Fox Cities P.A.C. Receives National Award from Hearing Loss Association of America
The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is the proud recipient of the national "Get in the Hearing Loop Award 2013." The honor was awarded to the Center by the Hearing Loss Association of America at the national HLAA Annual Convention on June 30 in Portland, Ore. The Fox Cities P.A.C.'s proven dedication to providing services to help patrons with hearing loss and other disabilities made the Center an excellent candidate for the award, according to the HLAA.
"This group is way ahead of the curve in caring and doing something about it," said Julie Olson, HLAA Fox Valley Chapter founder who nominated the Center for the award. "Congratulations to the Fox Cities P.A.C. on receiving the award. It's well deserved."
The Center was one of two honorees outside of the hearing loss community to be recognized this year. The Fox Cities P.A.C. is the only Broadway presenting theater in Wisconsin to offers t-coil hearing loop technology in several spaces throughout the facility. A t-coil hearing loop is a wire that encircles a room or space that is connected to a sound system and transmits sound electromagnetically. The signal is picked up by a t-coil upon flipping the t-switch in a hearing aid or cochlear implant which in turn allows a person with a hearing impairment to easily adjust their hearing device and enjoy a performance without distortion.
The Center, built in 2002, has remained committed to serving patrons with hearing loss. In the late 2000s, a group of visionaries and donors formed a committee of people with disabilities to advise the Fox Cities P.A.C. Through the passionate work of the Center'sAccessibility Committee, community outreach and partnering with the HLAA Fox Valley Chapter, t-coil hearing loop technology was installed in the ticket office area and Kimberly-Clark Theater in 2011. The next step of the dream came prior to the opening of the 10th Anniversary Season when the technology also was added to Thrivent Financial Hall, the theater's main performance space. This major enhancement improved the Fox Cities P.A.C.'s live theater experience for people with hearing loss.
"We are grateful to the HLAA Fox Valley Chapter and our local advocates who helped us identify a need and achieve this accessibility enhancement goal," said Maria Van Laanen, Fox Cities P.A.C. executive vice president. "With a growing number of people experiencing hearing loss each year, it is important to provide opportunities for them to enjoy the magical experience of live theater with their friends, family and fellow community members. "