I joined HLAA f/k/a SHHH in 1998 at the age of 46 when I lost my hearing. The members and staff of this organization changed my life and made my loss of hearing much more manageable than I thought it would be. I have been involved with this organization in various capacities, but what I like most is passing on the knowledge that I gained from HLAA and the people whom I have met as a result of my membership in this organization. In 2000 I had the privilege of meeting Rocky Stone, the founder of SHHH, at the annual convention. He knew who I was before I even introduced myself. I was impressed top say the least and will never forget that experience. HLAA has been nothing but good experiences for me, and I amgrateful to Rocky Stone for having founded this organization.
Like so many with hearing loss, I was in denial. I was about 30 and gradually losing my hearing, and just didn't want to believe it could become a real problem. I was a professional working for a large corporation, and finally got hearing aids when I became a manager and really need to hear my best. They helped for a while, but as my loss increased, I really needed to take advantage of additional features that was starting to emerge in hearing aids and assistive technology.
My Wife and Daughter were a major support for me, but I still didn't understand how much technology and strategies could help me, until my Wife literally dragged my to my first HLAA meeting. I didn't want to go (see "denial", above), but was surprised to find a great group of people who knew so much more than I did about hearing aids, assistive technology (like hearing aid features, FM and telecoils) and strategies for making the most of my hearing. I have never been a "joiner", but I was hooked because of the great people I met and how much they helped me.
That was 25 years ago. I've now got a cochlear implant, all the best assistive technology and strategies. After retiring, at 50, I wondered how I'd ever work again, but since then, I've been hired by three great company and am happily still with latest and best of them ... a fact that I attribute, at least in part, to how much HLAA helped me be good at having a hearing loss.
If you've got a hearing loss, then join HLAA immediately. If you have a friend or family member with hearing loss, buy them a membership and go with them to meetings and conferences. Volunteer, and you'll never be without good friends and support. Donate and you'll be making a difference for everyone with hearing loss.
HLAA saved me from a life of sudden deafness and the isolation it brought by supporting me with the guidance and educating me with the tools, both of which I needed to communicate with people again. The result has been a much more active family, social and career-restoring lifestyle than I thought I could ever experience again.
I have just become a board member of the Hearing Loss Association of America but I have been a member since 2010, and my review is based on my experience as a member.
I have had hearing loss since 1980, which got progressively worse until by 2009 it had deteriorated to the extent that I was profoundly deaf in one ear and close to it in the other.
I left my long time job as a journalist at the end of that year, and suddenly found myself without hearing, without a job, and really without any sense of what kind of life was open to me.
I had not heard of HLAA until March of 2010. I signed up to go to the Annual Convention, just to see what it offered. I was amazed by the resources discussed at the convention, by the expert advice offered, by the advocacy for people like me. I became an active member of the national organization and then of the Manhattan chapter, where I met many others with hearing loss like mine.
Joining HLAA literally restored my life, and gave me the confidence to figure out how to live productively with hearing loss.
When I first learned that I had a severe hearing loss I was introduced to the local chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America. Through the local members, their informative monthly meetings, and the excellent magazine and publications from the national umbrella organization I learned about my own hearing loss, its possible causes, treatments, assistive devices, and unending resources available to my family & me to better cope with my worsening hearing loss.The HLAA resources & meetings are open to all persons with hearing loss, that know someone with hearing loss, or just people that are interested in knowing more about hearing loss. The membership covers all ages, all backgrounds, and all home locations in the US. I've attended state & national conventions, been introduced to magnificent speakers and information on all subjects related to hearing loss, I've been able to share information with other newly identified people with hearing loss thanks to the Hearing Loss Association of America. It is so empowering to be in a room full of Hard of Hearing people that are learning about their disability together from knowledgeable people and together advocating for their needs in their own home communities.
HLAA is extremely influential and effective in all things related to hearing loss. They fight for our rights in Congress and then take the time to tell us what we can do to fight for our rights. They are staffed by an amazing group of people who are totally dedicated to helping us live successfully with hearing loss. They have all the materials and supplies to provide information on a large range of topics. They are the source for answers to many questions people have about hearing aids, such as cost, rights, and insurance. HLAA is a truly amazing non-profit.
One of the counselors at the Endependence Center in Virginia Beach introduced me to the local chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America. I have learned so much from the caring members about what HLAA is doing to help those of us with a hearing disability... advocating for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act nationally and getting local businesses and venues to provide devices that allow hearing impaired individuals enjoy theater performances, movies and social functions again. I have learned much about personal devices available to help with daily living activities and can again live a nearly normal life. I encourage everyone to support this fine organization and the caring members in the great work that they do.
Back when I was loosing my hearing and hit the profoundly deaf stage in the early 1970s, I would ask my doctors, audiologists, hearing aid dealers, etc., can you put me in touch with others like me so I can find out how to better cope with my hearing loss? The answer was always no. I had Cochlear Implant surgery in 1984 and it helped me to lip read. Finally in 1985, a friend found out about HLAA (then SHHH) and she asked me if I wanted to help start a chapter here, and I said "YES"! HLAA is the answer to prayers. They are the leading advocacy association for people with hearing loss. If not for HLAA, strives in hearing technology, the ADA law, education, places where we are at 'home' with our hearing loss (HLAA meetings & conventions), CAN & CART, Captions, Relay services, captions in movie theaters, etc. would not have advanced as quickly as it did. With a large group advocating for people we have a bigger voice for changes to be made to help us Hard of Hearing Folks to be more independent and so much has been developed to help. I can remember the first HLAA convention I went to in Bethesda, MD back in the 1980s. I had felt since I lost my hearing that I rode a fence; I wasn't a part of the hearing world, but did not fit in with deaf culture. With HLAA I found a home. MW
What the heck is SHHH, now HLAA. That's what I asked my wife many years ago when she read an add in the local weekly paper. We went to the local HLAA, Capital Region Chapter meeting and have been going ever since. I had a hearing aid, could not hear well, meet a lot of wonderful hard of hearing people. Got a real education on what was available for the likes of me. I served on the Board, Was President of our chapter for three years. Still serve as Vice Pres. Went on to get Bilateral Cochlear implants, attended HLAA Conventions. Met more wonderful, helpful people I also talk to people with hearing loss thru the Cochlear Awareness Network who may be a candidate for a "Implant".
All because my wife saw the add, and wanted me to hear better. I say, God bless her. Thats what HLAA is!!!
I found the HLAA about three years ago. I have a severe hearing loss and this organization changed my life.
I feel part of the world again. I do not feel isolated. I have learned so much from this organization. such as using ASL (assistive listening devices), speaking up about my hearing loss, generally and in situations where I particularly need to understand , like Doctor's meeting, traveling, or just wanting to understand conversation.
It's a great organization I can't say enough wonderful things about it