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September 25, 2013

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September 25, 2013

It is very hard to explain the enormous impact HLAA has been on my life, and many others around me.

Having grown up with a hearing loss and never meeting anyone who looked like me for 33 years, it was a startling revelation. It truly is an invisible existence - and there are millions
more beyond the 50 million indentified with hearing loss.

I've learned how to prepare myself to cope in the workplace, hospitals, airports, hotels, family events. It's never been just about me - but about everyone in my life who wants to be able to fully communicate and particpate.

HLAA teaches us by exanple that we are not victims - but how to advocate and educate those around us. Accessible technology has been the tipping point for many of us to succeed and flourish.

I can't even imagine what my life would have looked like without HLAA. I'm grateful to everything they've done for me and all of the friendships that form my second family today.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It needs to expand its tiny staff to accommodate all of the people out there who want more chapters, meetings, webinars, presentations, etc. They are restricted in the fact that a staff of 12 cover the entire U.S.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 25, 2013

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September 25, 2013

Finding the Hearing Loss Association of America has literally changed my life. Because of them, I discovered the cochlear implant which helped me regain more than adequate hearing to live my life.

I learned about how to advocate for myself in employment, in medical offices, in the travel
industry, with family and friends, in church, in public and with the government. The list is endless.

Bolstered by many, many friends who also have hearing loss, I was able to go out and teach others what I have learned – about assistive listening technology, hearing devices, emergency preparedness, and much more.

This is a very special organization that exists specifically to help 48 million Americans with hearing loss.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 19, 2013

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1 previous review
February 15, 2011

I have been an active volunteer for HLAA for more than ten years. When I went to my first chapter meeting, I was overwhelmed with emotion to learn I was not alone in dealing with my hearing loss. I ... more

September 19, 2013

The Hearing Loss Association of America is a very special organization, with a very small paid staff. Hundreds of volunteers around the country lead almost 200 chapters, helping many people with hearing loss. The national organization and the chapters support, inform and advocate for those with hearing loss. While the national office works with Congresspeople to enact laws to help the hard of hearing, the chapters provide captioning at their meetings, write monthly newsletters for their members, have monthly meetings on hearing loss topics, organize annual Walk4Hearing events and make grants to deserving high school graduates with hearing loss, theater development fund for captioned Broadway performances, and lots more, not to mention all the advocacy work resulting in hearing loops and captioning in many public places.

My role in all the above is I had the opportunity to chair the first Walk4Hearing in New York City. Now I work with the NYC Loop Committee of which I was chair for three years. We educate public places about hearing loops and how they help people with hearing loss.

How I got started and how the organization has helped me? A relative of a friend told me about the organization. I went to my first meeting and was enthralled with the idea that everyone in the room understood what I was going through. I learned so much about coping strategies and technology. I wanted to share my knowledge and became a mentor. In the process of doing for the organization, I had the opportunity to grow, to stretch my experience, my abilities and to gain more confidence in myself. I made great friends, caring people who want to help others. Through outreach via street fairs, exhibiting at organizational fairs and online, on-air and print publicity our chapter grew and is now outgrowing its meeting space.

I no longer isolate or feel sorry for myself because I don't hear so well. My focus is on helping others. There is no other organization that does so much for those with hearing loss. I vote for Hearing Loss Association of America as one of the best nonprofits around. Check it out. See for yourself. www.hearingloss.org.

Thank you for allowing me to talk about my favorite subject.

With love and affection to HLAA.

ellen semel
Manhattan Chapter
Hearing Loss Association of America

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't think I would change a thing although I'd like to find more dedicated people to work with. We always need more volunteers.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 15, 2011

I have been an active volunteer for HLAA for more than ten years. When I went to my first chapter meeting, I was overwhelmed with emotion to learn I was not alone in dealing with my hearing loss. I had been so frustrated by not hearing well in the workplace and losing jobs in the previous few years, it was so good to meet others who had similar experiences. I learned a multitude of valuable information -- concrete strategies to help me communicate better, specific assistive devices I had never heard of before to help me hear better in different situations, and I made new wonderful friends who have been so supportive.

Because of my very positive experience with this organization, I wanted to give back, teach others what I had learned so I became an active participant by joining the Planing Committee of my chapter, then becoming Chair of the Planning Committee for five years. In addition, I chaired the first New York City Walk4Hearing, a great success to my surprise! I am now the Chair of the Looping Committee, a group that advocates for the installation of induction loops in public places to help those who have a t-coil (telephone program) in their hearing aids/cochlear implants hear better at lectures, religious services, performances, etc.

Together all the volunteers of this organization work together, all around the nation. We have an electronic leaders list and share our knowledge that way. We gain support from others through our email interaction and meetings. We get together at annual conventions where we learn so much and have a chance to discuss our problems.

There is nothing more supportive than being with people who share your problem. There is no other organization I know of that provides so much information, education and advocacy in Congress as well as with privately held companies like cell phone companies, airline industry and many others that are now providing services and products geared to those with heaing loss.

If I had to rate this organization with stars I would give it the maximum, five stars. Go HLAA, go!!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Manhattan Chapter. My first meeting was awesome. I grew from needing the chapter participants' help to one who can help others.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hire more paid employees, if possible.

September 19, 2013

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September 19, 2013

The Walk 4 hearing brings the young and old together! Hearing loss cuts across all ages and impacts 40 plus million! walk4 hearing brings awareness that technology can bring access to communication!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Having each chapter keep a certain percentage of funds raised by $$$ and national will get a certain percentage .

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 19, 2013

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September 19, 2013

HLAA is an International Organization that reaches far and wide to educate, advocate and engage everyone about all aspects of hearing loss.
Their annual national convention is the best ever!!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have HLAA be as common as the Red Cross!!!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 19, 2013

more

September 19, 2013

Having hearing loss for more than 35 years, I first found HLAA in 1990 and immediately embraced the organization. I found people who understood what it is like, were non-judgmental and best of all offered the support I needed to wade through the ever changing technology we were thrust into in the 90s.

I have worn a lot of hats over the years but most recently serve as Walk4Hearing chair in Chattanooga, a position I love. I have no doubt in my mind that because of HLAA, and because of the Walk4Hearing events held all over the US, hearing loss is becoming less of a social issue and more of a health issue.

Walk4Hearing has brought community awareness to our local HLAA chapter and in turn HLAA actually means something to many people. it gives us a chance to help others in the community and educate others about hearing loss. i cannot say enough good things about HLAA - except join!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide more captioned webinars about technology and provide a good one on navigating Convio for Walk chairs to view.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

August 31, 2013

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Review from Guidestar
1 previous review
February 27, 2011

‘Life-changing’ is an expression that’s used frequently when people talk about their engagement with HLAA. After living with moderate hearing loss for over 30 years, my hearing suddenly deteri... more

August 31, 2013

An organization that excels in fulfilling its mission of providing information, education, support and advocacy for people with hearing loss, HLAA is also unique in its approach. A relatively small, but highly effective staff in the national office provides leadership and support to thousands of members and volunteers in an extensive grassroots network of statewide associations and local chapters.

Most of us come to HLAA through our local chapters seeking help in coping with our hearing loss. Grateful for the knowledge and support we receive from those who share our experience as well as experts in the field, we become members and work in our communities to help others with hearing loss. Perhaps the greatest benefit is the sense of empowerment we experience through self-help and by engaging in outreach and advocacy.

One of the most unique aspects of HLAA is the Walk4Hearing program, the largest of its kind in the country. As we walk in 22 cities raising awareness and funds for hearing loss, we also partner with over 100 alliances representing organizations such as hospitals, schools and social programs for children with hearing loss, and colleges and universities. Alliances retain a portion of the funds their teams raise to support their own programs, expanding our reach and building a stronger more effective hearing loss community. The Walks enable us to meet new friends and celebrate all we have accomplished.

There are currently 48 million people in the United States with hearing loss and as the numbers continue to grow, HLAA’s leadership and support is needed more than ever. An increase in membership will help us meet this need. I am very fortunate to serve on the Board of Trustees and to work actively with my chapter and the Walk4Hearing program. Whether your relationship with hearing loss is personal or professional, I urge you to join HLAA and experience the benefits of affiliation with this wonderful organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand our chapter network to provide services and support in cities where we do not yet have a presence

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 27, 2011

‘Life-changing’ is an expression that’s used frequently when people talk about their engagement with HLAA.

After living with moderate hearing loss for over 30 years, my hearing suddenly deteriorated to a level of profound deafness over a period of a few days. When I returned home from a
weeklong stay in the hospital where efforts to reverse my deafness proved unsuccessful, I had no idea how I would begin to live my new life. Living with hearing loss had always been difficult, but profound deafness made me feel as if I’d landed on another planet.

I somehow found my way to an HLAA Manhattan Chapter meeting and the experience was indeed…‘life-changing’. First, because I was welcomed by a caring group of people, who immediately began jumping through hoops to learn about my communication needs and make sure they were met at the meeting. Secondly, it was the first time I’d heard an audiologist (the evening’s presenter) address the fact that hearing loss isn’t something that’s only treated in a medical setting. It encompasses every aspect of our lives, there are great variations in levels and types of hearing loss, and lifestyles and communication needs can widely differ. I was hooked. I knew I’d found the right place and it’s been a four-year whirlwind of learning, personal and professional growth, and positive experience ever since.

I believe HLAA is so effective because it addresses the varied needs of people with hearing loss, at every level. We have a relatively small number of paid staff at the national level that are highly effective in forming partnerships and impacting legislation for access and services. An extensive network of volunteers, benefiting from the training and support of our national office, are also truly effective in carrying out HLAA’s agenda at the local level. A perfect example is our HLAA Walk4Hearing. Supported by our national office staff, and organized and implemented by volunteers in 23 cities across the country, the Walks are one of the best opportunities to create awareness and raise funds for hearing loss.

One of my most valuable memories is the awards ceremony breakfast at my first HLAA Convention. As I sat and listened to the incredible accomplishments of so many HLAA members, I was really stunned at what this organization had inspired other to do. I was also encouraged to know that each and every one of us can accomplish great things, for ourselves, and others, by utilizing the support HLAA offers in moving forward with our lives. Life-changing indeed.


The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See above

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

add paid staff to help support the many new members/volunteers (families, students, hearing health professionals) coming into the organization

February 24, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 24, 2011

I have been an active member of HLAA for four years, from the time I became a bilateral Cochlear Implant user. I have been profoundly deaf since birth and wore hearing-aids for 49 years I felt very isolated and lost in my world before receiving Cochlear implants in both ears. My Cochlear implants opened the doors to a new and much more rewarding life for me. But it wasn't enough until I found HLAA that I was able to begin to fully participate in this new world. HLAA helped me to learn how to cope in the hearing world through attendance at many chapter meetings and listening to representations from great speakers every month. I also learned good strategies to overcome my fears and improve communication skills with family, friends, and in normal every day transactions. But most of all to help build up my confidence in hearing so many new and different sounds that my hearing aids either weren't able to pick up or differentiate or were just not the actual sounds that one hears with normal hearing. Speakers at HLAA meetings also gave me lots of information about the use of advanced technologies such as Captel phones, closed captions in movies and theatres, Cart, Looping, and many others. I have also met wonderful people who have been very helpful, friendly, and supportive. I no longer feel alone since being around people with hearing impairements who can share their stories with similar experiences and to learn from one another. Now that I know there is an organziation for those of us with hearing loss at all level, it has become a very sociable and enjoyable experience. But there is still so much more to learn. . I look forward to every meeting!

Overall, HLAA's mission is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy and support. HLAA is working very hard to build up, expand, and improve services for hearing-impaired people by providing open captions and loops in all areas, through education and advocacy to the public, and by supporting so many other hearing-related activities. HLAA has been a life changer for me! I have helped to raise funds and actively participated in our our annual NYC Walk4Hearing for the past three years. I also serve as a member of the NYC Walk and Manhattan chapter Planning Committees. It has been a pleasure to share my story with all of you.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Helped me to adapt to my Cochlear implants and meet other hearing-impaired people with similar stories and problems; understand that I am not alone in my own non-hearing world and that there is an organization that can help people like me. Also helped me to became more aware of the problems of hearing-impaired people all over the country and what we can do to help.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing that I would change. We need to increase the awareness of hearing-impaired and normal hearing people about HLAA and the problems of deafness and attract more support from both sectors.

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

Hearing loss is invisible and no one dies of it, hence it has not captured the media attention of the more obvious disabilities. Along came Self Help for Hard of Hearing People in 1979, the first organization to recognize the needs of people with a hearing loss. Now named Hearing Loss Association of America the organization that started in the founder's (Rocky Stone's) basement is a thriving and growing national organization devoted to educating people with hearing loss, advocating for their rights, and providing reams of information to help them live successfully with a hearing loss. This organization now as 250 chapters throughout country dedicated to helping people learn and cope with their loss. I found the organization as a graduate student in 1982 when I was writing my thesis on Self Help for people with hearing loss. There was a glaring lack of information about hearing loss in libraries. There also was no internet to google information. A small article in a local newspaper inviting people to attend a meeting of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People caught my attention. i was amazed at what the people were learning about their hearing loss but especially about how to cope with it. A few days after this meeting I wrote to the founder and within days a large box of information about hearing loss arrived. My thesis was a success and I was hooked on the organization. Almost 30 years later I am still involved and still learning. The advocacy of the staff and members throught the country helped to ensure that all of the technology being developed would find its way into the hands of the people who needed it. This organization has helped thousands of us learn to deal with hearing loss in a positive way and has hastened the development of technology for all people with hearing loss.We also learned to laugh at ourselves. What a blessing we were given!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Meeting hundreds of people who learned to cope with hearing loss and taught others how to do so. It gave me confidence in my ability to function successfully in my job, in the hearing world!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

like it to have the resources to reach out to the millions of hard of hearing people who are still denying their hearing loss and to have the financial resources to develop a national program to educate teenagers about noise induced hearing loss.

February 22, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
February 22, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

The Hearing Loss Association of America has grown from a small grassroots organization called Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc. (SHHH) to become 'The Nation's Voice for People with Hearing Loss', as The Hearing Loss Association of America, Inc. (HLAA) today. No other consumer based organization had reached out to people with partial deafness prior to SHHH. A major achievement of SHHH was to identify the much larger hard of hearing population as being separate from the better known population that embraces Deafness as a culture. By so doing, medical research has increased remarkably in the field of deafness, in spite of the fact that Deaf Culture advocates (Less than 1% of the whole 32 million Americans with hearing loss) continue to oppose curing the disability to preserve the culture. Without the force of SHHH/HLAA the advancements in cochlear implants, hearing instruments and other hearing assistive technologies would likely be way behind where they are today. Against many odds, HLAA has made a positive difference in the way the public perceives people with hearing loss. And, I believe the organization can achieve much more than it has already if it has more resources.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I learned about SHHH in 1983, and knew I needed to be involved. I was 40 years old. Hearing loss had cut my career short & was pushing me towards social isolation. SHHH changed my life. Through active involvement, I regained self confidence & learned how to cope more positively with my progressive hearing loss. I have had the opportunity to watch others grow as I did. I sincerely recommend membership in HLAA to anyone who wants to live well with hearing loss; theirs or someone else’s.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

HLAA is wonderful the way it is, but must find the financial resources that will allow it to reach more of the 32 million Americans who can benefit from the education, information, advocacy and support the organization is capable of providing.

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