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

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

HLAA gave me communication tools and confidence to go out and participate in local, regional and national activities.

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

More people need to learn about HLAA and the kinds of help that is available not only for people with hearing loss, but for their families and friends, co-workers and employers. Hearing loss affects far more than just the person with the loss.

Role:  Board Member & Board member.