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Nation's first Toastmasters Club for Hard of Hearing launching in Tempe
The nation’s first Toastmasters Club for the hard of hearing is launching, thanks to innovations in technology and a government grant.
The Audible Talkers Toastmasters Club will begin meeting at the Tempe Public Library on July 1. The group is made possible because the library won a $23,000 grant from the Arizona Community Foundation to install hearing loops in some of its community spaces.
A hearing loop, sometimes called an audio induction loop, is a special type of sound system for use by people with hearing aids. The hearing loop provides a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by the hearing aid when it is set to a special setting and a microphone is in use.
Audible Talkers is being sponsored by Park Central Toastmasters. Two of its members, Harry Wolfe and David Archibald, are leading this group and looking for members to join them.
“I was prompted to establish the club because I was having trouble hearing the speakers in Park Central Toastmasters, of which I have been a member for 20 years,” Wolfe said. “Without a solution, I would have had to drop out of an activity that is an important part of my life. I assumed that other Toastmasters might find themselves in the same situation and decided to start this club.”
It is estimated that there are 700,000 people in Maricopa County who have hearing loss.
Meetings of the Audible Toastmasters Club will be held at 6 p.m. on the first and third Monday of each month at the Tempe Public Library, 3500 S. Rural Road, Tempe in the TLC Classroom, one of the “looped” rooms that are completely accessible to the hard of hearing.
For people who are hard of hearing, but do not wear hearing aids, special headsets will be made available that receive signals from the hearing loop.
Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills in clubs throughout the world. There are more than 350,000 members.
The Tempe Commission on Disability Concerns, staffed by the Strategic Management and Diversity Office, is helping to sponsor the Audible Talkers.
For more information on how to join this group, contact Harry Wolfe at email@example.com or phone/text 602-279-7356.