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Hearing loop system installed at St. James Church in Madison
Written by Jane Lepeska Grinde, Catholic Herald Correspondent   
Thursday, Sep. 19, 2019 -- 12:00 AM
hearing at st james
Bruce Best, left, Good Shepherd parishioner, spearheaded the effort to get a hearing loop system installed at St. James Church in Madison. His hearing aid works with the system, while Michael Schultz (next to Best) without a hearing aid uses a receiver with the system. The loop is visible on the floor inside the pew. (Jane Lepeska Grinde photo)

MADISON -- Thanks to a grant from the Apostolate for Persons with Disabilities of the Diocese of Madison, Good Shepherd Parish was able to have a hearing loop installed at its St. James Church this summer.

Located near Regent and Mills Sts., St. James is one of the oldest churches in Madison.

Taking the initiative to get funding for the project, parishioner Bruce Best said he did it for a selfish reason, “I could only hear about 25 percent of what was said at Mass.”

His audiologist, Veronica Heide, gave Best the idea for pursuing the system.

How it works

At a recent meeting at the church, parishioners heard from Mike Mair, Platteville, owner of My Hearing Loop LLC, the company chosen to install the system. Mair, who has been in business 42 years, explained and demonstrated how the system works.

Hearing loop systems provide a magnetic wireless audio signal that is picked up by hearing aids set to the “T-coil” (short for telecoil) setting. Most hearing aids have this setting.

Special wires have been installed in the floor at St. James Church, which comprises the hearing loop that broadcasts audio signals from microphones directly to hearing aids or cochlear implants.

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