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by Noell Dickmann
January 3, 2015

Juliette Sterkens spoke softly to a dozen people at the Bethel Home Chapel in Oshkosh.

“Can you hear me now?” she nearly whispered in a demonstration, papers muffling her voice. A delighted “yes” was the reply.

Sterkens was speaking at the chapel, which recently had a hearing loop installed, to educate the staff and residents on what having a loop means for them.

As the Hearing Loss Association of America Hearing Loop Advocate, Sterkens travels the country presenting to consumers, ministers, audiologists, and the public about hearing loops.

The benefits of hearing loops are something Chris Prust, HLAA vice president of the Fox Valley and state chapters, knows well — she said hearing loops have changed her life.

Born with hearing loss, Prust has a cochlear implant. She’d gone through life with captions on TV and being unable to understand the minister at her church. When she was introduced to hearing loops everything changed, she said.

Now with the push of a button Prust can connect directly to her television — no more captions. She can hear the minister speak at church and understand the words of musical performances at the Fox Valley Performing Arts Center.

“It’s made life so much better for me,” she said.

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