St Joseph’s & St Patrick’s Catholic Church on Columbia Street in downtown Utica has become the first church in the city to have a hearing loop in their sanctuary, according to a news release.
The system was installed in June by Hamilton-based Upstate Hearing Loops.
With a hearing loop, the spoken word bypasses the PA speaker system and is broadcast directly into hearing aids or cochlear implants via the hearing loop.
The purpose of the installation is to help parishioners with hearing loss who attend mass, weddings or funeral services, the ability to hear only the priest or the person speaking. The hearing loop provides them the enhanced clarity necessary to hear each word and to fully enjoy the services without reverberation or ambient background noise.
“For people with hearing aids equipped with T-coils this is quite an amazing experience,” said Robert Bishton of Upstate Hearing Loops. “It’s like the person is speaking into your ears. Even non hearing aid users with difficulty hearing can use the hearing loop system with “Loop Listeners” that are provided by the church.