Sudbury

New technology in place at Sudbury Theatre Centre for those hard of hearing

Kim Scott used to avoid attending the theatre. The Sudbury woman is deaf with a cochlear implant and says she typically avoids live events.

Canadian Hard of Hearing says STC only theatre in Ontario equipped with hearing loop

Serge Trottier is the president of Daylight Technologies and Kim Scott is the executive director of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association in Sudbury. (Jan Lakes/CBC)

Kim Scott used to avoid attending the theatre. The Sudbury woman is deaf with a cochlear implant and says she typically avoids live events.

"It's a long, boring night for us waiting for the show to end," she said.

But now, there is new technology in place to make the theatre experience in Sudbury much more enjoyable for Scott and others who are hard of hearing.

The Sudbury Theatre Centre is now equipped with a hearing loop system. Scott says it's made the world of difference for her. She says she rushed to get a ticket to a recent Eagles tribute show after the system was fully installed.

"Within five minutes, I couldn't stop the tears from flowing," she said.

"It was just such an emotional, wonderful experience."

A hearing loop, known as an induction or audio loop, provides a "magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by a person's hearing aid or cochlear implant" when put to a certain setting, according to the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association.

Scott says it's wired into the existing audio system so actors don't have to wear any additional equipment.

Currently, she says the Sudbury Theatre Centre is the only theatre in Ontario to be fully equipped with the technology. But, she's hoping that will change.

"We want people to be able to get out there and live their lives to their fullest potential," she said.

Serge Trottier is the president of Daylight Technologies in Sudbury. He says it took about four weeks to set up the system at the theatre.

"Loop systems are very susceptible to electromagnetic interference which is everywhere," he said.

He says this system could be used in any place in public including schools, churches, pharmacies, banks or hospitals.

"Anywhere where people have a hard time hearing the person talking to them," he said.

"These loop systems, they send the sound basically directly to your ear."

With files from Jan Lakes

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