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Review for Hearing Loss Association of America, Bethesda, MD, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find the financial support to create regional offices that would make it possible to reach more people.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?


How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?


How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

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Role:  Client Served

Review for Hearing Loss Association of America, Bethesda, MD, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I learned about SHHH in 1983, and knew I needed to be involved. I was 40 years old. Hearing loss had cut my career short & was pushing me towards social isolation. SHHH changed my life. Through active involvement, I regained self confidence & learned how to cope more positively with my progressive hearing loss. I have had the opportunity to watch others grow as I did. I sincerely recommend membership in HLAA to anyone who wants to live well with hearing loss; theirs or someone else’s.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

HLAA is wonderful the way it is, but must find the financial resources that will allow it to reach more of the 32 million Americans who can benefit from the education, information, advocacy and support the organization is capable of providing.

Role:  Volunteer & I have been a volunteer in this organization since 1984, and have served on the chapter, state and national boards. While serving as president of the national board of trustees, I initiated the development of position papers that more clearly identified .