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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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!!!
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
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.
It is very hard to explain the enormous impact HLAA has been on my life, and many others around me.
Having grown up with a hearing loss and never meeting anyone who looked like me for 33 years, it was a startling revelation. It truly is an invisible existence - and there are millions more beyond the 50 million indentified with hearing loss.
I've learned how to prepare myself to cope in the workplace, hospitals, airports, hotels, family events. It's never been just about me - but about everyone in my life who wants to be able to fully communicate and particpate.
HLAA teaches us by exanple that we are not victims - but how to advocate and educate those around us. Accessible technology has been the tipping point for many of us to succeed and flourish.
I can't even imagine what my life would have looked like without HLAA. I'm grateful to everything they've done for me and all of the friendships that form my second family today.
Finding the Hearing Loss Association of America has literally changed my life. Because of them, I discovered the cochlear implant which helped me regain more than adequate hearing to live my life.
I learned about how to advocate for myself in employment, in medical offices, in the travel industry, with family and friends, in church, in public and with the government. The list is endless.
Bolstered by many, many friends who also have hearing loss, I was able to go out and teach others what I have learned – about assistive listening technology, hearing devices, emergency preparedness, and much more.
This is a very special organization that exists specifically to help 48 million Americans with hearing loss.
The Hearing Loss Association of America is a very special organization, with a very small paid staff. Hundreds of volunteers around the country lead almost 200 chapters, helping many people with hearing loss. The national organization and the chapters support, inform and advocate for those with hearing loss. While the national office works with Congresspeople to enact laws to help the hard of hearing, the chapters provide captioning at their meetings, write monthly newsletters for their members, have monthly meetings on hearing loss topics, organize annual Walk4Hearing events and make grants to deserving high school graduates with hearing loss, theater development fund for captioned Broadway performances, and lots more, not to mention all the advocacy work resulting in hearing loops and captioning in many public places.
My role in all the above is I had the opportunity to chair the first Walk4Hearing in New York City. Now I work with the NYC Loop Committee of which I was chair for three years. We educate public places about hearing loops and how they help people with hearing loss.
How I got started and how the organization has helped me? A relative of a friend told me about the organization. I went to my first meeting and was enthralled with the idea that everyone in the room understood what I was going through. I learned so much about coping strategies and technology. I wanted to share my knowledge and became a mentor. In the process of doing for the organization, I had the opportunity to grow, to stretch my experience, my abilities and to gain more confidence in myself. I made great friends, caring people who want to help others. Through outreach via street fairs, exhibiting at organizational fairs and online, on-air and print publicity our chapter grew and is now outgrowing its meeting space.
I no longer isolate or feel sorry for myself because I don't hear so well. My focus is on helping others. There is no other organization that does so much for those with hearing loss. I vote for Hearing Loss Association of America as one of the best nonprofits around. Check it out. See for yourself. www.hearingloss.org.
Thank you for allowing me to talk about my favorite subject.
With love and affection to HLAA.
Hearing Loss Association of America
I have been an active volunteer for HLAA for more than ten years. When I went to my first chapter meeting, I was overwhelmed with emotion to learn I was not alone in dealing with my hearing loss. I had been so frustrated by not hearing well in the workplace and losing jobs in the previous few years, it was so good to meet others who had similar experiences. I learned a multitude of valuable information -- concrete strategies to help me communicate better, specific assistive devices I had never heard of before to help me hear better in different situations, and I made new wonderful friends who have been so supportive.
Because of my very positive experience with this organization, I wanted to give back, teach others what I had learned so I became an active participant by joining the Planing Committee of my chapter, then becoming Chair of the Planning Committee for five years. In addition, I chaired the first New York City Walk4Hearing, a great success to my surprise! I am now the Chair of the Looping Committee, a group that advocates for the installation of induction loops in public places to help those who have a t-coil (telephone program) in their hearing aids/cochlear implants hear better at lectures, religious services, performances, etc.
Together all the volunteers of this organization work together, all around the nation. We have an electronic leaders list and share our knowledge that way. We gain support from others through our email interaction and meetings. We get together at annual conventions where we learn so much and have a chance to discuss our problems.
There is nothing more supportive than being with people who share your problem. There is no other organization I know of that provides so much information, education and advocacy in Congress as well as with privately held companies like cell phone companies, airline industry and many others that are now providing services and products geared to those with heaing loss.
If I had to rate this organization with stars I would give it the maximum, five stars. Go HLAA, go!!
Review from Guidestar
The Walk 4 hearing brings the young and old together! Hearing loss cuts across all ages and impacts 40 plus million! walk4 hearing brings awareness that technology can bring access to communication!
HLAA is an International Organization that reaches far and wide to educate, advocate and engage everyone about all aspects of hearing loss.
Their annual national convention is the best ever!!
Having hearing loss for more than 35 years, I first found HLAA in 1990 and immediately embraced the organization. I found people who understood what it is like, were non-judgmental and best of all offered the support I needed to wade through the ever changing technology we were thrust into in the 90s.
I have worn a lot of hats over the years but most recently serve as Walk4Hearing chair in Chattanooga, a position I love. I have no doubt in my mind that because of HLAA, and because of the Walk4Hearing events held all over the US, hearing loss is becoming less of a social issue and more of a health issue.
Walk4Hearing has brought community awareness to our local HLAA chapter and in turn HLAA actually means something to many people. it gives us a chance to help others in the community and educate others about hearing loss. i cannot say enough good things about HLAA - except join!
I have been an active member of HLAA for four years, from the time I became a bilateral Cochlear Implant user. I have been profoundly deaf since birth and wore hearing-aids for 49 years I felt very isolated and lost in my world before receiving Cochlear implants in both ears. My Cochlear implants opened the doors to a new and much more rewarding life for me. But it wasn't enough until I found HLAA that I was able to begin to fully participate in this new world. HLAA helped me to learn how to cope in the hearing world through attendance at many chapter meetings and listening to representations from great speakers every month. I also learned good strategies to overcome my fears and improve communication skills with family, friends, and in normal every day transactions. But most of all to help build up my confidence in hearing so many new and different sounds that my hearing aids either weren't able to pick up or differentiate or were just not the actual sounds that one hears with normal hearing. Speakers at HLAA meetings also gave me lots of information about the use of advanced technologies such as Captel phones, closed captions in movies and theatres, Cart, Looping, and many others. I have also met wonderful people who have been very helpful, friendly, and supportive. I no longer feel alone since being around people with hearing impairements who can share their stories with similar experiences and to learn from one another. Now that I know there is an organziation for those of us with hearing loss at all level, it has become a very sociable and enjoyable experience. But there is still so much more to learn. . I look forward to every meeting!
Overall, HLAA's mission is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy and support. HLAA is working very hard to build up, expand, and improve services for hearing-impaired people by providing open captions and loops in all areas, through education and advocacy to the public, and by supporting so many other hearing-related activities. HLAA has been a life changer for me! I have helped to raise funds and actively participated in our our annual NYC Walk4Hearing for the past three years. I also serve as a member of the NYC Walk and Manhattan chapter Planning Committees. It has been a pleasure to share my story with all of you.
Review from Guidestar
Hearing loss is invisible and no one dies of it, hence it has not captured the media attention of the more obvious disabilities. Along came Self Help for Hard of Hearing People in 1979, the first organization to recognize the needs of people with a hearing loss. Now named Hearing Loss Association of America the organization that started in the founder's (Rocky Stone's) basement is a thriving and growing national organization devoted to educating people with hearing loss, advocating for their rights, and providing reams of information to help them live successfully with a hearing loss. This organization now as 250 chapters throughout country dedicated to helping people learn and cope with their loss. I found the organization as a graduate student in 1982 when I was writing my thesis on Self Help for people with hearing loss. There was a glaring lack of information about hearing loss in libraries. There also was no internet to google information. A small article in a local newspaper inviting people to attend a meeting of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People caught my attention. i was amazed at what the people were learning about their hearing loss but especially about how to cope with it. A few days after this meeting I wrote to the founder and within days a large box of information about hearing loss arrived. My thesis was a success and I was hooked on the organization. Almost 30 years later I am still involved and still learning. The advocacy of the staff and members throught the country helped to ensure that all of the technology being developed would find its way into the hands of the people who needed it. This organization has helped thousands of us learn to deal with hearing loss in a positive way and has hastened the development of technology for all people with hearing loss.We also learned to laugh at ourselves. What a blessing we were given!
Review from Guidestar
As a professional learning to live in a hearing world, I have spent all of my life quietly struggling to lip-read my family members, teachers, employers and friends. Having been born with a severe hearing loss in both ears, my parents began working early on with educators and administrators to enable me to move out of the special education classroom and into the main-streamed classrooms with other hearing students. Hence began a life of sitting in the front row to lip-read, speech and language classes, after learning to speak at the U of Illinois at 3 1/2 years of age. The Hearing Loss Assn. of America provides advocacy, education, training, support for parents and family members, and educators to let more little children make enormous strides to live, and someday, work in a hearing world. They provide the life-changing keys to success for America's children. As a volunteer, giving back to my community, I have gone into classrooms and worked with students, parents, and teachers to share HLAA-learned skills and support in Maryland and Idaho. As a professional accountant, I have volunteered in work places to teach employers the skills needed to work with the deaf and hard of hearing. HLAA is ready to take America into the next century!
Review from Guidestar
My HLAA chapter in Michigan has given me and my family encouragement, support, companionship and invaluable information in coping with my quick, unexpected hearing loss eight years ago. Without HLAA I would know nothing about assistive listening devices, CART, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is so encouraging to know that I am not alone and that there is help out there for me. The national conventions are packed with information about coping with hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants, emergency warning devices, other support groups, rights guaranteed by the ADA, and whatever else a person with hearing loss needs to live life as fully as possible.
HLAA's advocacy efforts in securing captioned television and movies, hearing-aid compatible phones, captioned airport announcements, hotel accessibility have helped me and millions of other hearing impaired people.
Review from Guidestar
SHHH/HLAA has been my lifesaver. I began losing my hearing at the age of 10 and until I found the organization some 40 years later I never knew anyone with hearing loss, saw no published information about it, had no encouragement from family, friends or doctors. At my first SHHH meeting I was welcomed with open arms by so many others with my same problems and concerns. I learned confidence as well as coping mechanisms -- and answers to questions I was afraid to ask. I had struggled through school and many years of working, but with my newfound knowledge I was able to face reality and understand that my life was truly worth living and that helping others in the same situation would be my best response to the help I had gotten. And we have to get the word out to the general public: hearing loss is a major concern -- HLAA is doing a fantastic job of educating and advocating.
Review from Guidestar
The Hearing Loss Association of America is a wonderful organization. It has been a key resource and advocate for people with hearing loss throughout the US. On a personal level, I do not exaggerate when I say that HLAA gave me back my life after a sudden and severe hearing loss 25 years ago. Like most hearing people, I hadn’t given a moment’s thought to the importance of hearing in my life. I didn’t think about how my hearing connected me to my friends and family. I didn’t realize that my hearing was my alerting system. So, when I lost the ability to hear easily, I had no idea why my life was thrown into such turmoil or how to deal with my new reality. Of course, I started wearing hearing aids immediately. But hearing aids weren’t nearly enough. I was isolated, depressed, and thinking that never again would I feel the joy and richness of my pre hearing loss life. Thanks to HLAA, I learned that although there was no magic pill, there were many strategies I could use to help myself. I received not only information but also support and encouragement from their dedicated volunteers. Thanks to HLAA’s advocacy over the years, millions of us with hearing loss can listen to TV, go to the theater, hear museum audio tours, and talk on the cell phone. Without HLAA, I and millions of others would not have been able to stay connected to the hearing world. And now, thanks to the Walk4Hearing, HLAA is educating the public about the importance of hearing and of treating hearing loss.
In thanks for their gift to me, I have become one of the thousands of dedicated volunteers across the country. HLAA does an extraordinary job with very little money thanks to a creative and energetic staff and a vast corps of dedicated volunteers. There is no other organization working for the consumer in this way. I wish it were better known to people with hearing loss and professionals in the field. .
Review from Guidestar