David Myers, Ph.D.
As a person with hearing loss, whose mother migrated from hard of hearing to complete deafness, David is committed to supporting the 36 million Americans who are invisibly challenged by hearing loss.
A Hope College social psychologist and author of A Quiet World: Living with Hearing Loss, he is the creator of www.hearingloop.org, an invaluable resource on induction-loop systems that broadcast sound directly to hearing aids and cochlear implants.
David’s first hearing loop experience occurred in a Scottish abbey with poor acoustics. When he switched on his hearing instruments’ telecoils and tapped into the venue’s looping system, “the clarity was overwhelming." Since then, David has worked with others to introduce looping technology to U.S. public venues, beginning with West Michigan, where loops are now in hundreds of venues, from worship places and auditoriums to the Grand Rapids airport and Michigan State University basketball arena.
David believes that, with persistent collective effort, looping systems can transform the way America provides assistive listening. His advocacy and public education efforts have occurred through his three dozen hearing loop articles, his thousands of e-mails, and coverage in national media such as Scientific American, The New York Times, and National Public Radio.
David sees looping systems as a way to make a wide range of public venues optimally accessible to the large but invisible minority of people with hearing loss. By transforming hearing instruments into wireless, customized loudspeakers, he observes, hearing loops can greatly increase the number of people with hearing loss who enjoy hearing instrument technology.
David’s passion and optimism are contagious. Inspired by his efforts to rally support for looping systems, the Hearing Loss Association of America and the American Academy of Audiology jointly launched a “Get in the Hearing Loop” initiative. The national service organization, Sertoma, now promotes looping through its several hundred local clubs across America.
In a 2011 New York Times interview David summed up his philosophy: “’If we build it, they will come,’ Dr. Myers said. ‘I see no reason why what’s happened here in West Michigan can’t happen across America.’”
The movement to make assistive listening directly hearing aid compatible is rapidly accelerating, thanks to the growing support of hearing professionals, of new hearing loop vendors, and of kindred-spirited hearing advocates and hearing loss associations in Wisconsin, New York City, Illinois, Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, Silicon Valley, Sarasota, Seattle, Rochester and elsewhere. Credit for this national hearing loop movement belongs, David insists, to this whole community of hearing advocates.