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Meet Kevin and Callie Brown of Southern Star Hearing Loops in Midlothian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kevin and Callie Brown.

The Browns founded Southern Star Technology in 2014 soon after Kevin’s mother was stricken with sudden profound hearing loss following an illness. Her need to connect with others who could relate to her hearing loss led her and her husband to attend a “Say What Club” convention on the east coast for the deaf and hearing-impaired. Along with the usual accessibility options such as caption and sign language interpreters, Hearing Induction Loops were installed in all of the presentation rooms. She quickly realized that this technology, which allowed her to hear for the first time, the clarity of speech through her hearing aid, was life-altering for her, and could be for so many others.

Armed with this knowledge, she flew back to Texas on a mission to spread the word and raise awareness of the unique benefits of hearing loops. That’s when Kevin and Callie stepped in to help, but what they found was a lack of installers in Texas and none in the DFW area. What was the next step? They knew firsthand, the negative effects that hearing loss can cause, including stress, depression and isolation.

This was an opportunity to help not only Kevin’s mother, but others by increasing community awareness of hearing problems and making this affordable technology available.

After training in Branson, Missouri, and for going over 30 years of IT and Telecommunication careers, they started Southern Star Hearing Loops for home and commercial installations. They began by looping his Mom’s living room so she could listen to her TV without raising the volume to an obscene level. After four years of looping multiple churches, senior centers and businesses in the North Texas area they were able to install a hearing loop in her church sanctuary that holds over 3000 members. Her wish list of making businesses ‘hearing friendly’ grew, from waiting rooms to community centers, to theaters to airports. The possibilities were endless.

Hearing Loops present a superior advantage to the hearing-impaired community. It offers an enhanced experience for those who consistently miss out on details of group conversations. Such systems are now required in most public venues that feature a public address system. A Hearing Loop consists of an insulated wire loop that is strategically placed around a room or a seating area. The loop is connected to an amplifier and microphone and it transmits a silent electromagnetic signal to telecoil equipped hearing aids or Cochlear implants and those devices turn the signal into sound, leaving the background noises behind.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Our challenges are twofold.

First, to educate those who can benefit from a looped environment to become advocates in their community.

Secondly, as Hearing Loops are ADA compliant, we want to educate both public and private entities that Hearing Loops are the preferred Assistive Listening System because it offers an invisible solution to an invisible problem.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Southern Star Hearing Loops – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
As a hearing loop dealer and installer, our only focus is hearing loops. Other installers are AV companies and for them, it’s just a side business. We’re able to give more personalized care to our customers. Not only do we install, we’re users! Our office is looped because of Kevin’s hearing loss.

The impact after an install, especially churches. Listening to the church members telling us how they were able to hear the service for the first time, how they were able to close their eyes and hear the prayer, and how they were finally able to return to church.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Keep educating and installing hearing loops.

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Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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