As a hearing impaired person since birth and founder of Lessersound (I was born in to a world of lesser sound and did not get hearing aids until I was 26). Since then I have become a hearing advocate and learned of HLAA. The way I would describe it is as Hemmingway once wrote about the need for a "clean well lighted place" which I construe as a place of refuge from the dark, dreary and hostile world outside; HLAA provides outreach, comfort, support, education, advocacy and guidance for those of us H-I-P (Hearing Impaired People) who desperately need what HLAA offers . Figuratively a shoulder to cry on, a warm hug for those in the hearing dark and an understanding and empathy for we who are a part of my lessersound world (and large family) and the families and loved ones who care, as HLAA does for the many. Wayne Lewis Lesser founder lessersound, and creator of lessersoundapp. com.
Although I appreciate the intent of making hearing aids more accessible and affordable, I'm saddened by the HLAAs support of OTC hearing aids. Here's why. 1) They're already available at Walmart, Rite Aid, the internet and in magazines. This legislation simply paves the way for the big corporations (Samsung, and Bose) backing this legislation to jump into a new lucrative market 2) The cost and technology of OTC aids will be the same as hearing aids already available from professional hearing aid specialists and audiologists (granted some providers never inform or offer the lower cost devices to their clients to increase their profits). People will actually be paying the same price for hearing aids but won't get the professional fitting and follow-up that dramatically increases their chances of success and satisfaction. 3) Most HLAA members have severe to profound hearing losses that can ONLY be treated effectively by professionals, so this legislation will have virtually no benefit to the vast majority of HLAA membership. 4) Most HLAA members I have spoken to in Oregon Do NOT support this legislation because they've experienced the benefits of receiving professional testing, consultation, fitting, and often quarterly follow-up for the many years they use their devices.
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
Hearing loss runs in my family, and the compromises that it inflicted on people I love had a painful impact on our ability to enjoy each other and live with well being. HLAA is the single most important resource that I've uncovered in over 30 years of searching for better ways to manage. I give HLAA the very highest recommendation and would urge any person struggling with hearing loss - either first hand or because a loved one is affected - to join the national organization and to find a local chapter.
"It saved my life." In my work as a long-time HLAA member and volunteer, this is the comment I often hear from people with hearing loss who discover the organization, often through a friend or colleague. I think there are several reasons why this response is such a common one, but the most important is the fact that HLAA offers such hope and reassurance. It is such a remarkable organization at every level. The national office is staffed by committed, intelligent hearing loss advocates and generates initiatives that make a real difference in terms of legislative advocacy and shaping hearing healthcare policy. Through local chapters, HLAA brings much needed information and support to individuals facing hearing loss and their families. I believe that HLAA is an essential resource for anyone struggling with the challenges presented by hearing loss.
A superb organization providing information & support to persons living with hearing loss, including coping strategies, information on rapidly developing assistive technology and advocacy services. Help is providing through an excellent magazine, informational programs, captioned webinars, chat rooms, programs sponsored by local chapters, discounts on phones and assistive listening devices, etc.
I suffered sudden deafness in my left ear on 8/5/08. HLAA has helped me through the national, state and local chapter to understand my disability. The HLAA magazine is very informative. The local monthly chapter meetings allow me to interact and learn from other hearing impaired people. I highly recommend HLAA for knowledge, research updates, advocacy and so much more regarding hearing loss issues.
HLAA is the organization to go to for much needed information on hearing loss. It is the only resource for questions you might have about dealing with your hearing loss. From coping skills to the latest technology to peer support .the association is the most knowledgeable and informative . I can say without hesitation that this group of dedicated people with hearing loss have made a significant difference in my life with the service and information that they provide.
There are a lot of dedicated staff at the national and local levels. My life has changed for the better in the 5 years that I've been involved.
When I joined HLAA in 1995 I was working full time, but struggling with communication issues during meetings. I had volume control on my phone, but knew nothing about any other assistive listening devices. HLAA provided the information I needed to remain employed and so much more. Thank you, HLAA!!!