The SayWhatClub is proud to announce it’s 2014 convention keynote speaker, Dr. Juliette Sterkens. She will join us in Madison, Wisconsin to speak Saturday evening at the banquet on July 19th. Her topic is hearing loops and how we can advocate for them. There is a need within the U.S. for installers, getting our audiologists on board and spreading the word with our local support groups. It’s time for use to get social again with the hearing loop!
Juliette is originally from the Netherlands where she was a speech pathologist. After she got married she moved to the United States and since she had to go back to school she decided to pursue audiology instead. She now holds a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh in audiology and a doctorate from AT Still University in Arizona. She opened her audiology practice in Fox Valley, Wisconsin in 1983.
In October of 2008 Juliette was invited to a Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) chapter meeting out of her area to hear Dr. David Meyers speak on hearing loops. While listening to him and watching 20-25 people with hearing loss talking about loops inspired her to start advocating for loops. “Hearing loops will do for hearing instruments what WIFI has done for laptops,” said Dr. Meyers and she took that to heart.
Back home, she began educating her clients about T-Coils, installing a large, flat screen TV in her waiting room with a loop. “How do you explain to a person that they are missing something when they don’t know what they are missing,” she said. “The demonstrations were invaluable.”
She contacted other audiologists within a 30-40 miles range to get them involved in the Fox Valley Hearing Loop Initiative. She also put in calls to businesses and places of worship to educate them on the benefits of a hearing loop. Keeping a binder with a list of churches, she added her clients names next to the church to give a personal touch in contacting the ministers. She also kept track of new buildings going up in the area and took the time to call them as well.
Juliette’s success in advocating for the loop in Wisconsin led HLAA to make her their loop advocate. She took a sabbatical from her practice and through HLAA, she now travels around the United States, educating people about hearing loss and the loop. She also assists others in forming initiatives of their own. “In my office, I can only help one person at time, but through these loops, I will be helping thousands of folks.”
“People are happier with their hearing aids when loops were available,” she adds. “People need to know it makes a huge difference in the lives of those who wear hearing aids.” Watch…and listen to this powerful demonstration she set up on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3XoVrUjfaY.
Come to our convention and find out what it takes to advocate for looping in your area.
For more information on the SayWhatClub convention, go here: http://www.saywhatclub.com/events/Madison-Con/Madison-Con.html Be sure to register there as well.
Dr. Juliette Sterkens has a blog here: http://loopwisconsin.wordpress.com/