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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

105 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first discovered HLAA in the 1980's. Back then it was called SHHH(Self Help for Hard of Hearing people). What I found was a local group of people just like me! Yea!! Over the years HLAA has grown and so have I. HLAA taught me how to advocate for my rights and gave me the confidence to become a leader within my HLAA group/Chapter. It made me feel like I wasn't doing this "hearing loss" all by myself. These people "got" me. They helped me learn positive communication strategies and practice using those strategies. HLAA didn't just help me; it prepared me to help others,too. Today I help others overcome the stigma attached to hearing loss by speaking out in public venues and using social media to bring information and hope to others who are struggling with hearing loss. HLAA meetings are still an important part of my life. Just like the very first meeting I attended almost three decades age... they still "get"me.

Comments ( 1 )

HLAA-Development Thank you, cooeyc, for sharing your story, and for embracing the self-help philosophy which encourages helping others.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My experience with HLAA began more than 20 years ago as an audiologist. Throughout these decades, I witnessed many patients evolve from hearing-impaired people relying on others to threat their hearing loss to empowered people self-advocating to live their best hearing life. HLAA plays a key role in this evolution at the individual patient level. In addition to that, HLAA positions itself where it needs to for policy - ranging from local to national levels. They are involved in all the conversations and decisions to ensure that their work is codified into law. It's been my honor and pleasure to work with HLAA's motivated and talented staff.
Kevin Franck PhD MBA CCC-A

Board Member

Rating: 5

HLAA is an organization driven by the mission of helping those with hearing loss. The staff and board members are an incredibly passionate group, dedicated to improving the lives of the hard-of-hearing through groundbreaking, innovative initiatives in the areas of policy, employment, technology and more. I have severe hearing loss and started a company to enhance sound on phone calls and computer for those with hearing loss. I was so inspired by the mission of the HLAA after meeting local chapter groups, interacting with national board members and attending HLAA conferences that I immediately accepted an offer to consider being on the board, knowing it was an opportunity to work with a dedicated group to make a difference in the lives of millions of the hard-of-hearing.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was a business executive who had to stay up all evening in hotels because I couldn't hear the alarms, phones or even pounding on the door. From my first contact with HLAA at the Chapter level. I have so much gratitude for the education they provide and the people they help especially our Veterans. They help others at the consumer level so good choices can be made and resources used wisely. I have been with HLAA for over 20 years and can speak first hand to the positive impact of helping others to communicate more effectively.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined HLAA in 2013 after becoming late deafened at the age 62. I attended my first convention in 2015 and have not missed one since. HLAA is an organization that brings the heard of hearing community together through their chapter meeting, walk4Hearing and their annual conventions. It is through HLAA I truly understood that I am not alone and that their are individuals just like me who struggle each and every day with hearing loss. The annual conventions are filled with information, education, advocacy and building chapters. It is just an amazing experience to see so many individuals who are just like me.

veronicatwin1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a life time Prince Georges County resident, entrepreneur, community advocate, and political activist -- with a passion for service.

Most important, after experiencing loss of her hearing suddenly in 2013 after a vertigo attack and a subsequent one in 2015 I sought cochlear implants which allows me to continue to live in the hearing world. I decided to fight the barriers and discrimination faced by others who experience hearing loss -most often in silence. To that end I discovered the Hearing Loss Association of America and have never looked back. In 2016 I decided to form the Hearing Loss of Association of America (HLAA) Prince Georges County Chapter. Early on I discovered there was so much information and resources available for persons with hearing loss that was not getting to the very community that could benefit from it. Through information provided by HLAA and local chapters I have been able to fulfill the mission to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy. In this capacity I am most proud of the work she done in collaboration with all of MD Chapters in passing a bill in the 2019 General Assembly session which requires hearing induction loops be installed in public places in which state funds are being used to reconstruction or renovations.

The Chapter continues its efforts in Prince Georges County to educate and change people’s perceptions of persons with hearing loss. The information garnered through HLAA allows me to bring awareness about hearing loss to diverse audiences throughout the metropolitan area by conducting presentations on various topics including on adjusting to your hearing loss, workplace environment, partnering with Emergency Service providers, family & friends and knowing your rights.

I strongly believe if it were not for the support from HLAA I would have suffered in silence.

Veronica Davila Steele, President
HLAA Prince George's County Chapter

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hearing Loss Association of America has really made a big impact of my life with my hearing loss and they are so wonderful and amazing people who loved to help others with hearing loss! I am proud to be part of the HLAA Membership for the last 14 years now! I am so happy that I did join with them 14 years ago and if wasn't for them being around my life wouldn't have better for myself dealing with my own hearing loss growing as a child. I am glad that made the decision to be part of the Hearing Loss Association of America. I am the HLAA Ohio State Chapter Coordinator and HLAA Orrville-Wooster Chapter President and has been amazing journey and I loved helping people with hearing loss and they are not alone! HLAA is a wonderful non profit organization to volunteer your time and my time was never wasted and it was well worth my time volunteering for HLAA!
Debbie Schaaf

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have learned so much about my hearing loss through attending the HLAA Chapter Meetings, HLAA National Convention, and through the resources provided through their magazine and website. Before I joined HLAA, I wore one hearing aid thinking I was getting what I needed. Now, I can't live without my two hearing aids, with a telecoil that gives me access in public facilities, bluetooth to connect me to my technology (phone, iPad, etc), and a support network that spans across the country. HLAA incorporates advocacy into the fabric of their organization, from national advocacy on technology and the rights of people with hearing loss, to the local chapters that advocate locally. There is no other consumer organization that does as much as Hearing Loss Association of America. This organization is a best kept secret that everyone needs to know about.

1 Latisha P.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been a member of the Hearing Loss Association of America since 2010. Since joining HLAA, I've learned more about understanding hearing loss, increased my social networks, improved my social life including my personal and workplace relationships. HLAA has such a positive impact on my life that leaders inspired me to start a local chapter. With the support of others, HLAA-Essex County was founded in 2015. In addition, HLAA has given me a pathway to lead and help others with hearing loss from ages 4 to senior citizens. I am proud to be part of a nonprofit that has helped me live better with hearing loss. Thank you HLAA!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a great organization! My local chapter offers all sorts of informative meetings, and the national organization is an effective advocate for people with hearing loss.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Hearing Loss Association of America is governed by a sophisticated Board of Trustees, passionate about helping those with hearing loss. Board governance is is effected by an outstanding administrative staff with years of experience in creating effective programmatic activity that reaches out to a well developed state and local chapter structure, its membership, and the millions upon millions of other Americans with hearing loss. That programmatic activity can extend from individual counseling on hearing loss, raising public awareness on how to deal with and treat hearing loss, and enhancing governmental response to the crisis of untreated hearing loss. It is the nation's primary advocacy organization for those with hearing loss.

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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.

Shari E.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Finding HLAA was so important in my hearing loss journey. Meeting other people with hearing loss helped me to battle stigma and learn many tricks and tips to better manage my hearing loss in a variety of situations. I made some wonderful friends and learned to advocate for myself and for other people with hearing loss. HLAA changed my life for the better.

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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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

HLAA is a critical resource for persons with hearing loss in multiple ways - it advocates for policies that promote access, including the widespread use of captioning; it advocates for legislation that promotes insurance coverage; its chapters provide support and education. So many individuals who have been touched by HLAA emphasis how important it was to them being able to reengage in life. And it does everything with a small but super dedicated staff!

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.

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.

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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.

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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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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

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 )

profile

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.

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.

1

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.

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
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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”.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have belonged to HLAA for 35 years. I found HLAA in 1984.
In gratitude I have been Editor of the state newsletter for 15 years,
The Hearing Loss Californian. FREE, 20 pages in color, with a database of 5300 names.
People with hearing loss have an invisibile disability.
HLAA works to give us access to movies, internet, theater, etc
with FM, Infrared and room loops
HLAA has a convention once a year.The 2016 Convention is in June in Washington, DC..
At their conventions, everything is accessible.
All workshops are captioned for instance. People with hearing loss need support.
I consider my HLAA friends to be my second family

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hearing Loss is devastating and isolating. HLAA will jump in immediately with friendly and knowledgable volunteers and leaders who will help you cope. HLAA educates us on the best way to communicate with our world. HLAA gives hope. With two out of ten folks developing hearing loss, HLAA is invaluable and needed. Thank you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer board member on both the local chapter and the state levels and as a delegate to national HLAA conventions I have experienced and observed the services and activities that HLAA provides for people with Hearing Loss. It is a one-stop organization for information, references, and help. Additionally, they advocate in the public domain to make venues and activities accessible to those with hearing loss. When my profound hearing loss was identified 25 years ago I did not know anyone with a hearing loss, nor where to go for information. Since then through HLAA I have found a wealth of information, resources, and friendships.

Edward18

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) has changed my life by providing me with the hearing, listening and communication tools which I needed to lead an active family, social and career lifestyle again. I don't think most people realize that hearing aids and cochlear implants can only help you so far. These hearing devices are not like eye glasses in that can rarely get one anywhere near a 20/20 solution, especially with a profound loss like mine. Even with them, I could not function at most family gatherings, community events or in the workplace. But HLAA offer the information, education and support to complement and build off one's hearing devices to significantly improve one's understanding of speech. With HLAA's help, I can again enjoy parties, the theatre and a rewarding career. HLAA is a life saver!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hearing Loss Association of America is a wonderful organization that helps people with hearing loss through support advocacy and education. I have found many wonderful friendships from being part of this organization. From those friendship forges the ability to advocate and educate others about hearing loss and HLAA.

Julieo

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hearing Loss Association of America, Inc., a consumer based organization, which was formerly known as Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc., has done more to create an awareness of the uniqueness of partial deafness than any other organization in the world. There are millions of hard of hearing Americans. According to the National Institutes of Health 50 million are affected by this invisible condition. SHHH/HLAA has educated, advocated and provided peer support since its founding in 1979. Prior to receiving information from this organization my life was falling apart. I was a 40-something who had given up my career because I didn't hear well, and felt I was being unfair to my students. I felt isolated and misunderstood. I had received no information from my hearing healthcare professionals about assistive technology that could enhance my hearing instruments. I learned what I know from people, like me, who have hearing loss; members of HLAA. I'm most grateful to this organization for the work it does. Today, I'm comfortable living in the hearing mainstream in spite of progressive sensorineural hearing loss. I now have a cochlear implant, something I would likely not have done, had it not been for the opportunity to meet others through HLAA who had gone before me. It is a miracle, as are the new hearing aids that can do so much more than they could do even a decade ago. HLAA has been a frontrunner in promoting research and development in both medicine and technology, legislation, and the kind of personal support that hard of hearing people need. Chapters of HLAA are located throughout the United States,. Many more should be formed. I can't say enough about the importance of the work HLAA does.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Hearing Loss Association of America has grown from a small grassroots organization called Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc. (SHHH) to become 'The Nation's Voice for People with Hearing Loss', as The Hearing Loss Association of America, Inc. (HLAA) today. No other consumer based organization had reached out to people with partial deafness prior to SHHH. A major achievement of SHHH was to identify the much larger hard of hearing population as being separate from the better known population that embraces Deafness as a culture. By so doing, medical research has increased remarkably in the field of deafness, in spite of the fact that Deaf Culture advocates (Less than 1% of the whole 32 million Americans with hearing loss) continue to oppose curing the disability to preserve the culture. Without the force of SHHH/HLAA the advancements in cochlear implants, hearing instruments and other hearing assistive technologies would likely be way behind where they are today. Against many odds, HLAA has made a positive difference in the way the public perceives people with hearing loss. And, I believe the organization can achieve much more than it has already if it has more resources.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HLAA teaches people how to cope with hearing loss. It is the best source of information on assistive devices and how to hear in challenging situations. HLAA is my favorite non profit because it does its job of educating hard of hearing well. What a difference HLAA made in my life. It gave me the tools to succeed in Graduate School.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My mom had profound hearing loss from about the age of 45 years. My dad understood what she was going through but I really didn't get it. She got involved with Rocky and Amie and SHHH and her life improved dramatically. Then I lost my hearing and eventually was put on the HLAA national board. After the 2nd meeting several board members took me aside and told me I should go to NYU to be evaluated for a cochlear implant. I did this and shortly thereafter Dr. Thomas Roland implanted a cochlear on my left side. I feel so lucky to have gotten my life back and I owe it to HLAA.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

While in the receiving line at my wedding my Mom realized she couldn't hear the names of people introduced to her. Her hearing continued to decline and she was fitted for stronger and stronger hearing aids bilaterally. Going to social events was difficult in spite of my father's translating much of what was being said. It got to the point that she didn't want to go out. Then my parents met Rocky and Ahmy Stone and attended the SHHH Conference in Chicago. Those two events were life changers for my mom. She learned to speak up for herself and started the first SHHH (later to be renamed HLAA) chapters in Winnetka, IL and Sarasota, FL. She also taught lip reading for over 35 years.

Thus when my hearing began to go I knew to ask for hearing aids. I received one in my right ear but was told that I was deaf in my left ear and a hearing aid would not help that ear and I was not a candidate for a cochlear implant. After asking for a cochlear implant for several years I was told by fellow HLAA trustees to get out of the state in which I live and go to New York. I now have a cochlear implant and have my life back.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a late-deafened adult. By that, I mean that I once heard typically and over the course of the years I lost my ability to hear. Because of the Hearing Loss Association of America and its caring members, I learned about hearing assistive technology and how to live well in spite of my hearing loss. Because of the education, information, advocacy, and support provided to me by these HLAA members, I found hearing-friendly workplaces, underwent bi-lateral cochlear implantation, auditory rehabilitation, and learned about assistive listening devices and more effective communication strategies. None of that would have happened had the first Hearing Loss Association of America member not reached out to me. My story is not unique. This organization changes lives!

Donor

Rating: 4

As someone who with a lifelong hearing loss, I support HLAA because of their advocacy for people with hearing loss. I also find their magazine and e-newsletters to be very useful and informative.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined HLAA f/k/a SHHH in 1998 at the age of 46 when I lost my hearing. The members and staff of this organization changed my life and made my loss of hearing much more manageable than I thought it would be. I have been involved with this organization in various capacities, but what I like most is passing on the knowledge that I gained from HLAA and the people whom I have met as a result of my membership in this organization. In 2000 I had the privilege of meeting Rocky Stone, the founder of SHHH, at the annual convention. He knew who I was before I even introduced myself. I was impressed top say the least and will never forget that experience. HLAA has been nothing but good experiences for me, and I amgrateful to Rocky Stone for having founded this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Like so many with hearing loss, I was in denial. I was about 30 and gradually losing my hearing, and just didn't want to believe it could become a real problem. I was a professional working for a large corporation, and finally got hearing aids when I became a manager and really need to hear my best. They helped for a while, but as my loss increased, I really needed to take advantage of additional features that was starting to emerge in hearing aids and assistive technology.

My Wife and Daughter were a major support for me, but I still didn't understand how much technology and strategies could help me, until my Wife literally dragged my to my first HLAA meeting. I didn't want to go (see "denial", above), but was surprised to find a great group of people who knew so much more than I did about hearing aids, assistive technology (like hearing aid features, FM and telecoils) and strategies for making the most of my hearing. I have never been a "joiner", but I was hooked because of the great people I met and how much they helped me.

That was 25 years ago. I've now got a cochlear implant, all the best assistive technology and strategies. After retiring, at 50, I wondered how I'd ever work again, but since then, I've been hired by three great company and am happily still with latest and best of them ... a fact that I attribute, at least in part, to how much HLAA helped me be good at having a hearing loss.

If you've got a hearing loss, then join HLAA immediately. If you have a friend or family member with hearing loss, buy them a membership and go with them to meetings and conferences. Volunteer, and you'll never be without good friends and support. Donate and you'll be making a difference for everyone with hearing loss.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HLAA saved me from a life of sudden deafness and the isolation it brought by supporting me with the guidance and educating me with the tools, both of which I needed to communicate with people again. The result has been a much more active family, social and career-restoring lifestyle than I thought I could ever experience again.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I've just joined my local chapter and really enjoyed meeting the welcoming, fun people. Based on what I've seen and read about in the newsletters, I think it's going to be a great place for me to keep informed about new technologies (I wear bilateral hearing aids) as well as join efforts to implement hearing technology at local venues.

megw

Board Member

Rating: 5

HLAA is making a major difference to the lives of persons with hearing loss through its outreach activities and work informing policy makers. Many of the benefits that are available that enhance everyone's ability to communicate and stay actively engaged in the community are made possible partly by the efforts of HLAA. It also provides a wonderful network of individuals who can share their experiences and learn from each other.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a health professional working with older adults with hearing loss I became aware of the extremely valuable role played by the HLAA through its support of individuals with hearing loss, its ability to push for legislative reform that supports persons with hearing loss, and its support of educational programs and opportunities. It's a wonderful advocate and has a very strong commitment to promoting access to health care services for persons with hearing loss at any age.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first learned that I had a severe hearing loss I was introduced to the local chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America. Through the local members, their informative monthly meetings, and the excellent magazine and publications from the national umbrella organization I learned about my own hearing loss, its possible causes, treatments, assistive devices, and unending resources available to my family & me to better cope with my worsening hearing loss.The HLAA resources & meetings are open to all persons with hearing loss, that know someone with hearing loss, or just people that are interested in knowing more about hearing loss. The membership covers all ages, all backgrounds, and all home locations in the US. I've attended state & national conventions, been introduced to magnificent speakers and information on all subjects related to hearing loss, I've been able to share information with other newly identified people with hearing loss thanks to the Hearing Loss Association of America. It is so empowering to be in a room full of Hard of Hearing people that are learning about their disability together from knowledgeable people and together advocating for their needs in their own home communities.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

HLAA is a important resource for everyone. We are all touched by hearing loss in some way, personally or someone that we know and love at some point in our lives. Education and resources provided by HLAA help arm people with the tools to help improve their quality of life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

HLAA offered an educational presentation on hearing loops, including a live demonstration and superb information from real professionals who know the technology and the human elements. Following up on this presentation I was able to work with one of the professionals who was present to develop a proposal for installing a hearing loop in my church. The installation has been a success, and church members and visitors are benefiting from improved hearing in church services and other events held in the church. The local HLAA chapter offers regular educational sessions that are a real help for people with hearing loss.

Patrinky

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HLAA is extremely influential and effective in all things related to hearing loss. They fight for our rights in Congress and then take the time to tell us what we can do to fight for our rights. They are staffed by an amazing group of people who are totally dedicated to helping us live successfully with hearing loss. They have all the materials and supplies to provide information on a large range of topics. They are the source for answers to many questions people have about hearing aids, such as cost, rights, and insurance. HLAA is a truly amazing non-profit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the counselors at the Endependence Center in Virginia Beach introduced me to the local chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America. I have learned so much from the caring members about what HLAA is doing to help those of us with a hearing disability... advocating for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act nationally and getting local businesses and venues to provide devices that allow hearing impaired individuals enjoy theater performances, movies and social functions again. I have learned much about personal devices available to help with daily living activities and can again live a nearly normal life. I encourage everyone to support this fine organization and the caring members in the great work that they do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Back when I was loosing my hearing and hit the profoundly deaf stage in the early 1970s, I would ask my doctors, audiologists, hearing aid dealers, etc., can you put me in touch with others like me so I can find out how to better cope with my hearing loss? The answer was always no. I had Cochlear Implant surgery in 1984 and it helped me to lip read. Finally in 1985, a friend found out about HLAA (then SHHH) and she asked me if I wanted to help start a chapter here, and I said "YES"! HLAA is the answer to prayers. They are the leading advocacy association for people with hearing loss. If not for HLAA, strives in hearing technology, the ADA law, education, places where we are at 'home' with our hearing loss (HLAA meetings & conventions), CAN & CART, Captions, Relay services, captions in movie theaters, etc. would not have advanced as quickly as it did. With a large group advocating for people we have a bigger voice for changes to be made to help us Hard of Hearing Folks to be more independent and so much has been developed to help. I can remember the first HLAA convention I went to in Bethesda, MD back in the 1980s. I had felt since I lost my hearing that I rode a fence; I wasn't a part of the hearing world, but did not fit in with deaf culture. With HLAA I found a home. MW

Bea_

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hearing Loss Association of America...who is this? HLAA comprised of local chapters and state associations all across the U. S. is the ONE non-profit organization that represents all people who live with hearing loss. She speaks for all of us all the time through education, advocacy and self-help support at both national and international levels.

I found Hearing Loss Association of America back in 1983 after having been a member of several other so called organizations serving both Deaf and hard of hearing folks during my youth and young adulthood. Through participation in local chapter development and leadership, as a member of the National Board of Trustees for 8 years, by working behind the scenes at my local level in education and advocacy projects and as liaison representing former Board trustees with the National Office for the past ten years, I finally found MY organization and MY niche in society. HLAA has truly made a difference in my personal life and helped to lead me toward a more positive outlook and fulfilling experiences.

Today I remain super-active in my local chapter work, our annual Walk4Hearing event, and my support of the work in the HLAA National Office. As a person living with hearing loss, as a retired professional educator and as a mentor/advocate for others who are Deaf and/or hard of hearing, it is a privilege to give back to Hearing Loss Association of America in a small effort to repay this organization for all of the blessings I've received over the years. Thank you.

Norman K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What the heck is SHHH, now HLAA. That's what I asked my wife many years ago when she read an add in the local weekly paper. We went to the local HLAA, Capital Region Chapter meeting and have been going ever since. I had a hearing aid, could not hear well, meet a lot of wonderful hard of hearing people. Got a real education on what was available for the likes of me. I served on the Board, Was President of our chapter for three years. Still serve as Vice Pres. Went on to get Bilateral Cochlear implants, attended HLAA Conventions. Met more wonderful, helpful people I also talk to people with hearing loss thru the Cochlear Awareness Network who may be a candidate for a "Implant".
All because my wife saw the add, and wanted me to hear better. I say, God bless her. Thats what HLAA is!!!

Terry41

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found the HLAA about three years ago. I have a severe hearing loss and this organization changed my life.
I feel part of the world again. I do not feel isolated. I have learned so much from this organization. such as using ASL (assistive listening devices), speaking up about my hearing loss, generally and in situations where I particularly need to understand , like Doctor's meeting, traveling, or just wanting to understand conversation.
It's a great organization I can't say enough wonderful things about it

Donor

Rating: 5

I have 15 year old child who was diagnosis at birth with severe hearing loss. HLAA is an awesome organization and has a tremendous impact and wealth of information to help people learn and cope with living with hearing loss. Helped me and and my child in many ways at the early stages and through the years. There fundraising events like Walk4hearing to help spread awareness, we are actively involved every year. We walk proudly and raise funds to help this awesome organization continue to help others.

Rosemary T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HLAA changed my life, I am a Volunteer, Client and Donor. I joined this organization in 1996, I learned to cope with my progressive Hearing Loss, I went to every Convention since except when health issues stopped me. I have helped start two HLAA Chapters where I learned even more, because not only do all of us with hearing loss benefit from this organization, we learn from each other, especially when it concerns coping skills. Their advocacy helps us all, not just those who are members. I am now a bilateral Cochlear Implant user as a result of all that I learned about technology. I could go on and on, I really feel like my deafness has been a gift to me, through all the wonderful caring people I met from HLAA over the years. I learned that advocating for myself was important in all I do and since joining I do so much more. This is the Self Help that I so needed and I want to share it with everyone.