At the IFHOH 4th conference about hearing loops and technology held in Berlin, October 6-8, 2017, a proposal was made for the formation of a Steering Committee. The Committee was established in 2018 and has held several meetings by internet.
The aims of the Committee are:
To foster a greater understanding and awareness of the benefits of accessible technology and sound systems for persons with hearing loss with particular attention paid to hearing loop technology
To further developments for hearing technology and hearing loop technology use and availability as well as continual improvements in technology
To foster improved telecoil function and innovative application and raise awareness of its benefits among the providers in the hearing industry providers.
To develop a strategic plan for the development and promotion of hearing technology including hearing loop technology worldwide.
To develop a mapping plan of existing technology and resources
To assist IFHOH in the planning for the next Future Loops and Technology event/conference.
The scope of the work is recognized to encompass a wide audience: consumers, advocates, audiologists, hearing aid and cochlear implant industry providers, sound engineers, architect, audio/visual designers and installers, facilities covered by disability laws, accessibility committee, manufactures of assistive listening systems, and others interested in this technology.
The Committee has a steering committee of six consumer and professional representatives.
IHAC committee chair representing IHLMA
The current Chairman of the International Hearing Loop Manufacturers Association (IHLMA), Andrew has over thirty years’ experience understanding of the needs of people with hearing loss. He is also Market Development Director of the UK based assistive listening technology manufacturer Contacta Systems Ltd. Andrew is passionate about helping to develop and improve the standards and accessibility of hearing loop and assistive listening systems across the UK and the rest of the world. Another role Andrew carry’s out is as British Standards committee member of BS559.
IHAC committee member, representing IFHOH
Dr. Ruth Warick is the President of the International Federation of Hard of Hearing Persons and a founding member of the national hard of hearing association in Canada. She represents IFHOH on the International Disability Alliance and serves as IDA’s First Vice-President She is a founding member of the International Hearing Access Committee. She has 25 years of experience as a university disability services advisor and has a doctoral degree in education. She was born hard of hearing and is a dual hearing aid user and an advocate for the human rights and accessibility of persons with a hearing loss.
Ruth Warick, PhD
IHAC committee member, representing IFHOH
Vice President of IFHOH (International Federation of Hard Of Hearing people).
Avi is a Certified accessibility consultant, Founder and former chairperson of the Israeli HOH organization, chairperson of the Schlesinger fund for the deaf and HOH persons, Avi is an Electronics Engineer, Biomedical Engineer and an MBA in Finance. He is an active entrepreneur in high-tech startups in the areas of Internet, hearing and speech.
IHAC committee member, representing DSB
Dr. Hannes Seidler is an electrical engineer and acoustician. Since 2003 he has been running an engineering office with a focus on room and building acoustics as well as assistive listening devices. A research project for the further development of cochlear implants links him closely with medical practice, for example in the individual fitting of middle and inner ear implants. As an expert for barrier-free planning and building, he is active in the Saxon Chamber of Architects. In the German Association of the Hard of Hearing, he heads the specialist department for accessibility.
IHAC committee member, representing HLAA
Following a successful career in private practice in Oshkosh Wisconsin, Dutch born audiologist Dr. Juliëtte Sterkens is currently on her encore career as the Hearing Loss Association of America’s professional hearing loop advisor. In this capacity, she ardently advocates for inclusion of and properly programmed built-in telecoils in hearing aids and cochlear implants, the installation of hearing loop systems that meet IEC 60118-4, as well as other T-coil compatible assistive technology, to permit universal hearing access for consumers with hearing loss the world over.
Juliette Sterkens, AuD
IHAC committee member, representing EHIMA
Rob Drullman was trained as a phonetician and has been working in the field of speech & hearing for over 25 years at universities and research organizations in The Netherlands. He now works as an independent researcher, tutor and consultant and has been Secretary of the Technical Committee of the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) since 2016.
Rob Drullman, PhD
IHAC committee member, representing EFHOH
Alf Lindberg is board member of EFHOH. Alf has been employed by the Swedish Association of Hard of Hearing People, working mainly with accessibility, both when it comes to assistive listening devices, ALD, and accessibility and usability of the built environment. Alf has been a member of the standardization committee on induction loops, IEC TC29/wg22, and Swedish representative in the ISO and CEN-CLC committees working with the revision of ISO 21542 and the new EN 17210:2021 respectively. Alf uses hearing aids, and has a former career in journalism and communication.