textbook author David
Myers is teaching his largest
audience yet, through a
national campaign to provide
cutting-edge technology to
people with hearing loss.
BY CHRISTOPHER MUNSEY
In 1999, as David Myers, PhD, stood in the stone sanctuary of an 800-year-old Scottish abbey, he struggled to hear the words of a religious service. All he got through his hearing
aid was a wash of indecipherable noise, as the pastor’s amplified
voice reverberated in the ancient vaulted space.
Just as Myers was about to give up, his wife noticed a blue
sign with a white ear, a slash mark and a “T” in the bottom
right corner — indicating that the church offered a “hearing
loop.” Common in the United Kingdom, hearing loops directly
broadcast amplified sound to hearing aids.
Myers pressed a button on his own hearing aid and stood
amazed as the person’s words became instantly clear.
“It was like going from a rough gravel road to fresh asphalt,
cognitively,” he says.
From that moment on, Myers, a psychology professor at Hope
College in Holland, Mich., began advocating for hearing loops
in the United States so that more of the 36 million adults in the
United States experiencing some degree of hearing loss can better
hear any type of amplified presentation in a large space, from the
prayers at a worship service to the dialogue at a movie.
In his articles and talks, Myers argues that existing systems
for people with hearing loss — which predominantly broadcast