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Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Innovative ‘Loop System’ Brings Hearing Accessibility to the Plaza

The Plaza Theatre is proud to announce the installation of an assistive listening system for its patrons with hearing loss — the hearing loop system.

The system is a wireless technology that transmits speech or music from the stage directly to guests’ cochlear implants and hearing aids with T-coils. Patrons will hear sound radioed to directly to their implant or hearing aid, resulting in a clearer sound with less ambient noise.

“This system will allow for a better experience for those individuals who depend on hearing assistance devices and who love live theatre,” shared Russell Kacer, Wharton Plaza Theatre Vice President of Communications.

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“This is something that has been in the works for years, and through a grant graciously provided by the Wharton Rotary Club, the Plaza was finally able to install this hearing loop system.”

Theatre patron and hearing aid user Christine Stransky was the first to test out the Plaza’s newest edition during The Plaza Theatre’s production of Crimes of the Heart.

“I was fortunate to serve as the guinea pig so to speak for the system,” Stransky said. “I can tell you the difference from not having the hearing loop system to the first experience with the system in place was noticeable right off the bat. During intermission, we made some adjustments to even better the sound quality.”

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She continued, “Those with hearing loss who depend on hearing devices will greatly benefit from the Plaza’s efforts.”

The hearing loop system uses a wireless signal to transmit the sound from the theatre’s sound system to a T- coil in cochlear implants or hearing aids.

The system works no matter the listener’s location in the hall or hearing instrument brand. It delivers personalized in-the-ear sound, customized by each individual’s hearing aids to their own preferences and settings.

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For audience members who do not have T-coil hearing aids, The Plaza Theatre offers a lightweight headset device that is tuned to receive the loop’s broadcast signal.

“For future productions, this should allow for a better experience in a live venue, and The Plaza Theatre is proud to have taken this step in the right direction to include all who enjoy live theatre,” shared Kacer.

The Plaza Theatre’s assistive listening system was made possible by the gracious support of the Wharton Rotary Club.

For more information about how to support The Plaza Theatre, contact Russell Kacer, Vice President of Communications, at (979) 282-2226 or marketing@whartonplazatheatre.org.

For details about all upcoming performances, visit www.whartonplazatheatre.org.

Plaza Note: As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we are committed to ensuring easy, affordable access to cultural and artistic events. The Plaza Theatre bridges Wharton and its surrounding communities by celebrating our region’s rich, diverse history and welcoming everyone across the region to this unique family of individuals who find inspiration in artistic endeavors.

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