From Linda Heller, HLAA Wilmington (Delaware) Chapter President
Dear Members and Friends of HLADE,
I am pleased to report that Governor Markell signed House Bill (HB) 402, Delaware's "hearing loop education bill" into law on July 19, 2016! Delaware, we believe, is only the second state in the country to have this law, and we are sure other states will follow.
The Hearing Loss Association of America Delaware Chapters, known as the Hearing Loss Association of Delaware (HLADE) worked on this legislation as a critical key to success for HLADE's “Let’s Loop Delaware" project and as part of the Hearing Loss Association of America's “Let's Loop America" project.
We have found that consumers are not aware of the importance of their “telecoil" (“t-coil” or “t-switch") in their hearing aids, how it works, and how they can use it at home and in the community. Not being told about the telecoil is equivalent to buying a car and not knowing how the features operate to improve your driving experience before you drive it away.
This legislation was prompted because HLADE had numerous consumers with hearing aids who should have had their t-coil activated. These consumers were experiencing unnecessary inconvenience and lack of access in various venues such as churches, theaters, concerts and other places in the community. HLADE will work with stakeholders as requested to implement this law in Delaware. We will continue to inform and educate consumers, preferably verbally and in writing, that this is now required when a hearing aid is purchased. HLADE would be pleased to work with all parties to create standard hearing loop information across the state.
Please contact HLADE if you need further information.