Unique Education Plan at St. Faustina Parish

St. Faustina Parish in Pardeeville, WI has recently had a hearing loop installed in their church. This loop has had such a positive impact, considering most of the attendees, or parishioners, are elderly and deal with some degree of hearing difficulties. The receivers are put to use at weekly masses, sometimes with all three of their receivers in use at once!

St. Faustina has not always been aware of the capabilities of a hearing loop, however. It was first brought to their attention in 2019 when an article was released in the Madison Catholic Herald (the diocesan paper) about a hearing loop installment at a parish in the diocese. This article shared what a hearing loop is and how it works. It also mentioned that a grant from the diocese was provided to that parish for the cost of the installation. This immediately piqued the interest of St. Faustina’s council chairperson, who is a hearing aid wearer herself.

No action was taken right away due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in January of 2021, two contractors visited the parish separately to give the council more information on a hearing loop and a demonstration of its enhanced sound capabilities. This sold most everyone on the value of a hearing loop.

When the possibility of the installment was announced to the congregation, many questions arose regarding what a hearing loop is, how much it will cost, and how it will be paid for. An education and communication plan was put in place to clear up any confusion and get everyone on the same page.

St. Faustina put together a display in the gathering area where it was easily accessible. This display included the following:

  • An easel containing FAQ’s
  • Documents with the FAQ’s to be taken home for review
  • Copies of articles from the diocesan newspaper of loop installments at other parishes
  • A display of a portable hearing loop receiver and the copper wiring that would be installed under the carpet

The FAQ’s displayed on the board included some of the following questions:

  • I have never heard of a hearing loop before it was mentioned at our parish. Are hearing loops popular?
  • How many Americans live with hearing loss?
  • Can I use the hearing loop even though I do not have hearing aids?
  • How do I know if my hearing aids are compatible?

The display was available for an entire month prior to the installment, and it was left out a couple weeks after the installment was finished.

St. Faustina ended up receiving a grant from the Apostolate for Persons with Disabilities of the Diocese of Madison for part of the cost of the hearing loop. The installment took place on June 23, 2021 by Dave Scroggins and the DRS Sound team.

 

The feedback from the parishioners has been amazing. The receivers are constantly being put to use, showing just how valuable this installment has been. A big thanks to the efforts of Jim and Pat, and the St. Faustina Council, for being such advocates for their hearing loop. This project is a true testament to the value of education and open communication. Now St. Faustina Parishioners can both understand and experience the amazing capabilities a hearing loop offers.

 



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