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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.

October 2, 2014

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1 previous review
February 22, 2011

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 ... more

October 2, 2014

The Hearing Loss Association of America, Inc., a consumer based organization, which was formerly known as Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc., has done more to create an awareness of the uniqueness of partial deafness than any other organization in the world. There are millions of hard of hearing Americans. According to the National Institutes of Health 50 million are affected by this invisible condition. SHHH/HLAA has educated, advocated and provided peer support since its founding in 1979. Prior to receiving information from this organization my life was falling apart. I was a 40-something who had given up my career because I didn't hear well, and felt I was being unfair to my students. I felt isolated and misunderstood. I had received no information from my hearing healthcare professionals about assistive technology that could enhance my hearing instruments. I learned what I know from people, like me, who have hearing loss; members of HLAA. I'm most grateful to this organization for the work it does. Today, I'm comfortable living in the hearing mainstream in spite of progressive sensorineural hearing loss. I now have a cochlear implant, something I would likely not have done, had it not been for the opportunity to meet others through HLAA who had gone before me. It is a miracle, as are the new hearing aids that can do so much more than they could do even a decade ago. HLAA has been a frontrunner in promoting research and development in both medicine and technology, legislation, and the kind of personal support that hard of hearing people need. Chapters of HLAA are located throughout the United States,. Many more should be formed. I can't say enough about the importance of the work HLAA does.

Ways to make it better...

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

Find the financial support to create regional offices that would make it possible to reach more people.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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.

February 22, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 22, 2011

As a professional learning to live in a hearing world, I have spent all of my life quietly struggling to lip-read my family members, teachers, employers and friends. Having been born with a severe hearing loss in both ears, my parents began working early on with educators and administrators to enable me to move out of the special education classroom and into the main-streamed classrooms with other hearing students. Hence began a life of sitting in the front row to lip-read, speech and language classes, after learning to speak at the U of Illinois at 3 1/2 years of age. The Hearing Loss Assn. of America provides advocacy, education, training, support for parents and family members, and educators to let more little children make enormous strides to live, and someday, work in a hearing world. They provide the life-changing keys to success for America's children. As a volunteer, giving back to my community, I have gone into classrooms and worked with students, parents, and teachers to share HLAA-learned skills and support in Maryland and Idaho. As a professional accountant, I have volunteered in work places to teach employers the skills needed to work with the deaf and hard of hearing. HLAA is ready to take America into the next century!

The Great!

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

The impact of HLAA has been simply moving. My experiences with HLAA began in 1988, by a visit to Frederick, Maryland's local chapter whose volunteers welcomed a profoundly hard of hearing person to his first life changing meeting. I spent an exhilarating hour learning how HLAA provides support for individuals with counseling, guidance, education, and hearing loss skills training. The skills they began teaching me in 1988 are used by me each and every day.

Ways to make it better...

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

Allow knowledge of HLAA to reach every corner of our vast country. Its quiet support for the large numbers of America's citizens with hearin loss and its work with other community support organizations, like Lions Club International, should be heard from sea to shining sea. The more that this organization is known, the more skills that we will all have access to for dealing with the most invisible of challenges, that of hearing loss.

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

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Enable HLAA to have chapters in all 50 states and territories in a number sufficient to allow people with hearing loss to be assisted by their volunteers and staff where ever they live and work.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

It taught me that I was not alone with my invisible hearing loss handicap. They taught me skills for use at home, work and at play. More importantly, the skills they teach and their support systems are instrumental to my enjoyment of the challenges and joys of living in America today. I can freely help others, not as fortunate as myself, with life changing skills.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Like a new person with a voice, a part to play in life, and that one person can truly make a significant impact in today's busy and ever-changing world. My sincere thanks to the beautiful people of HLAA.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

My HLAA chapter in Michigan has given me and my family encouragement, support, companionship and invaluable information in coping with my quick, unexpected hearing loss eight years ago. Without HLAA I would know nothing about assistive listening devices, CART, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is so encouraging to know that I am not alone and that there is help out there for me. The national conventions are packed with information about coping with hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants, emergency warning devices, other support groups, rights guaranteed by the ADA, and whatever else a person with hearing loss needs to live life as fully as possible.

HLAA's advocacy efforts in securing captioned television and movies, hearing-aid compatible phones, captioned airport announcements, hotel accessibility have helped me and millions of other hearing impaired people.

The Great!

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

Every time I turn on the television with closed captioning, when I travel alone with my vibrating alarm clock, in being able to tell others what I need from them to facilitate communication.

Ways to make it better...

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

Find a way to let more hard of hearing people know about the work of the organization and how they already benefit from its work.

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 15, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 15, 2011

SHHH/HLAA has been my lifesaver. I began losing my hearing at the age of 10 and until I found the organization some 40 years later I never knew anyone with hearing loss, saw no published information about it, had no encouragement from family, friends or doctors. At my first SHHH meeting I was welcomed with open arms by so many others with my same problems and concerns. I learned confidence as well as coping mechanisms -- and answers to questions I was afraid to ask. I had struggled through school and many years of working, but with my newfound knowledge I was able to face reality and understand that my life was truly worth living and that helping others in the same situation would be my best response to the help I had gotten. And we have to get the word out to the general public: hearing loss is a major concern -- HLAA is doing a fantastic job of educating and advocating.

The Great!

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

Attending the annual national convention is always enlightening and heart-warming. It is a wonderful extension of the local chapter activities.

Ways to make it better...

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

I have no suggestions, but we need to grow ...

February 15, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 15, 2011

The Hearing Loss Association of America is a wonderful organization. It has been a key resource and advocate for people with hearing loss throughout the US. On a personal level, I do not exaggerate when I say that HLAA gave me back my life after a sudden and severe hearing loss 25 years ago. Like most hearing people, I hadn’t given a moment’s thought to the importance of hearing in my life. I didn’t think about how my hearing connected me to my friends and family. I didn’t realize that my hearing was my alerting system. So, when I lost the ability to hear easily, I had no idea why my life was thrown into such turmoil or how to deal with my new reality. Of course, I started wearing hearing aids immediately. But hearing aids weren’t nearly enough. I was isolated, depressed, and thinking that never again would I feel the joy and richness of my pre hearing loss life. Thanks to HLAA, I learned that although there was no magic pill, there were many strategies I could use to help myself. I received not only information but also support and encouragement from their dedicated volunteers. Thanks to HLAA’s advocacy over the years, millions of us with hearing loss can listen to TV, go to the theater, hear museum audio tours, and talk on the cell phone. Without HLAA, I and millions of others would not have been able to stay connected to the hearing world. And now, thanks to the Walk4Hearing, HLAA is educating the public about the importance of hearing and of treating hearing loss.

In thanks for their gift to me, I have become one of the thousands of dedicated volunteers across the country. HLAA does an extraordinary job with very little money thanks to a creative and energetic staff and a vast corps of dedicated volunteers. There is no other organization working for the consumer in this way. I wish it were better known to people with hearing loss and professionals in the field. .

The Great!

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

See above - It was absolutely key to my rehabilitation. I also have seen thousands of others who have receive the same kind of encouragement and support.

Ways to make it better...

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

i honestly don't know of any. This organization does an extraordinary job with very little money thanks to a creative and energetic staff and a vast corps of dedicated volunteers . I wish it were better known to people with hearing loss and professionals in the field.

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