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Hearing Loss Association of America
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

MY ROLE:
Volunteer

Hearing Loss Association of America
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.

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I worked as a volunteer chairing the Planning Committee, then Chairing the first Walk4Hearing in New York City, and presently head up the Looping Comittee, which advocates for the installation of induction loops in public places to help those with hearing.

Review from Guidestar