- United Kingdom
- Contacta Ltd. was founded in 1970 by Bert Thomas. His son, Simon Thomas, joined the family owned and operated business in 1976. Simon has maintained his role of Managing Director since 1987 and is heavily involved in all commercial aspects of the business. Contacta Ltd. began as a provider of audio, computerized intercom, and Speech Transfer Systems in the United Kingdom. In 1988, Contacta began manufacturing hearing loop (or induction loop) systems, which remains a leading facet of the company today. By 2003, Contacta Ltd. had sold nearly 250,000 hearing loop systems.
- United States
In 2000, Richard McKinley got involved with induction loops via Dr. David Myers and the US Hearing Loop Initiative ‘Let’s Loop America!’.
Dr. Myers, a college professor who has suffered hearing loss since his 40’s, had a life changing experience in Scotland that took him to the verge of tears when he experienced a hearing loop for the first time. Upon Dr. Myers’ return to the United States, he brought the technology to West Michigan by installing numerous hearing loops locally alongside Richard McKinley, a former student of Dr. Myers. The impact of hearing loops on users matched Dr. Myers’ response - an emotional wave of tears and gratitude to be able to hear clearly. The impact of hearing loops was so profound Richard McKinley made the choice to sell his AV company and commit his efforts solely to hearing loops.
- UK/US Partnership
In 2008, Richard partnered with Contacta Ltd. in the UK and developed other international relationships to begin Contacta, Inc., a US corporation. Richard began traveling the country hosting hearing loop trainings to educate others about the technology and recruit AV integrators to begin installing hearing loops nationwide. By 2011, Contacta Inc. was recognized as a leading hearing loop company in the US.
The dedication to provide quality and reliable hearing loops prompted Contacta Inc. (US) and Contacta Ltd. (UK) to manufacture its own line of large area hearing loop drivers in 2014. Contacta, Inc. now offers a full product range of hearing loop products including one-to-one loops, large area drivers, radio frequency systems (RF), infrared systems (IR), and speech transfer systems (STS).
The two Contacta sites in the US and United Kingdom work closely together to ensure a strong business partnership, a cohesive brand, and dedication to its values.