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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

92 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!

Sandy P.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I am 43 years old i was out for 1 hour shooting guns with my husband in june 2018 and had the foam ear plugs in and when we were done i couldn't hear a sound i went to bed and then was able to hear just a little bit 2 weeks went by and got back half and thats all i tried stroids i teied simple timenothing worked i hav missed like 4 days of work 5 dr visits and now i need to buy a full set of hearing aids just because i spent 1 hr with my husband. Am i going to blame him no me i cant but now i cant hear for the rest of my life. I have 3 grand children to help raise i work 2 jobs im very active. Does hearing aids help when the dr put a test pair on me i cried.i could hear a pen click. It was a miracle.

Board Member

Rating: 5

J. Saunders

The HLAA strives to improve the lives of those with hearing loss through outstanding programs. Those programs are designed to educate on the biological and psychological aspects of hearing loss and appropriate paths to follow to restore communicability in those experiencing this difficulty, to educate on the availability of modern hearing assistive technology, to provide advocacy in the public sphere for those with hearing loss, and to provide outreach via a fully developed and vibrant network of national chapters where those with hearing loss can interact and learn from each other.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was at a high school reunion last summer, having a hard time trying to hear what was going on. I had one ear that could hear with a hearing aid, and one that didn't work. A classmate, Nancy Sonnabend an HLAA board member, talked about her cochlear implant and encouraged me to get evaluated for one. I went to Mayo Clinic for the evaluation, then had the implant done in Chicago late last fall. My CI ear is now the "good ear" and my hearing is dramatically better.

Board Member

Rating: 5

HLAA is the clear leader in advocating for people with hearing loss. Millions of people benefit from the organization’s work to ensure that accommodations are in place so we can live equitably and successfully with our hearing loss. In addition to carrying out its agenda at the national level, HLAA offers opportunities to educate and empower individuals through its network of chapters across the country. I have been a member of HLAA for twelve years and am grateful to have benefited from its wonderful work.

Previous Stories

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.

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Board Member

Rating: 4

I was introduced to HLAA by my hearing aid dealer when it was first founded. As a member
for many years, I am always learning new coping techniques, hearing about research and sharing ideas with people who understand my problems. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the HLAA compassionate, caring community!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Although I had had hearing loss for more than 30 years, I knew very little about it until I found HLAA. Through the annual conventions, newsletters, the activities of the local chapter, the website, HLAA has provided me with invaluable information and support that I could not get elsewhere. Because I serve on the board, I see the workings of the organization first hand. Staff and fellow board members are hardworking, creative, and efficient, making the most of available resources. There is no equivalent organization dedicated to the health and welfare of adults with hearing loss, which affects one in five adults, and we are very lucky to have HLAA to keep not only its members but also legislators and community leaders educated and aware of the needs of people with hearing loss.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have just become a board member of the Hearing Loss Association of America but I have been a member since 2010, and my review is based on my experience as a member.

I have had hearing loss since 1980, which got progressively worse until by 2009 it had deteriorated to the extent that I was profoundly deaf in one ear and close to it in the other.

I left my long time job as a journalist at the end of that year, and suddenly found myself without hearing, without a job, and really without any sense of what kind of life was open to me.

I had not heard of HLAA until March of 2010. I signed up to go to the Annual Convention, just to see what it offered. I was amazed by the resources discussed at the convention, by the expert advice offered, by the advocacy for people like me. I became an active member of the national organization and then of the Manhattan chapter, where I met many others with hearing loss like mine.

Joining HLAA literally restored my life, and gave me the confidence to figure out how to live productively with hearing loss.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first became aware of my hearing loss in 1992. Over the course of the past twenty-six years, my mild loss has progressed to a severe loss. Fortunately, there have been many changes in technology and in public accommodations during that time that have helped offset the effects of my loss. My awareness of these improvements has expanded rapidly in the last two years, as a direct result of my joining HLAA. While attending meetings, I have learned about devices that allow me to converse with my wife in noisy restaurants and to stream audio from airplane movies and tv shows directly to my hearing aids. My ability to enjoy movies and live theater is a direct result of HLAA’s advocacy for the installation of hearing loops in many theaters and concert halls, as well as its advocacy for captioned performances of Broadway shows, and captioning devices at most NYC movie houses. HLAA has also become an important part of my life as a source of support. At meetings, I have made friends who share the challenges of hearing loss.

Ann Marie P.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Finding HLAA has been a blessing. It has enabled me to connect with others who share the same struggles with hearing loss. The friendships I have made are an important part of my life. HLAA has taught me about the importance of advocating for the needs of people with hearing loss. I am a board member of both an HLAA chapter and a state organization.

3

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.

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.