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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.

Programs:

Held annually, the HLAA convention is completely hearing accessible to people with hearing loss. A wide-range of up-to-date information is made available to attendees and hearing health professionals through educational workshops that are eligible for CEUS, a research symposium, and a large trade show exhibiting the latest hearing assistive technology.

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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