Our church obtained our hearing loop in the sanctuary from Les several years ago, and we obtained another loop in the chapel from him a couple of years later.  The process started when a member who was an otolaryngologist working on a committee with me suggested that we look into installing a hearing loop.  Many of our members are senior citizens with hearing difficulties.  Additionally, we thought the loop might attract more new members with hearing issues.  I sensed that my hearing was diminishing and that hearing aids might be beneficial for me in the near future in order to hear the sermon.  So, I agreed to look into hearing loops.  

I did a lot of looking on the Internet and contacted several installers with the assistance of our business administrator.  Les was clearly the most responsive.  He came to our facility to assess our needs, and he made a subsequent visit to test several loop configurations.  Our sanctuary is a square building ninety feet on each side.  Seating is arranged as an amphitheater, with a raised chancel and altar centered on one wall.  The floor is smooth concrete with carpet glued to the floor in the aisles and surrounding the chancel.  The concrete has expansion joints, and Les stated that the loop wire could be laid in the expansion joints and covered with self-leveling caulk.  The sanctuary is too large for a single rectangular loop, but Les found in his testing that a figure-8 loop would work fine.  That configuration required that wire be laid in expansion joints which cross under the glued carpet in several places, and Les told us that we would need to have carpet installers remove and re-lay the carpet (which is understandable).  Our carpet people could not guarantee that the existing carpet (which is several years old) would not be damaged in the removal process, and new carpet would cost about $10,000, including installation.  I am a decent handyman and like to tinker with mechanical things, so I gathered a few like-minded church folks together, and we devised a way to thread and pull the wire under the carpet without removing it.  So, with the support of Les in an advisory capacity (including several trips to check on our progress and answer questions), we laid the wire (12-gauge stranded) in the expansion joint groove.  Developing the technique and doing the work of laying the wire took us a couple of months, and we spent about $50 for supplies (including a 20-foot threaded rod to use as a tunneling drill bit).  When we were done, Les came out to caulk the expansion joints and complete the installation over a period of two days.  It has worked flawlessly ever since.

We have had for some time an FM system in our sanctuary which broadcasts sound to headsets worn by people with hearing difficulties.  That system often doesn't work for people with Cochlear implants, and doesn't work well for many people with conventional hearing aids.  A hearing loop broadcasts sound directly to a telecoil (t-coil) in implants and many hearing aids sold today.  The difference in the two systems is phenomenal.  Speech heard through a t-coil in a hearing aid often is as clear as if the speaker were standing directly in front of the listener.  At the first worship service in our sanctuary after the installation of the hearing loop, one member with a Cochlear implant chose to turn on her t-coil at the start of the sermon.  Those around her heard a distinct "Oh, my!" with the first words of the sermon.  The response was wonderful.  We maintain both systems since some folks have hearing aids without a t-coil.

Our chapel is about 20 ft X 30 ft, and it seats about 50 people.  In that small room, there is no need for a speech amplification system for people with normal hearing or with only moderate hearing loss.  However, people with severe hearing loss could not hear the speaker.  With the success of our hearing loop in the sanctuary, one member who has severe hearing loss offered to pay for a system in the chapel.  We contacted Les, and he installed a loop around the perimeter of that room using flat wire under new carpet in a couple of hours.  It works perfectly.  Soon after that installation, I was fitted for hearing aids, and I can state from personal experience that both loops indeed work.

About a year ago, folks at another church in the area contacted me about installing a loop in their sanctuary.  I recommended Les, and he installed it.  Two weeks ago I was in that sanctuary for a meeting, and I could hear every speaker perfectly.  It was wonderful.

Obviously, I am a strong supporter of hearing loops.  I think that every church and meeting room should have one, and some day in the future they probably will.