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Toni I.

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2 reviews

Review for Hearing Loss Association of America, Bethesda, MD, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

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


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Role:  Board Member

Review for Hearing Loss Association of America, Bethesda, MD, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

‘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.

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

See above

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

Role:  Volunteer & Member of the HLAA-Manhattan Chapter Planning Committee; team coordinator and co-chair for NYC Walk4Hearing (2 years).