Rev. Mary Dyer of Glenwood, Iowa has been selected as the recipient of the Hamilton Relay 2018 Better Hearing and speech Month Recognition Award for the state of Iowa. After losing her hearing ten years ago, Mary made it her mission to educate and advocate for equal access for individuals who have a hearing loss.
Known as “the loop evangelist”, Mary set out to become an ambassador throughout the state of Iowa to make changes at the local, regional and state level. Her most notable awareness efforts include her work with the Deaf Services Commission of Iowa (DSCI) and her own denomination, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Since 2015, Mary has worked with DSCI to separate Deaf Awareness Month in September from Better Hearing & Speech Month in May to share the differences in access needs from the two communities. During this time, she advocated for the Iowa House and Senate to purchase requisite neck loops to accompany their FM system so individuals who are hard of hearing would have access. This led to her drafting a bill to mandate hearing instrument providers provide written information regarding the telecoil setting for their customers. Although the bill did not make it through the committee, Mary intends to reintroduce it at the next legislative session.
Mary’s work with her church made an impact on a national level, as she drafted a resolution to have the church’s biannual General Assembly commit to moving toward full access for individuals with hearing loss. The progress made thus far includes installation of a temporary hearing loop for general sessions, in addition to real-time captioning that can stream to an individual’s phone.
Mary also volunteers to speak to civic groups about neck loop education, provides speaking tips for individuals who are hard of hearing and is involved with her local Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) chapter.
We commend Mary for her leadership and are proud to present her with the Hamilton Relay 2018 Better Hearing and Speech Month Recognition Award for the state of Iowa.
This leadership recognition has been brought to you by Hamilton Relay.
About Hamilton Relay
Hamilton Relay provides contracted Traditional Relay and Captioned Telephone services through 24 contracts to 18 states, the District of Columbia and the Island of Saipan, and is a provider of Internet-based Captioned Telephone services nationwide. More information is available at hamiltonrelay.com.