempe Public Library, hearing loops will be installed in some community spaces.
A hearing loop is a special type of sound system that sends a wireless signal picked up by a hearing aid when it's to a special setting and a microphone is in use.
The technology makes possible the nation’s first Toastmasters Club for the hard of hearing. Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills to its more than 350,000 members in clubs throughout the world.
One of the Audible Talkers Toastmasters Club club sponsors, Harry Wolfe, said he wanted to start the club because he was having trouble hearing the speakers in Park Central Toastmasters.
“It made me realize that there may be a need for a club for the hard of hearing,” he said. “In fact, what I thought when I had trouble hearing was how many millions of people cannot participate in many types of organizations because of hearing loss, not just Toastmasters, but all sorts of clubs that they can’t participate.”
The first Audible Talkers Toastmasters Club meeting will be at the Tempe Public Library on July 1. The organization will hold regular meetings at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at the library.
Special headsets that receive the hearing loop signals will be made available for people hard of hearing who do not wear hearing aids.