SARASOTA, FL–Two local restaurants in this Gulf Coast city are the first in the nation to offer a tabletop sound system that sends voices from a microphone directly into a hearing aid or cochlear implant, according to Edward F. Ogiba, president of the Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota. The restaurants–Caragiulo’s and Owens Fish Camp–are both owned by Paul Caragiulo, who was recently elected a Sarasota city commissioner.
Permanent hearing loop systems have been popular in Europe for years, but are much less common in the U.S. The portable system used by the restaurants was developed by Complete Hearing Solutions, of St. Petersburg, FL. Guests who wear hearing aids or have cochlear implants can request the portable wireless system for their table so they can enjoy conversing with their dining partners.