Hearing Loops Now Available on the Tillamook Coast Skip to content

Tillamook Coast Life Blog

Hearing Loops Now Available on the Tillamook Coast

Tillamook Coast Visitors Association (TCVA) has funded the installation of hearing loops at two locations in Tillamook County: the visitors center desk at the Tillamook Creamery, and the front desk at the Tillamook Air Museum. Tillamook Creamery has also purchased an additional three hearing loops for their retail, ice cream and café areas.

“We’re excited to add new hearing loops at the Tillamook Creamery visitors center, which will help us connect with our million-plus annual visitors, some of whom are in the hearing loss community,” said Deanna Hirt, Director of Direct Commerce at Tillamook County Creamery Association. “We continue to expand our support resources for guests with visible and non-visible disabilities to ensure that the Creamery is a welcoming space for all.”

Installed by Alan Anttila of Hearing Support Solutions in Eugene, the hearing loops are an assistive technology that allows people with hearing aids and cochlear implants to better hear and understand one-on-one conversations and instructions. The technology has been used around Oregon at hotel front desks, performing arts centers, airports and other attractions where there can be a lot of disruptive and overwhelming background noise.

“These two locations were excellent choices for TCVA to introduce this technology in Tillamook County,” said Dan Haag, Director of Trails, Outdoor Recreation, and Accessibility. “Both buildings have large, wide open spaces where people with hearing issues can feel lost in the hustle and bustle of big crowds and noise. We are extremely grateful to the Air Museum and the Creamery for supporting this accessibility initiative.”


A hearing loop helps people who use hearing aids that are equipped with T-coils to hear sound directly and clearly in their hearing aids, because it reduces or cuts out the background noise. It provides a magnetic wireless signal that is picked up by the hearing aid when it is set to the “T” (T-coil) setting. The loop system consists of a microphone to pick up the spoken word; an amplifier which processes the signal which is then sent through the final component; the loop cable, which is a wire placed around the perimeter of a room to act as an antenna that radiates the magnetic signal to the hearing aids.

“I was intimidated when I first saw the additional hardware added to our admissions desk,” said Air Museum employee Dennis Shelter. “But after learning about how it works and how easy it is to use both for the end-user and myself as staff, it’s great!”

Air Museum executive director Rita Welch says that customers have been appreciative of the new addition. “We had a guest say how cool it was and he had never seen or used one before,” she said.  “It’s going to be greatly appreciated by visitors and staff alike.”

Anttila installed the devices in late May, and they are up and running in time for the busy season. A hearing aid user of 12 years, he compares the sensation of being in a crowded building that echoes, to being physically battered. The hearing loops help bring some normalcy to people who need extra assistance, like asking for directions.

“I didn’t always have hearing loss,” Anttila said. “I am now dedicating my time to helping the world become more accessible to people with hearing loss through the installation of hearing loops.”

Anttila also provided Air Museum and Creamery staff with training on operating the hearing loops after installation.

To learn more about hearing loops, contact Dan Haag at dan@tillamookcoast.com.