While raising children, Denise Meagher, a returning area native, became a published freelance writer, voice over talent and enthusiastic community theatre participant. She loves reading, writing, traveling, time with friends and most of her family and empty-nesting with husband, Ted.
Imagine you've a black piece of paper with large, bold white letters on it. You read the words and all is understood.
Now, imagine that same piece of paper with the same words on it, only this time a toddler has been let loose with a handful of crayons and has scribbled through the writing and you've just spilt your coffee on it leaving a bunch of splotches to mingle with the crayon. Can you read and understand the message now? Other than a few letters, likely not; visually, that's what it's like for those in large spaces or rooms who are hearing impaired.
If you or someone you know is having trouble hearing but are too embarrassed to talk about it; and have cut out enjoyable activities because of it, you're not alone.
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, 36 million people, approximately 17 percent of adults in the U.S., have a hearing loss. Sixty percent of people with hearing loss are between the ages of 21 and 65. This is not an "old person's" problem. Closer to home, there are 7,000 people within the city of Waukesha, and 38,000 in Waukesha County who are hearing impaired. Two thirds of these people are under the age of 65.
Personally speaking, hearing impairment has beset my mom. Being an outgoing person, this is difficult for her, especially in large settings like a church or a theatre. She avoids going to places where she'll be frustrated and only hear smatterings of what's being said. It's like that piece of paper I described above. Many, like my mom suffer this frustration, and who could blame them? But take heart, that won't happen now when attending a Waukesha Civic Theatre Production.
WCT is excited to announce its installation of a Loop System inside the Mainstage theatre to enhance the experience for patrons with hearing loss. This is one of the first systems being utilized in a public venue in our area!
A Loop System works by using a telecoil in a hearing aid that transmits sounds directly to the ear. Most hearing aids have a telecoil that can be activated by an audiologist. Users will better understand what they're hearing in larger spaces without the background noise or room echo. And if your hearing aid is not compatible, we've also special Loop System Receiver/Headphone Sets available.
This wonderful system was made possible primarily by local audiologist Dr. Meredy Hase, owner of Hearing Services Limited; with service support from Scott and Kim Leonard of Professional Audio Design, Wauwatosa; Larry Waters of Waters Color and Design Carpet Outlet, Waukesha; Richard McKinley of Contacta, Holland, MI; and Tami Klink of Strategic Business Solutions, Wales. WCT is grateful for their generosity and partnership!
If you or someone you know has been avoiding a night out at the theatre, we hope you will rejoin us for a Pix Fix at the Waukesha Civic Theatre; now that you can hear what we hear - the dialogue, punch lines, lyrics and music.