A Reflection on 2013

by Cory Schaeffer

Happy New Year! I can’t believe that another year has already come and gone and for many the start of a new year is the perfect time to take stock and be grateful. I am grateful and honored for the opportunity to work with some of the best people in our industry. My business partner and friend, Russ Gentner, posted a year end blog that reflects on 2013 and some of his favorite highlights. I think it’s worth a read.

It expresses many of the same experiences that stood out for me in 2013. I was especially moved by an experience at our national sales meeting last April. We invited several members of the local chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America to attend our Hearing Loop session presented by Dr. Juliëtte Sterkens.

We laid a temporary Hearing Loop in a portion of the ballroom to demonstrate the system for training purposes, as well as for use by the HLAA attendees. Juliëtte’s presentation was certainly informative, but what had was so impactful was the emotional response by our HLAA guests; Chelle, Robin, Kathy, Mike and Marilyn.

This was the first experience many of them had with Hearing Loop technology in a real use application. It was quite profound, because they were able to listen to a two hour presentation and actually hear and absorb all that was said by Juliëtte, as well as the Q&A portion without having to sit in the front of the room to use techniques, like lip reading or CART. They were so excited to share their experiences with us. Not only was I moved, but I saw veteran AV Reps have their own “aha moment” as to why we are so passionate about our business.

As I look forward to 2014, I believe it is up to each of us to continue to enable advocacy for the difference that Assistive Listening technologies can make to people who have hearing loss. It is also important to be aware of the requirements for Assistive Listening that were changed in 2010 and are mandated by the ADA.  I hope you’ll join me in doing your part to ensure that people with hearing loss enjoy full enriching experiences in venues all over the world.