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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

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

My first connection to HLAA was through its annual Walk4Hearing program. It was a revelation for me to see that there were thousands of others who shared my experience of hearing loss and to feel the support of walking with family, friends, educators, and hearing health professionals.

What is most unique and effective about HLAA is that in addition to providing information and tools to help make hearing loss manageable, it also empowers you to advocate for yourself and millions of others. Working with dedicated and expert staff, HLAA volunteers have accomplished great things in making our communities more accessible.

I urge anyone with a connection to hearing loss to visit HLAA’s website and to join the largest and most effective consumer organization advocating on our behalf.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

An organization that excels in fulfilling its mission of providing information, education, support and advocacy for people with hearing loss, HLAA is also unique in its approach. A relatively small, but highly effective staff in the national office provides leadership and support to thousands of members and volunteers in an extensive grassroots network of statewide associations and local chapters.

Most of us come to HLAA through our local chapters seeking help in coping with our hearing loss. Grateful for the knowledge and support we receive from those who share our experience as well as experts in the field, we become members and work in our communities to help others with hearing loss. Perhaps the greatest benefit is the sense of empowerment we experience through self-help and by engaging in outreach and advocacy.

One of the most unique aspects of HLAA is the Walk4Hearing program, the largest of its kind in the country. As we walk in 22 cities raising awareness and funds for hearing loss, we also partner with over 100 alliances representing organizations such as hospitals, schools and social programs for children with hearing loss, and colleges and universities. Alliances retain a portion of the funds their teams raise to support their own programs, expanding our reach and building a stronger more effective hearing loss community. The Walks enable us to meet new friends and celebrate all we have accomplished.

There are currently 48 million people in the United States with hearing loss and as the numbers continue to grow, HLAA’s leadership and support is needed more than ever. An increase in membership will help us meet this need. I am very fortunate to serve on the Board of Trustees and to work actively with my chapter and the Walk4Hearing program. Whether your relationship with hearing loss is personal or professional, I urge you to join HLAA and experience the benefits of affiliation with this wonderful organization.

Review from Guidestar

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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.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

"It saved my life." In my work as a long-time HLAA member and volunteer, this is the comment I often hear from people with hearing loss who discover the organization, often through a friend or colleague. I think there are several reasons why this response is such a common one, but the most important is the fact that HLAA offers such hope and reassurance. It is such a remarkable organization at every level. The national office is staffed by committed, intelligent hearing loss advocates and generates initiatives that make a real difference in terms of legislative advocacy and shaping hearing healthcare policy. Through local chapters, HLAA brings much needed information and support to individuals facing hearing loss and their families. I believe that HLAA is an essential resource for anyone struggling with the challenges presented by hearing loss.

Richard118

Board Member

Rating: 5

An absolutely essential group for people w hearing loss

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!!!

staffov

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

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

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

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!

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

Patricia71

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) for over 10 years and I continue to be amazed how much the HLAA has done to provide people with information about hearing loss, as well as offering assistance, guidance, and support. HLAA members are active, energetic, and very appreciative of being able to seek and receive help and advice from the HLAA. As an audiologist, I am amazed with the indomitable spirit of members who have hearing loss, as well as their wonderful efforts to help others. The HLAA staff is incredible, always welcome to work late (often including weekends), to offer help to people who need information and assistance, to develop and launch new programs that will be helpful for people with hearing loss, and to assist the Board of Trustees. As an audiologist, I have gained tremendous information about living with hearing loss, far more than I received in college as an audiology. I am grateful to be a member of the HLAA and to be serving on the HLAA Board of Trustees. The HLAA has done so much to help people and my most important wish for the HLAA is that the vast majority of people with hearing loss will be a part of the HLAA. They will benefit significantly, resulting in far greater quality of life, happiness, and health.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I first learned about HLAA (then SHHH) in 1995 I had already been struggling with my hearing loss for 30 years. I was amazed to find an organization that not only understood the many problems that hearing loss presents, but welcomed me and offered solutions to those problems. I joined the organization initially as a chapter member, but soon became involved in the state level, representing hard of hearing people on advisory boards. I also soon learned to overcome my initial nervousness in public speaking and shared my learnings with others who could benefit from the information. As my hearing continued to deteriorate I found the courage to have cochlear implant surgery after talking to HLAA members who had benefitted from the procedure.

Board Member

Rating: 5

HLAA's purpose is: education, advocacy and support for those with hearing loss and their families. The organization was started by Rocky Stone in 1979. It's originally named was "Self Help for the Hard of Hearing" (SHHH). My parents met Rocky and his wife, Alme, as the organization was beginning. It was the best thing that could have happened to my mom who suffered from profound hearing loss in both ears and had lost much self confidence. She ended up starting SHHH chapters in Winnetka, IL and Sarasota, FL and served on the SHHH national board for nine years. The organization has also been helpful to me. I am deaf in one ear and don't hear very well in my other ear even with the best hearing aid available. I have been told for many years by the doctors and audiologists, where I live, that I wasn't a candidate for a cochlear implant. Thanks to the recommendation of Brenda Battat and some of the HLAA board members I have gone to NYU and will have cochlear implant surgery there in the near future.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

HLAA is the premier organization that provides education to those with wide varieties of hearing loss in addition to advocating to influence governmental policies as they pertains to persons with hearing loss. HLAA accomplishes an ambitious agenda with a small but extremely high quality national staff. In addition HLAA supports a large number of local and state chapters that do advocacy at a state level and also provide personal support to persons with hearing loss and their families. HLAA also provides on its website and in its publications a wide variety of objective information about hearing aids, cochlear implants and assistive equipment.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I discovered HLAA in 1988 (back when it was called SHHH). I lived in a rural area where information and resources were scarce and I felt very isolated. HLAA/SHHH became my lifeline. I eagerly awaited the arrival of the Journal and scoured it from cover to cover as soon as it arrived. I have saved every copy.

It was such a relief to discover that I was not alone with my hearing loss. I realized there were lots of people out there who understood exactly the hurdles and frustrations I was dealing with everyday. The writers had great ideas, suggestions and insights. I learned effective communication strategies and techniques. I also became knowledgeable about helpful technology and assistive listening devices which I never even dreamed existed.

But, HLAA taught me so much more than just coping skills and technology. Within those Journal pages, I found a distinctly different and refreshing attitude for relating to my hearing loss in an informed, healthy and empowered way.

Rocky Stone and the other people I "met" in those pages were not only warm and supportive, but their energy and enthusiasm infused each issue. They were not talking about merely surviving hearing loss, but living full, connected lives and actually thriving (?!?) with hearing loss. I felt that I had been given an extraordinary gift, a gift I then wanted to share.

I went on to a fulfilling career of helping other people with hearing loss improve their communication skills and knowledge so they too could find satisfaction in their jobs and lives.

A unique strength of this organization is that it gives each member many opportunities to be both student and mentor. I credit HLAA for giving me the tools, encouragement and support to pursue my dreams and achieve far more than I ever could have imagined when I started out.

HLAA has changed innumerable lives for the better, including mine.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

Serving on the Board of HLAA was a rewarding experience that allowed me to meet a wonderful, diverse group of people that had a shared commitment to improving the lives of those with hearing loss.

HLAA has a very active advocacy program that works tirelessly to ensure access to a variety of programs and benefits for those with hearing loss, such as captions in theaters, hearing aid compatible cell phones and providing caption for online content.

I've expanded my circle of friends through my work on the Board of HLAA, and while I no longer serve on the Board, the friends I've made will be lifelong. Now as a member of HLAA, I garner the benefits of its work, including the most up-to-date information on accessibility and how emerging technology affects the lives of those with hearing loss. HLAA has been a wonderful resource for me and the people that work with it, both its staff and vast volunteer corps, are dedicated, professional and extremely knowledgeable.

It's quite simply, a great group of people doing excellent work.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hearing Loss Association of America and its chapters are a vital network for people with hearing loss, their families , friends, and colleagues. Founded on the idea that there is a need for peer based support, HLAA has grown and developed into the foremost consumer organization devoted to the needs of people with hearing loss. HLAA is the "go-to" organization in the country when government and industry sources want to consult with the foremost advocates for people with hearing loss. And the local chapters form a vital base of grass roots activism that is unmatched by any other organization of its kind.

Review from Guidestar