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Sarasota restaurants are the first in the U.S. to offer a hearing loop system | Business

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Sarasota restaurants are the first in the U.S. to offer a hearing loop system
Sarasota restaurants are the first in the U.S. to offer a hearing loop system

Sarasota, Florida-Two Sarasota restaurants are the first in the nation to offer a hearing loop system to give their customers with hearing loss greater accessibility. Both Caraguilos and Owens Fish Camp have added a wireless, tabletop loop system, which diners can request for their table to make conversation much easier for those who wear a hearing aid or cochlear implant.

This portable hearing loop system is new to the global market as the first tabletop system. The system was recently introduced in the U.K. and Complete Hearing Solutions of St. Petersburg, FL adapted the offshore-made device for the U.S. market.

Permanent hearing loop systems have been popular in Europe for decades where all the major theaters, churches, community centers and government venues have one. Many businesses to include banks, pharmacies and retail stores also depend on the system to communicate with a significant percentage of their consumers who are hard of hearing.

In the past two years, these permanent systems have achieved significant penetration in many US cities, particularly in New York, Michigan and Wisconsin. The first permanent system in Sarasota opened at the North Sarasota Library on March 16.

Hearing loops are the only systems that provide a clear transmission of speaker's voice directly into a user's hearing aid or cochlear implant, as long as the device has a t-coil.

Over 60,000 people in Sarasota County have a hearing loss. There are another 50,000 with a loss in Manatee County and the two counties have 16.1% of their population affected, the highest incidence in the nation.