New technology allows patrons to connect hearing aids directly to Theatre’s audio system
CALUMET – The Calumet Theatre
in downtown Calumet is the first theater in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to have a hearing loop
The hearing loop allows patrons with a telecoil (T-coil) equipped hearing aid to directly connect to the Theatre’s audio. The hearing loop project has been a year in the making and will be introduced to the community for the first time on June 9 for the Judy Collins
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have this technology available to our patrons,” said Laura Miller, executive director of the Calumet Theatre.
The system was made possible by the Portage Health Audiology Department
, which raised funds for the installation, then worked with the Calumet Theatre and Hearing Loop Systems
(of Holland, Mich.) to install the loop and test it with hearing aids.
“This technology is on most hearing aids we fit for our patients,” said Melissa Collard, audiologist at Portage Health. “This looping system is something that will completely change the experience people will have, and it’s something we’re hoping will be added to other area public places.”
The hearing loops are popular in many metropolitan areas in the United States, and are growing in popularity very quickly.
“The hearing loop is to hearing impaired what elevators and ramps are to those in wheelchairs,” said Collard. “This is a sweeping change in not just theaters, but churches, schools, auditoriums and even businesses around the nation.”**The Calumet Theatre opened in 1900 in the midst of the Keweenaw Peninsula’s copper boom. At the time, more than 30,000 people lived within walking distance of the theater. Now, the 501( c)3 organization annually hosts 60-70 events with total attendance nearly 20,000. Nearly all of the performing arts disciplines are represented, including symphony, diverse musical genres, opera, theatre, dance, and community events, as well as public meetings and guided tours. The Calumet Theatre is a National Historic Landmark and a Heritage Site of the Keweenaw National Historical Park. Visit calumettheatre.com for more information about the theatre.
**The Portage Health Audiology Department is the Keweenaw’s leading provider of comprehensive audiological services, including the U.P.’s only certified infant audiology center. The department offers comprehensive audiologic evaluations, auditory brainstem response testing, otoacoustic emission testing and services/fits a full array of assistive listening devices such as hearing aids. Visit portagehealth.org/audiology for more information about the Portage Health Audiology Department.