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

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

Helped me to adapt to my Cochlear implants and meet other hearing-impaired people with similar stories and problems; understand that I am not alone in my own non-hearing world and that there is an organization that can help people like me. Also helped me to became more aware of the problems of hearing-impaired people all over the country and what we can do to help.

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

Nothing that I would change. We need to increase the awareness of hearing-impaired and normal hearing people about HLAA and the problems of deafness and attract more support from both sectors.

Role:  Volunteer & I am a Cochlear Implant user and volunteer/member of the NYC Walk4Hearing and HLAA Manhattan Chapter Planning Committees. as well as and an active participant/fundraiser for the annual NYC Walk4Hearing.