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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hearing Loss Association of America

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, Ear & Throat Diseases, Education, Health, Health Care

Mission: The mission of HLAA is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy. HLAA is the nation’s leading organization representing people with hearing loss. Hearing loss is the third largest public health issue after heart disease and arthritis. 48 million (20 percent) Americans have some degree of hearing loss.

Target demographics: people with hearing loss

Direct beneficiaries per year: Thousands of people with hearing loss!

Geographic areas served: the United States

Programs: Chapters and support groups; the HLAA Convention which offers educational workshops and more, all communication accessible with the use of hearing loops and real-time captioning; and the Walk4Hearing, held in cities across the country in the spring and fall (funds raised go to support programs for people with hearing loss).

Community Stories

84 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Jeff B.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first lost my hearing, isolation set it. I looked for a support group since I was sure I was the only one with hearing loss. After being warmly greeted at my first meeting, I joined 10 others to discuss coping skills for eating out in a restaurant. I was not alone! And I developed sweet friendships with others who wanted to know more about hearing loss - and who also enjoyed dining out - and able to do so comfortably!Regular chapter meetings gave me the confidence I needed to confront my hearing loss. I learned how we do hear, what can go wrong with our hearing, and what to look for in a hearing loss professional. We enjoyed camaraderie as we discussed coping skills is a myriad of noisy situations Most importantly, we learned to advocate for ourselves and others with hearing loss. Reaching out to others to educate and support them is key to nurturing self-esteem and confidence. HLAA sponsors yearly national conventions to showcase the latest research and assistive devices to the 48 million Americans with hearing loss. As a 501 (3)(c) organization, HLAA's low-cost, but high-in-value membership also includes bi-monthly issues of HEARING LIFE magazine. This informative and award-winning magazine in itself is worth more than the low annual membership fee. A small, but highly dedicated and efficient staff, leads a motivated corp of volunteers across the country to reach out and help those with hearing loss.The Hearing Loss Association of Amerca (HLAA) is a top-notch organization with national scope, but local and individual attention. I give them 10 stars!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

HLAA is the gold standard organization for people with hearing loss who are seeking information, support, and advocacy. Fueled by the contributions of a committed, creative staff and a network of volunteers, HLAA has become the go-to resource for hearing loss patients and their families.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Our HLAAG(HLAA Augusta Ga.) has just been declared inactive/dormant. The funds of $3,000+ that HLAAG had earmarked for scholarships for needy children to send to Camp Juliena has been closed out and sent to National. None of that money could be allocated to send the children to Camp Juliena as we have done in the last few years as well as sending monetary donations.

Last year HLAAG had sponsored 4 children to attend camp. I had looked forward to sending more to Camp Juliena this year. When I approached HLAAG's treasurer, I was told that our chapter has been declared inactive by State Director of Ga HLAA - a State Officer. Our pleas to Mr. _____ to have the monies returned fell on deaf ears so now we are up against a hard deadline, only a few weeks away, to try to find money to send these kids to camp. If this is the kind of "leadership" HLAA National supports then we want no part of this organisation





Comments ( 1 )

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HLAA-Development 05/01/2018

The HLAA-Augusta Chapter was declared inactive because they did not meet the obligations of an HLAA Chapter after repeated attempts to help them do so. As part of the fiduciary responsibility of HLAA, since there are no officers or active HLAA National members in leadership of the HLAA-Augusta Chapter, the national organization suspended their status and, according to policy, is holding the chapter funds in escrow until they can reform the chapter or start a new one in the same area. At that point, when a proper HLAA Chapter governing board is established and when they hold regular meetings, they will receive the money to resume HLAA Chapter status and fulfill the HLAA mission in the community. HLAA has also offered to honor the commitment to Camp Juliena by sending a check for scholarships. There has been no response from the people in Augusta who committed donors’ money to Camp Juliena.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was in my 20's when I reluctantly received my 1st pair of hearing aids. I found an HLAA (Formerly Self Help For Hard Of Hearing) magazine in the Audioligist's office. I was feeling ambivalent about wearing hearing aids and was convinced that only old people wore them. The articles I read in the HLAA monthly magazine gave me hope, I finally found people who understood my invisible condition. The hearing aids took some time to get used to and HLAA advised me what I should expect. I also learned that nothing was going to restore my hearing to normal. The improvement I noticed with my hearing aids was remarkable. I could really hear again. I joined HLAA and went to a few conventions. I have never regretted any involvement with HLAA. The organization really cares about hearing impairment by providing resources, guidance and education. I am now in my 60's and still work in the Information Technology field that I almost gave up because I could not hear. I owe a debt of gratitude to HLAA and could never give back what they have given to me. Thank you to everyone in Bethesda, MD that keep HLAA avaialable to all.

Shari E.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

An absolutely essential organization representing people with hearing loss on the national and local level. A life changer for people with hearing loss.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I was 42 years old I experienced a sudden hearing loss that catapulted me from better than normal hearing to wearing 2 hearing aids to help my now profound hearing loss. I knew no one with hearing loss or that wore a hearing aid. Learning about HLAA and attending local meetings was a turning point for me. I found that I was not the only person with this bizarre unpleasant condition, I found people that would discuss what things helped them and how to find them, I continued to learn more at each meeting, event, and even national conventions. I look forward to reading their "Hearing Loss Magazine" and to things posted online. I was no longer the only one I knew with hearing loss.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I used to live in a large metro area where my friends were active members of HLAA. Now I live in a smaller town without an active HLAA chapter. I'm working hard to educate others on what HLAA has to offer. Past HLAA conventions have given me the power and passion to continue what I no longer have, but working hard to achieve it.

Advisor

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Richard118

Board Member

Rating: 5

An absolutely essential group for people w hearing loss

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became aware of HLAA and the local Colorado Springs Chapter as a member of Sertoma, Inc. SERTOMA has a partnership arrangement with HLAA because of our common mission of extending services to the hearing impaired and promoting hearing health. For the past two and one half years I have been a member HLAA. I can honestly say that through the interaction with the local chapter members and leadership plus reading the Hearing Loss magazine my knowledge has increased exponentially.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best way to overcome the loneliness of hearing loss.

staffov

Volunteer

Rating: 5

People with hearing loss struggle to obtain and maintain employment. Employers struggle to assist them. HLAA brought the 2 together for a 3-hour Symposium at its Annual Convention in June. Hundreds of employers and workers with hearing loss engaged in a frank discussion of issues and solutions. HLAA is the first to ever sponsor this kind of activity and it is part of an on-going effort to open the world of communication and full participation in public life for people with hearing loss. HLAA also advocates at the national level for solutions that will better the lives of workers with hearing loss. Valerie Stafford-Mallis

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a late-deafened adult who is still working. I lost my hearing during what should have been the peak years of my career. Had I known about the Hearing loss Association of America, I could have availed myself earlier of all the wonderful education, advocacy and support than I did. However, it is never too late. I am so grateful to be a part of HLAA. The education, advocacy, and support I have received by being a member in HLAA has enabled me to achieve and maintain competitive employment in the career of my choice. I am so grateful!

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) has empowered me to lead a more active lifestyle by teaching me how to communicate more effectively and how to be a better advocate, not only for myself, but for others in the community where I live affected by hearing loss.

The statistics are alarming. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 20% of our population has some level of hearing loss—45 million people in the United States. In Sarasota, Florida, that translates into approximately 145,000 residents. I am fortunate to be part of a team that believes we can and will raise awareness about this “invisible condition” while improving people’s lives through education, support and the sharing of experiences. HLAA has given me the tools and resources to reach, educate and motivate these individuals to seek treatment.  

Although hearing loss is called the “invisible condition”, I refuse to be invisible in my determination to raise awareness regarding the HLAA mission of education, information, advocacy and support for people with hearing loss. There is nothing more rewarding to me than to have someone who has struggled with hearing loss say: “You have made such a difference in my life”.