HLAA-WA E-News, April 26, 2023

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Let’s Continue our Winning Streak: Give BIG to Help HLAA-WA Keep Up Our Momentum

HLAA-Washington is participating in Give Big 2023. The annual 48-hour giving event is May 2nd and 3rd, with early giving open NOW.

We may be small, but we are mighty! We have accomplished much this past year, and people are taking notice. Read our Let’s Continue Our Winning Streak blog post to learn about our local impact and 2023 national awards.

We all have much to be proud of, and your donations help make it all possible.  

Thank you for your support!


Legislative Update: Governor Inslee Signs the Bill!

Governor Inslee (D-WA) signed Senate Bill 5338 into law on April 13, 2023, and he is expected to sign HB 1222 related to insurance coverage very soon!

As a result of SB 5338, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner will request hearing aid coverage as an essential health benefit for Washington, and if this is granted by the federal government, hearing aids will be covered for nearly everyone in Washington State.

These bills represent a huge victory for people all across Washington State who need help hearing. How well you hear should not depend on your age, income, work status, or insurance plan. Everyone has a right to hear.

This is a dream come true. Thank YOU for supporting the bill in ways big and small. We can’t do our work without you!

Color photo of grade-school kids with their arms in the air. They are celebrating, surrounded by a marble wall.
These young hearing loss advocates inspire us with their big hearts.
What will they do next? 

Hearing Loss and Dementia: Johns Hopkins Presenting to State Alzheimer’s Taskforce and Researchers

New research out of Johns Hopkins University suggests a connection between hearing loss and dementia in older adults; the more severe the hearing loss, the greater the potential risk. The good news is that findings also show hearing aids may decrease the risk of developing dementia. Learn more about this research from Johns Hopkins.

HLAA-WA leveraged this research in our advocacy efforts for the 2023 hearing aid insurance coverage legislation. We also connected the Johns Hopkins research team with the Washington State Dementia Action Collaborative (DAC).  We are excited to share that on May 19, 2023, at 9:00 am, study author Dr. Allison Huang will present the research to DAC policymakers and members of The Alzheimer’s Disease Research Network of Washington State. The virtual presentation will be hosted on Microsoft Teams. If you are interested in joining, contact Jamie Teuteberg at jamie.teuteberg@hca.wa.gov.

color photo of a woman looking down at an iphone in one hand and a hearing aid in the other

Next HOPE Meeting: Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 4 pm Pacific.
Special Guest: Joy Borkholder from the Everett Herald

Joy Borkholder from the Everett Herald will join us as our “guest author” at our May HOPE meeting. Before the meeting, we encourage you to read her article in the Everett Herald on health care access for people who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing

In the article, Borkholder interviews four people who have struggled to get hearing accommodations throughout our local healthcare systems. Please feel free to bring your questions for Borkholder, and if you’re comfortable, you can share your experiences seeking healthcare when you have a hearing loss.

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 and hearing tech.

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


woman with long blond hair talking behind podium.

Hearing-Accessible History Talks in Seattle This Spring and Summer

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle is continuing its terrific series of hearing-friendly, in-person history talks.

Programs with both CART captioning and ASL Interpretation:  

Denny Lecture: Seattle History from the Margins  on Tuesday, May 09, 2023, at 7:00pm

History Café: Tales from the Mountain on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at 6:30pm

History Café: A Decade of Gender Justice on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at 6:30pm

Reflections on Art Practices in Seattle: 25 Years of the Neddy Artist Award on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at 7:00pm

CART captioning will also be available for:

Behind the Seams: Ugly Clothes on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 2:00pm

You can also visit our events webpage for more hearing-friendly entertainment ideas in the Seattle area.


You Can Still Meet Earnest Covington III, ODHH Director, Around Washington State

The Washington State Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is hosting meetings around Washington State. Join one of the in-person meetings below and get to know Earnest, plus find out how ODHH might help you and others with hearing loss. Carolyn Odio attended the meeting in Olympia and shared this blog post with us.

Deaf interpreters, American Sign Language interpreters, a hearing loop system, and CART (live captions) are provided. For a list of dates and places for the community meetings, visit ODHH’s events calendar.

color photo of a smiling man in a gray suit, white shirt, and black tie.

Color photo of two women in glasses, smiling.

We’re Looking for a Volunteer-Volunteer Coordinator. Is It You?

We need a volunteer to help onboard volunteers and coordinate their time and service. Can you help us out? If so, please email us: webmaster@hearingloss-wa.org.

Volunteering with your peers can be powerful and rewarding. You can learn more about advocacy and self-advocacy, built enduring friendships, and yes, even change the world. Your lived experience with hearing loss is a resource for others to learn from and be inspired by.

We have lots of different volunteer opportunities. Check out our webpage to find out ways you can serve the hearing loss community, then drop us a line.

National Hearing Loss News

woman in a blue sweater and glasses. she is gesturing to a large sign that's twice her size. the sign is in bright orange and purple and it reads We Need Bluetooth plus telecoils. Do you know why?

Connecting with National Audiologists

What have we been up to here in Seattle? Talking loops, telecoils, and Bluetooth with audiologists at their national American Academy of Audiology conference last week. Our president, Cheri Perazzoli, was there on behalf of the national Get in the Hearing Loop program, which she chairs.

Get the scoop on our blog this week.


Webinar: The Workplace and The Law for People with Hearing Loss

In the working world, what accommodations must be offered? What can employers ask you, and what do you have to disclose?

At this HLAA Employment Webinar on May 18, 2023, attorney and hearing loss advocate John Waldo will help us understand the law and where it helps people with hearing loss–and where it may not. Free, captioned, and open to everyone.

graphic with text and small photo of smiling man in a suit. text reads: hlaa employment webinar, the workplace and the law, where it helps us, and where it doesn't, thursday, May 18, 6 pm ET 5 pm CT 4pm MT 3pm PT, presenter john Waldo, Esquire.

color photo of woman in blue scrubs. She's blurred in the background but her hand in sharp focus. She's holding a tan hearing aid.

Here’s What a Happens During a Fitting for Hearing Aids

Hearing aids might not work perfectly right away, but they shouldn’t hurt, and they absolutely should help you hear better in the ways you need them to.

A hearing aid fitting by your audiologist or dispenser can help make sure your hearing aid is comfortable. The fitting should also include a sound test, and you should receive instructions on how to care and use your hearing aids.

If your hearing aid has a telecoil component, be sure your hearing health provider programs this feature and shows you how to connect it to assistive listening systems like
hearing loops.

Read more about what to expect at a hearing aid fitting in this HearingDirectory.ca article.



HLAA-WA does not endorse any technology, nor does exclusion suggest disapproval. We support the full spectrum of hearing technologies for everyone. As an all-volunteer run organization, 100% of every dollar donated is directed to our programs. HLAA-WA is an IRS non-profit 501(c)(3) organization; all donations are tax-deductible as allowed by relevant IRS code.


Let’s Continue Our Winning Streak
GiveBIG to Help HLAA-WA Keep Up the Momentum

We may be small, but we are mighty! In our efforts to support people living with hearing loss, HLAA-WA is making huge strides locally and is being recognized nationally.

Local Impact

We raised our voices and successfully advocated for insurance coverage of hearing aids. We launched our new Empowerment Series to discuss key issues and opportunities. We gathered together for our community picnic and meet each month online and in person for peer support meetings. And we continue to reach out to our community and to educate community leaders about the needs of people with hearing loss.

National Recognition

In response to these efforts, we are excited to share that HLAA-WA members are receiving 2023 national HLAA awards.

  • Spirt of HLAA Award to Glenda Philio, HLAA-WA Board Member
  • Social Media Award to JoAnne Dyer, HLAA-WA Communications Manager
  • Get In the Hearing Loop Award to Cheri Perazzoli, HLAA-WA President
  • Our new website is also being recognized as Best Chapter or State Association Website

Everything we do, we do for you. Please GiveBIG to support our efforts. Thank you.

As an all-volunteer run organization, 100% of every dollar donated is directed to our programs. HLAA-WA is an IRS non-profit 501(c)(3) organization; all donations are tax-deductible as allowed by relevant IRS code.

We’re Talking Loops and Telecoils with Audiologists at the 2023 AAA Conference in Seattle

Hearing loops in venues and telecoils in hearing aids: Today, this combination is still the gold standard for hearing accessibility the world over. In fact, hearing loops are so beloved that they inspired local and even national movements like HLAA’s Get in the Hearing Loop and even Loop Washington, which was founded by our HLAA-WA President Cheri Perazzoli.

You’ll hear a lot about new Bluetooth technologies like Auracast, and while these technologies are promising, they’re not yet ready for prime time. Auracast will co-exist with hearing loops and telecoils for years. That means we need audiologists to help us use all the technologies available to us — including telecoils — for the foreseeable future.

Audiologists juggle a lot of priorities during a patient’s visit, and it can be easy to forget to talk to patients about telecoils in their hearing aids. Armed with the knowledge of telecoils and the know-how to use them in public spaces, however, patients can truly make the most of their hearing devices. Which means they can live, work, play, and travel more safely and confidently.

We often say, “People with hearing loss want to hear wherever they go.” Ann Thomas from HLAA-Diablo Valley adds, “People with hearing loss live uncertain lives.” Hearing loops, telecoils, and Bluetooth reduce that uncertainty and empower people with hearing loss to communicate in more places.

That was our message as we connected with audiologists at the American Academy of Audiology conference (HearTECH Expo) April 19-22, 2023, at the Convention Center in Seattle.

A huge THANK YOU to the American Academy of Audiology and the terrific audiologists who welcomed us to their conference and provided a complimentary booth for us in the accessibility pavilion.

Rise and Shine: Travel Alarms Designed for People Who Are Hard of Hearing or Deaf

By Cheri Perazzoli

black and white photo of an alarm clock and a small auxiliary device

Recently, when I stayed with my daughter for a few days, I used my iPhone as a type of travel alarm clock. Unless I placed my phone very close, I slept right through through the alarm–even with the vibrate and flash alert modes turned on. I was vigilant about keeping my phone just “so,” but then I couldn’t relax enough to get a very deep or restful sleep.

So I went searching for a better alarm clock especially for when I travel. This article in USA Today from Lisa A. Goldstein was helpful in my quest. In her article, Goldstein, who has a cochlear implant and a hearing aid herself, reviews several different types and brands of travel alarm clocks designed for people who are hard of hearing or Deaf.

These types of alarms work differently to help people with hearing loss: they can be extra-loud, or they can rely on vibrations, or they can use light. Some alarm models use a couple of these methods together. Many of these devices are portable enough to bring with you when you travel.

You can order these types of alarms in lots of places on the web, including Amazon, Diglo, HearWorld USA, and Walmart.

Do you have an alarm clock that works well for you and your hearing loss? Let us know in the comments.

HLAA-WA E-News, April 11, 2023

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Legislative Update: Both Hearing Aid Bills PASSED!

It’s hard to believe, but it’s true: BOTH hearing aid insurance coverage bills passed the Washington State Legislature!

What Does That Mean?

The House will need to concur with a small change that the Senate made to HB 1222, or the House and Senate will need to negotiate changes that both chambers adopt. But we have no doubt, with the overwhelming support the House and Senate have shown, that this process will be completed before the end of the 2023 legislative session. Then HB 122 will make its way to the governor’s desk, where SB 5338 already awaits.

When both bills become law, hearing aids will be included under the State’s individual Essential Health Benefits (Obamacare) and under private insurance for employers, unions, and associations.

And THAT means that Washingtonians with hearing loss will have much more equity and fairness in their care, treatment, and medical equipment.

Many people deserve our enthusiastic gratitude for this victory. We’re especially grateful to HLAA-WA Legislative Liaison Cynthia Stewart for her considerable skills and effort in understanding the laws and providing testimony. Watch for a blog post coming soon with more details. But for now, know that YOU are a big reason these bills succeeded. Your testimonies, calls, emails, “PRO” votes, likes, and shares were able to reach our representatives’ hearts and minds.

Read more about the bills in this State of Reform article, and find out about this hearing loss advocacy movement, and the heroes — big and small — who led the way, on our blog.

color photo of a woman smiling. her arms are around two young boys wearing suit coats and button-down shirts. the washington state capitol is in the background.

Save the Date for GiveBIG 2023

The annual 48-hour giving event is May 2-3, 2023, with early giving kicking off on April 18.

Last year you helped us raise over $3,000. Our goal this year is $4,500.

Mark your calendars to give BIG during this statewide fundraising event and help us reach our goal!


Learn About Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids at the HLAA-Whatcom County Chapter Meeting


Our president Cheri Perazzoli will give a presentation, “OTC Hearing Aids: A Story of Ongoing Consumer Advocacy,” at HLAA-Whatcom County’s Saturday, April 15, 2023, meeting. Cheri will share the wins accomplished so far and the ongoing advocacy for better consumer information. Cheri is also a member of the HLAA Board of Directors.

Audiologist Pam Spencer will lead the Q&A following Cheri’s talk. Free, captioned, and open to everyone.

Cheri will be presenting via Zoom, but you can also come to the in-person meeting at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2600 Lakeway Drive in Bellingham.

To join the Zoom meeting directly from 9:30 am – 11:30 am, click here. The meeting ID is 889 352 2564, and the passcode is 17232103.

color photo of woman with straight brown hair and glasses. she is smiling and wearing a jean jacket and a black sweater.

woman with long blond hair talking behind podium.

Hearing-Accessible History Talks in Seattle This Spring

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle is continuing its terrific series of hearing-friendly history talks.

Programs with both CART captioning and ASL Interpretation:  

  1. History Café: Seattle’s Sephardic Jews in the 20th Century on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at 6:30pm
  2. Denny Lecture: Seattle History from the Margins  on Tuesday, May 09, 2023, at 7:00pm
  3. History Café: Tales from the Mountain on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at 6:30pm
  4. History Café: A Decade of Gender Justice on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at 6:30pm
  5. Reflections on Art Practices in Seattle: 25 Years of the Neddy Artist Award on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at 7:00pm

CART captioning will also be available at the following programs:

  1. Designing with Intention: Black Architects’ Visions for Seattle’s Future on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, at 7:00pm
  2. Behind the Seams: Ugly Clothes on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 2:00pm

You can also visit our events webpage for more hearing-friendly entertainment ideas.


Next HOPE Meeting: Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 4 pm Pacific

How can I travel safely and hear well when I’m in a tour group on vacation? Are there technologies that can help me in my hotel room? Travel is one of several topics we discussed 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 and hearing tech.

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


New Dates to Meet Earnest Covington III, ODHH Director, at Meetings Around Washington State

The Washington State Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is hosting meetings around Washington State. Join one of the in-person meetings below and get to know Earnest, plus find out how ODHH might help you and others with hearing loss. Carolyn Odio attended the meeting already held in Olympia and shared this blog post with us.

Deaf interpreters, American Sign Language interpreters, a hearing loop system, and CART (live captions) are provided.

color photo of a smiling man in a gray suit, white shirt, and black tie.

*Note: Spokane Meeting Is Rescheduled*

Saturday, May 6th, 2023

1:00 to 3:00 pm

Spokane Public Library
Hillyard Branch
4110 N. Cook Street
Spokane, WA 99207

Saturday, May 20th, 2023

1:00 to 3:00 pm

Husky Union Building (HUB)
HUB 337
4001 E. Stevens Way NE
Seattle, WA 98195

Pay-by-Phone parking in lot N20 and N21. Go to the digital pay machine, input license plate number,
choose pre-arranged hourly, 3 hours, coupon number 110772.

Saturday, June 10th, 2023

1:00 to 3:00 pm

Tacoma Public Library
Anna Lemon Wheelock Branch
3722 North 26th Street
Tacoma, WA 98407
Free street parking and a small parking lot (5 spaces)

National Hearing Loss News

Get Your (Free!) Custom Loop Location List


Wondering where hearing loops are available in a given city, state, or province? Or are you interested in specific types of venues with loops, like museums or libraries?

The HLAA Get in the Hearing Loop program offers detailed, custom lists of hearing loops across America and Canada. You can use the lists to find looped venues that you and your loved ones can enjoy. And you can also draw on the list when you’re advocating for a hearing loop in a favorite location. For example, if you’re trying to loop your local library, you can provide that library with a list of other libraries that use hearing loops.

Email the GITHL team: loop.locations@hearingloss.org with your requests.


color photo of a man with white hair and glasses. he's wearing green headphones and smiling happily.

HLAA’s 2023 Convention Research Symposium Will Explore the Joy of Music

How do we perceive music? How can we make and enjoy music when we have a hearing loss?

This year’s convention research symposium, “Joy of Music/Loving Your Ears” will explore topics and more. The symposium is included in your general registration fee, and it’s held on June 30, 2023, 8:30 am – 10:30 am.

Register for the convention here. Note: You can also register for the symposium only.


New Tinnitus Treatment Approved by the FDA

The FDA recently approved a tinnitus treatment from Lenire called Neuromod.

Dr. Cliff Olson discusses how this auditory stimulus works, and HearingTracker explains more here.

Hint: The device involves headphones and your tongue. Really.

If you experience tinnitus and you try this new treatment, let us know how it works for you.

photo of a white electronic device.

Color photo of a bald man with a beard, he's wearing a black puffy coat and looking thoughtful.

Senator John Fetterman Has Hearing Aids, Spotlighting the Need for Hearing Help

To treat “mild-to-moderate” hearing loss, Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) is now wearing hearing aids.

When high-profile folks like Senator Fetterman talk about their hearing loss and their decision to treat it, we believe that the hearing loss stigma and shame can fade. Thank you, Senator.


Compare How Hearing Aids Sound Online on Soundly’s Website

Soundly allows you to pick several hearing aids from various manufacturers and hear how they sound in different environments.

Listen and compare and contrast here.

Color photo of  blue hearing aids with a blue auxiliary device.

Color photo of two women in sunglasses and a man with glasses.

Get Involved with Us: Volunteer Today

If you have a hearing loss or you know someone who does, we need your help!

Volunteering with your peers can be powerful and rewarding. You can learn more about advocacy and self-advocacy, built enduring friendships, and yes, even change the world. Your lived experience with hearing loss is a resource for others to learn from and be inspired by.

We have lots of different volunteer opportunities. Check out our webpage to find out ways you can serve the hearing loss community, then drop us a line.

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