Maggie Helps Test Cinema’s New Hearing System

Maggie LKee, Jamie and Tom Connor

Hearing impaired visitors to the Gulbenkian Cinema at the University of Kent at Canterbury can now use a new hearing system.

This was first trialled earlier this year by Maggie Lee, a front-of-house usher at the university’s Gulbenkian Arts Centre, which includes the cinema. Maggie was helped to fine tune the new system by her audiologist Hannah Harris, who works for us.

Great improvement

Maggie, who is always accompanied by Jamie, her Hearing Dog for Deaf People, when she is at the Gulbenkian Arts Centre, said: “I now believe that anyone visiting The Gulbenkian Cinema, who has a mild to moderate hearing loss, will definitely notice a great improvement when using our new equipment.

“However, to be honest, for anyone, like myself, with a profound hearing loss I don’t believe The Gulbenkian or any venue for that matter at the moment!, can replicate hearing without losing either the volume or clarity but it has to be borne in mind the sound quality of the film we are watching – some are much better than others. 

“On a positive note the adjustments that Hannah made certainly improved matters for me.”

Live stream

After encountering a few teething problems which Maggie mentioned to Hannah, she offered to help and spent an afternoon at The Gulbenkian with Maggie and Thomas Connor, the Gulbenkian’s technical manager.

“Hannah was able to make adjustments to my hearing aids which improved the volume and clarity,” Maggie said.

Helen Parker-Richardson, the Gulbenkian’s front-of-house manager, said: “We have got the hearing system set up in the cinema – it also has an audio description setting, which is great.”

The Sennheiser MobileConnect system is an assistive- and personal listening solution that, via an app,  streams live audio content via WiFi to any iOS or Android phone in the cinema auditorium.

New listening system

Maggie, who went profoundly deaf overnight 20 years ago, said: “Jamie and I are really looking forward to welcoming you to The Gulbenkian.
 
“Jamie has made people more aware of deafness by being there in his Hearing Dog coat!

“Over the last few years The Gulbenkian has made great strides to improve its facilities for deaf customers by installing this new MobileConnect App – Assistive Listening by Sennheiser.
 
“Please do let the box office know if you would like to use our new system and all feedback – good or bad – will be very welcome.”

Our photo shows Maggie and Jamie with Thomas Connor, the Gulbenkian’s technical manager.

To contact the Gulbenkian box office ring 01227 769075 or email boxoffice@kent.ac.uk

To find out what’s on at the Gulbenkian click here.