HLAA-WA E-News December 6, 2022

Welcome to our e-news!

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Color photo with a Black woman dressed as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. She's walking down a yellow brick road. A dog is at her feet.

Hearing-Friendly Holiday Shows Coming Up

Grab your friends and family and catch a hearing-friendly holiday show, including Mr. Dickens & His Christmas Carol at the Seattle Rep, holiday performances by the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Gay Men’s Chorus, and more at Benaroya Hall, and The Wiz at the Fifth Avenue Theater. Visit our Events webpage for more details.

Tip: A hearing-friendly performance is a terrific holiday gift idea for someone with hearing loss, or for the whole family.


Learn Communication Tips and Travel Skills with HLAA-Whatcom County’s Videos

If you missed the last two HLAA-Whatcom County meetings, you can watch Dean Olson’s travel skills presentation here, and you can watch Nichole Grimes’ presentation on communication strategies here.


Giving Tuesday Thanks

Thank you for your generosity on Giving Tuesday. You’re helping us end the loneliness of hearing loss. Because of YOU, we can keep bringing people the connections, friendship, and confidence they need to thrive. Stay tuned about how you can help us with our 2023 plans, which include more outreach, new advocacy initiatives, a survey, and much more.

If you missed the opportunity to donate, you can still do so here.


Help for Hearing Access in Healthcare

Communication in healthcare settings when you have a hearing loss can be a huge challenge.

But clear masks can help you speech-read and better understand your healthcare providers. On our blog this month, we share this post with a sample access request letter, courtesy of attorney and hearing loss advocate John Waldo.

Color photo of a woman with a long black ponytail. She's wearing a clear mask and a blue t-shirt.

Headshot of a young girl with brown hair. She is holding a hearing aid up to each ear.

Financial Help for Hearing Aids

Hearing aids can be expensive—but take heart. Help is available if you know where to look.

On our new website, check out our Financial Help for Hearing Aids page, which includes links to hearing aid loans, lower-cost refurbished hearing aids, resources for veterans and children, and more.


Next HOPE Meeting: December 7, 2022

What can you do if your cochlear implant processor suddenly stops working? Are there places to get affordable equipment like captioned telephones or iPads? These are some of the questions that were asked and answered at a recent HOPE meeting.

Our Hearing Other People’s Experiences (HOPE) meetings are a safe, welcoming space where you can ask questions from your peers about anything and everything hearing loss related.

Facilitated by a caring, compassionate HOPE Crew, these monthly virtual meetings are free, live-captioned, and open to everyone with hearing loss and their friends and family. You’re also welcome to relax, listen, and spend time with people who understand what it’s like to live with hearing loss.


National Hearing Loss News

photo of family around a holiday-themed table. everyone is smiling. a roasted turkey is in the center.

Holiday Survival Guide for People with Hearing Loss

In the chaos of holiday gatherings, it’s hard to connect deeply and create memories with your loved ones when you’re struggling to hear. Here’s some help from HLAA.

We’d also recommend asking your hard-of-hearing guests where they’d like to sit and what would help them hear better. Sometimes, sitting in the middle of the table means more competing conversations, so sitting at the end might be preferable. And sitting with your back against the wall might mean facing a noisy, open kitchen. When in doubt, ask!


Registration Is Open for the 2023 HLAA Convention in New Orleans

We’re thinking about eating a beignet and sipping coffee in the New Orleans summer sun—and of course, connecting with you all in a fully hearing-accessible, fully fun-and-friendly environment at the 2023 HLAA convention.

You can now register for the convention, which runs June 29 – July 1, 2023. You can also nominate a person or an organization for an award, or submit a workshop proposal.


International Day of Persons with Disabilities: The Work Continues

December 3, 2022, was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, but the work on behalf of inclusion, respect, and dignity continues year-round, both here and all over the world.

AgeWise King County shares their efforts here, including their training and their guides for planning accessible events. From the Vatican, the Pope spoke of meeting people’s needs for belonging, and of moving beyond “slogans” to truly support people with disabilities.


Another Call to Keep Telecoil and Loop Technologies in Our Communities

The eloquent Shari Eberts joins the International Federation for Hard of Hearing People, HLAA-WA (us!), and many others in the call to keep telecoils and loops in place for the foreseeable future.

Color photo of a portable hearing loop assistive listening system with the blue ear universal symbol for telecoils and loops.

Color photo of a person holding a hearing aid in one hand and a smart phone in the other.

Hearing Aids and PSAPs: What’s the Difference?

A Personal Sound Amplification Product (PSAP) isn’t a hearing aid. But both hearing aids and PSAPs are now sold over the counter, so how do you know what you need?

This article, reviewed for scientific accuracy by Dr. Chad Ruffin, in Forbes magazine clarifies the differences in PSAPs and hearing aids. You can also read our What Are Hearables? and But I’m Not Ready for Hearing Aids webpages for help navigating the maze of these and other new technologies.


One Billion Young People Risk Future Hearing Loss

It sounds like a looming public health disaster: over one billion young people are at risk of hearing loss due to their listening practices. Clubs, concerts, headphones, and earbuds often play at volumes that exceed safe decibel levels.

Other than turning the music down, what can we do to preserve our hearing? Use ear protection and stand farther from amplifiers and loud speakers—and, well, turn the volume down.

Color photo of a young man looking up and seeming to enjoy music. He's wearing a yellow hat and headphones.

Color photo of a white holiday package with a red ribbon. A blurred, flocked tree is in the background.

Gift Ideas for People with Hearing Loss

The wonderful Chelle Wyatt has some terrific gift ideas for people with hearing loss on her blog.

We also suggest a home loop for the TV, or wireless TV headphones.


Happy Holidays!

However you celebrate this special time of year, we at HLAA-WA wish you peace, joy, and love.


Join HLAA and HLAA-WA

Member benefits include product discounts, reduced convention registration fees, help with the latest hearing loss tech, and HLAA’s award-winning quarterly magazine, Hearing Life.  Your HLAA membership automatically includes HLAA-Washington. Dues start at $45 a year.

HLAA-WA does not endorse any technology, nor does exclusion suggest disapproval. We support the full spectrum of hearing technologies for everyone.


Need Clear Masks in Healthcare Settings?

Use This Letter.

Clear masks can help you communicate with your healthcare provider.

Of all the places it’s frustrating when we struggle to hear, healthcare settings are perhaps the worst. You’re sick, injured, worried, or just under the weather–and you can’t understand your doctor, nurse, surgeon, or receptionist because they’re wearing masks.

Attorney and hearing loss advocate John Waldo developed this letter to request that your provider wear clear masks. The clear masks are part of the “effective communication” you’re legally entitled to under the ADA.

Please download the letter and fill in the blanks, or borrow parts of it as you write your own hearing accommodation request.

Thank you, John Waldo!

Travel Skills for People with Hearing Loss: Whatcom County Meeting

Hearing Loss Association-Whatcom County Chapter Meeting
Travel Skills for People with Hearing Loss

Dean Olson, Traveler Extraordinaire and Hearing Loss Advocate

Saturday, November 19, 2022, 10:00-11:30AM  

Captioning provided.

We know that hearing loss presents special challenges when we travel.  Learn some of the techniques Dean employs to successfully navigate the difficult situations we are sure to encounter while on the road.  Other members will share their tricks of travel as well.

 Q & A opportunity at the end of Dean’s presentation! 

Click to join: Easy Link

KUnk1WUpJQT09   

Meeting ID: 889 352 2564  

Passcode: 17232103 

Please remember that there are 3 ways to join a Zoom meeting using this information:

  1. Click the “Easy Link” that appears toward the top of the Notice
  2. Either click on or copy and paste into your browser the link that is provided following the “Join Zoom Meeting”  above
  3. Go to Zoom.us, select “Join” that appears on the top right hand portion of that website, enter the Meeting ID and Passcode from above.

HLAA-WA E-News, November 16, 2022

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Building Community at Our Annual Meeting

At our annual meeting this past Saturday, our members inspired one another—and us!—as we had deep, thoughtful conversations about our hearing loss experiences. We shared our concerns about healthcare access, and ODHH explained ways that folks can find tech assistance. You all suggested some terrific ideas on how we can help one another solve hearing loss challenges, such as making role-play self-advocacy videos, helping folks get early treatment, and addressing the mental health effects of hearing loss.  And we shared our new website and garnered input on the types of information you’d find most helpful.

Once again, we’re struck by how important and valuable it is to connect with one another. We’re proud to represent the hearing loss community in Washington State.

Thank you to everyone who joined us on Saturday via Zoom. And special thanks to our guest speakers Earnest Covington III and Maggie Campbell from ODHH, and to the many people who helped make the meeting happen, especially Ann Thomas, Alan Katsura, Carolyn Odio, and Heather Patrick.

Stay tuned for a link to watch the meeting on our YouTube channel, and watch your email for an expanded survey similar to the polls at our meeting.


During the Holidays, Will You Include HLAA-WA in Your Giving?

As we approach the season of giving and thankfulness, we want to thank you, our readers and members, for being part of our community. 

We rely on you to support our work, since we receive no funds from HLAA membership dues. Your kind gifts help us connect with the hard-of-hearing community, raise the voices of people with hearing loss in the public sphere, and walk hand-in-hand with people on their hearing loss journey.

As we are nearing the end of the calendar, if you are considering philanthropy, will you include HLAA-WA in your annual giving?


Help with Hearing Loops on Google Maps

You’ve probably heard that you can now find out on Google Maps whether a venue has a hearing loop or not–before you leave home. On our blog this week, we share the scoop, including some tools on how to find loops and help others find them, too.

Color photo of an exuberant woman with her arms open, demonstrating a large sign with a universal symbol for hearing loops.

Next HOPE Meeting
December 7, 2022

What can you do if your cochlear implant processor suddenly stops working? Are there places to get affordable equipment like captioned telephones or iPads? These are some of the questions that were asked and answered at a recent HOPE meeting.

Our Hearing Other People’s Experiences (HOPE) meetings are a safe, welcoming space where you can ask questions from your peers about anything and everything hearing loss related.

Facilitated by a caring, compassionate HOPE Crew, these monthly virtual meetings are free, live-captioned, and open to everyone with hearing loss and their friends and family. You’re also welcome to relax, listen, and spend time with people who understand what it’s like to live with hearing loss.


National Hearing Loss News

Audiograms, Hearing Loss, and More in The Washington Post

Find out what an audiogram shows, how to read your audiogram, and what hearing loss sounds like at different frequencies in this outstanding Washington Post article.

Photo of graph paper; with numbers and text a pair of hearing aids rests on top.

Color photo of a smiling man with glasses. He's wearing a suit.

Dr. David Myers, Loop America Founder, Writes a New Book

Dr. David Myers is a pioneering advocate for loops and for people with hearing loss. He’s also a psychology professor and textbook author.

Dr. Myers has written a fascinating new book, How Do We Know Ourselves?: Curiosities and Marvels of the Human Mind. He’s also written a compassionate, helpful book about hearing loss, A Quiet World: Living with Hearing Loss.


What About Audio Processing Disorder?

Audio Processing Disorders don’t receive as much attention as other hearing loss issues. But APDs can lead to loneliness, problems hearing, and other communication challenges. Read more in this HearingLikeMe article.


color photo of ear with fingers behind it

Listening Fatigue Is Real. Dr. Cliff Olson Has Advice.

Struggling to understand speech when you’re hard-of-hearing can be exhausting. The inimitable Dr. Cliff Olson shares some tips on hearing through hearing aids in a recent video.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Holidays are wonderful, but they can be stressful, too. When you’re navigating family gatherings while trying to hear well, we encourage you to practice good self-care. Relax when you need to, ask others for help, and use the technologies you need.

Please feel free to share our communication tips with your family and friends. Plus, Shari Eberts has excellent advice on how to tackle Thanksgiving dinner when you have a hearing loss, and Oticon offers these Thanksgiving tips. Hint: It matters where you sit!

Graphic of brown, orange and beige flowers and pine cones and acorns surrounding the text.

Join HLAA and HLAA-WA

Member benefits include product discounts, reduced convention registration fees, help with the latest hearing loss tech, and HLAA’s award-winning quarterly magazine, Hearing Life.  Your HLAA membership automatically includes HLAA-Washington. Dues start at $45 a year.

HLAA-WA does not endorse any technology, nor does exclusion suggest disapproval. We support the full spectrum of hearing technologies for everyone.


Find Venues with Hearing Loops via Google Maps

Kimberly Parker was pretty excited about the Seattle Rep’s hearing loops.

People with hearing loss need to think about how they’ll hear everywhere they go. Now, we can find out if a venue has a hearing loop before we leave home.

Thanks to efforts by the HLAA Get in the Hearing Loop national program in conjunction with Google leaders, Google Maps now includes “assistive hearing loops” as an accessibility attribute.

Watch this video to find out where to find the loop on Google Maps.

Want to help others find hearing loops, too? Read the Get in the Hearing Loop program’s 5 Actions to Promote Hearing Loops on Google Maps. Plus, here’s a guide on how you can add photos of the loop signs at venues, and here’s how to write a review of hearing loops in Google Maps.

Huge kudos go to the GITHL team, especially Wynne Whyman and Peg Bell, for their dedication and energy in making this happen.

For more info on loops and the Get in the Hearing Loop program, click here.