My first connection to HLAA was through its annual Walk4Hearing program. It was a revelation for me to see that there were thousands of others who shared my experience of hearing loss and to feel the support of walking with family, friends, educators, and hearing health professionals.
What is most unique and effective about HLAA is that in addition to providing information and tools to help make hearing loss manageable, it also empowers you to advocate for yourself and millions of others. Working with dedicated and expert staff, HLAA volunteers have accomplished great things in making our communities more accessible.
I urge anyone with a connection to hearing loss to visit HLAA’s website and to join the largest and most effective consumer organization advocating on our behalf.
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.
Review from Guidestar
HLAA changed my life, I am a Volunteer, Client and Donor. I joined this organization in 1996, I learned to cope with my progressive Hearing Loss, I went to every Convention since except when health issues stopped me. I have helped start two HLAA Chapters where I learned even more, because not only do all of us with hearing loss benefit from this organization, we learn from each other, especially when it concerns coping skills. Their advocacy helps us all, not just those who are members. I am now a bilateral Cochlear Implant user as a result of all that I learned about technology. I could go on and on, I really feel like my deafness has been a gift to me, through all the wonderful caring people I met from HLAA over the years. I learned that advocating for myself was important in all I do and since joining I do so much more. This is the Self Help that I so needed and I want to share it with everyone.
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.
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.
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.
Hearing Loss Association of America
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!!
Review from Guidestar
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!
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!!
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!
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.
Review from Guidestar
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!
Review from Guidestar