Our Latest News, May 14, 2024

A BIG thank you, a local hearing loss story, webinars on OTC hearing, aids, and more hearing loss support and news from Washington State.

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Our Warmest, Biggest Thank You to Our Community, Friends, and Allies for Giving BIG

Because of your generosity, not only did we reach our GiveBIG goal, we exceeded it! You gave almost $8,000 this year, a record-breaking amount. Wow!

You inspire us with your support. Together with you, we help people with hearing loss find hope, encouragement, and the resources they need to thrive. Thank you!

purple background and the words thank you three times

Don’t Forget Our Annual Picnic

We’re returning once again to Lake Boren Park for our picnic on July 20, 2024, in Newcastle, Washington. Everyone is welcome. A hearing loop and PA system are provided.

Stay tuned for more details, including our program, lunch, and special guests.

color photo of park with trees, green grass, and path. sign reads lake boren park.


Learn About Our State’s Dementia Action Plan

Hearing loss is linked to dementia and cognitive decline. For years, HLAA-WA has been part of the Washington State Dementia Action Collaborative to ensure that hearing loss, hearing aids, and hearing care are part of the State’s Dementia Action Plan.

Find out more about the plan and learn what Washington State is doing to care for people with dementia at a webinar on June 4, 2024, at 10:00 – 11:30 am. Be sure to turn on the captions, or ask for them if needed. Free.

color photo of a young woman and an older woman looking at paperwork. text reads Dementia Action Collaborative Washington State


The Things We Do When We Have a Hearing Loss

In the first of our new blog series on personal stories of hearing loss and hope, Rick Faunt shares his hearing loss journey, from OUCH to OOPS to BAHA.

color photo of close-up of man holding his ear


Hearing-Friendly Events Coming Up at MOHAI

Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) has two events coming up with ASL interpretation and CART captioning.

If you attend these events and enjoy them, please let us know: webmaster@hearingloss-wa.org.

logo reads mohai, museum of history and industry. letter oh is a compass

National Hearing Loss News

May Is Better Hearing Month
Protect, Check, and Treat

During Better Hearing Month, why not share some hearing loss advice with your friends and family?

  • Turn down your volume and wear good-fitting earplugs.
  • Then, check your hearing regularly.
  • The average wait to treat hearing loss is seven years. That’s too long! Treat your hearing loss quickly to help preserve your physical and mental health.

Read more about Better Hearing Month on HLAA’s website.

color graphic. text reads hearing loss is a growing public health crisis, make sure you protect your ears, check hearing regularly, and treat hearing loss quickly

Register by May 26 for Early Bird Discounts for the HLAA Convention

The early-bird discount for the HLAA convention ends on May 26, 2024, so don’t wait!

The convention this summer will include the inspirational keynote speaker Shanna Adamic (photo, right), a research symposium on the emotional side of hearing loss, product demonstrations, and workshops on topics like state-level advocacy, role playing for communication strategies –both workshops from our local advocates! — and more.

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids:
Ask The Experts Webinar

Questions about over-the-counter hearing aids? You can ask the OTC manufacturers themselves at two upcoming webinars from HLAA. All HLAA webinars are free, live-captioned, and open to everyone.

  • May 22, 2024, 11:00 – Noon Pacific time: Meet the Manufacturers, Part 1: Essilor Luxottica and Sony
  • June 5, 2024, 11:00 – Noon Pacific time: Meet the Manufacturers, Part 2: Sonova and Jabra.
color graphic with photo of hearing aids. plus text reads oh-tee-see 101, ask the experts webinar series, 2 new webinars, meet the manufacturers of over-the-counter hearing aids, ask the people behind the products, webinar 3 and 4, may 22 and june 5, 2024, 2-3 pm ET, learn more and register at hearingloss.org/otc101

Webinar: The Case for Employees with Hearing Loss

People with disabilities such as hearing loss remain underemployed even today. In this free, captioned webinar on May 21, 2024, Professor David Baldridge will discuss the latest employment data, his current research, and practical implications for people with hearing loss and their employers, supervisors, coworkers, and allies. Dr. Baldridge is also an HLAA board member and cochlear implant user.

Resilience Can Help You Navigate Your Hearing Loss

Setbacks and frustrations are often part of our hearing loss journeys. Resilience strategies, like flexibility and humor, can help us deal with our hearing loss in better ways.

For excellent tips, check out this terrific article from our friends at Hearing Loss Live.

color photo of woman walking in the rain with a yellow umbrella. she's surrounded by green grass, trees, and bluebells.

Enjoy New Music Even with a Hearing Loss

Music means a lot to almost everyone. When you have a hearing loss, though, finding and enjoying new music can be hard.

Shari Eberts shares how she gets the most out of emerging and new-to-her music.

color photo of young woman shot from above. she's wearing headphones and smiling, lying in a field of daisies

Hearing Loops & Telecoils Spotlight

Oregon Public Broadcasting Features
Lane County Loopers

There are sixty — sixty! — loops in the city of Eugene, Oregon. How did this happen?

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports on the hard work of key loop advocates in Lane County.

two women in masks are talking on either side of an info window. a portable hearing loop is on the counter

Hearing Loss In-Person Support

Renton Hearing Loss Support Group
Friday, June 14, 2024

Our Renton support group meets the second Friday of each month (except July and August) at 1 pm at the Renton Senior Activity Center, 211 Burnett Avenue North, Renton. No need to register; simply check in at the front desk.

This group is led by our award-winning HLAA-WA Secretary Glenda Philio. A hearing loop is available, and everyone is welcome. Always free.

white text on purple background reads hearing loss help, renton support group, june 14, 2024, renton senior activity center

HLAA-Whatcom County Meeting
Saturday, June 15, 2024

The award-winning HLAA-Whatcom County Chapter meets the third Saturday of every month at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2600 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, Washington. Social time starts at 9:30 am and the meeting runs from 10:00 – 11:30 am. Live CART and a hearing loop provided. Everyone is welcome.

white text on purple background reads hearing loss help, whatcom county, june 15, 2024, 9:30, christ the servant lutheran church, bellingham

For more information on in-person hearing loss support, visit our website.


Stay Involved with HLAA and HLAA-WA

We’re glad you’re part of our community.

What more can you do to support people with hearing loss?

black and white map of washington state with photos of people

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.


Related Posts

Our Latest News, April 23, 2024

Our annual picnic, hearing access in healthcare, and more hearing loss support and news from Washington State.

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Our Picnic Is On — Save the Date!

Mark your calendar for our annual picnic, July 20, 2024, at Lake Boren Park in Newcastle, Washington. Everyone is welcome. A hearing loop and PA system are provided.

Stay tuned for more details, including our program, lunch, and special guests.

text and illustration graphic. graphic is a white outline of a picnic basket. text reads annual picnic, hlaa-wa, everyone is welcome, join us for a hearing-friendly summer picnic, July 20, 2024, Lake Boren Park, Newcastle, WA


Yes, It’s Possible to Get Hearing Access in Healthcare

Hearing access in healthcare settings can be uncertain and stressful. Our president Cheri Perazzoli shares how she recently secured access for several medical tests here in the Seattle area, and she offers tips on how you can hear better at your next hospital or doctor visit.

photo of a hand stacking blocks with medical symbols on them. the blue ear symbol for hearing access is on the left.

Next HOPE Meeting: May 1, 2024
Guest Speaker: Cynthia Moynihan
“Life with a Hearing Dog”

Our May meeting features an opportunity to learn about hearing dogs from our special guest speaker, Cynthia Moynihan. Cynthia is also a Gallaudet-trained peer mentor for people with hearing loss.

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 ask questions, and also to simply relax, listen, and spend time with people who understand what it’s like to live with hearing loss.

We meet the first Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm. We hope you can join us! Register for the May HOPE meeting here.

text only reads hope, virtual support group for living well with hearing loss, hope is hearing other people's experiences

GiveBIG Launches TODAY, April 23, 2024

GiveBIG, Washington’s statewide celebration of giving, kicks off today with opportunities for early giving.

Hearing loss may be invisible, but it’s everywhere. Every fifth American has some level of hearing loss, and they risk becoming isolated. Health problems can follow hearing loss too, including cognitive decline and falls.

You can help by giving to HLAA-WA. Your generosity means we can bring more help, hope, and resources for the million-plus Washingtonians with a hearing loss.

We’re stronger together. Thank you for your support!

white text on blue background reads give big powered by 501 commons may 7th through the 8th


Legislative Update: ASL Workgroup Established

Good news for people who are Deaf: A sign language workgroup is in Governor Inslee’s 2024 supplemental budget. This workgroup, led by ODHH, aims to address the shortage of ASL interpreters in our state.

At HLAA-WA, we supported this legislation, as did many of you! Thank you for your advocacy.

preschool aged boy in green t-shirt, shorts, and glasses sits on stairs. he is showing the I Love You sign in american sign language


Participants Wanted for Air Travel Access Study

Are you interested in participating in paid research activities designed to improve accessibility in air travel? Research activities could include in-home interviews, fly-alongs, flight experience documentation, online and in-person workshops, and mockup reviews.

You need to be 18 years or older and identify as at least one of these categories: Blind/low vision, Deaf/hard-of-hearing, reduced mobility, or neuro divergent. Click here to fill out the initial survey from Teague.

bright orange suitcase on light background. a small toy plane, notebook, camera and passport are scattered about.

National Hearing Loss News

Exploring Self-Employment for People with Hearing Loss Webinar, April 30, 2024

Thinking that self-employment might be a good option for you? This free, captioned HLAA webinar can help you decide.

Three panelists — Eyra Abraham, Dr. Anne McIntosh, and Shari Eberts — will share how they made self-employment work for them, and they’ll discuss the pros and cons of leaving office jobs behind.

graphic with color photo of woman in button down blouse. text reads hearing loss at work webinar series, exploring self-employent for people with hearing loss, tuesday april 30, 5pm eastern time, register at hearingloss.org/work

Hearing Health Care Program Reaches Lower-Income Arizonans

Many people, both in Arizona and across the United States, don’t have coverage for hearing care and hearing aids. This program, led by Michele Michaels, helps close the gaps so that people in lower incomes can get the care they need.

color photo of woman with white hair and glasses. she's wearing a jean jacket and holding a hearing aid

Local Leaders Win, Present at the HLAA National Convention

You’ve got even more reasons to attend the national HLAA convention in Phoenix this year: Several HLAA-WA members are presenters and award-winners.

Kimberly Parker (Spirit of HLAA Award), Cynthia Stewart, Jill Bujnevicie, and Hugo Esterhay (Excellence in State Advocacy Awards) will be honored at the awards ceremony this summer! Cynthia and Kimberly are also presenting workshops.

Register before May 26, 2024, for the convention, which runs June 26 through June 29, 2024, at the Sheraton Grand Resort at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, Arizona.

photo of grade school aged boy with suit jacket and button down shirt in front of a microphone

Hearing Loops & Telecoils Spotlight

What Do Hearing Loops Sound Like?

Hearing loops are the most-preferred assistive listening system. One reason is the incredible clarity of sound. With a switch of a hearing aid, CI, or BAHA to “Telecoil” mode, the sound can feel like it’s coming from inside your head — in a good way.

Listen to the difference between non-looped audio and looped audio in these videos.

wide shot of a theater from the balcony

Hearing Loss In-Person Support

Lacey-Area Hearing Loss Support Group
Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Stop by the next hearing loss group meeting on May 1 from 2:30 – 3:30 pm in the Quinault Auditorium at Panorama Senior Living. May’s meeting is a hybrid meeting; please contact Carolyn Odio for the Zoom registration (carolyn@odio.com).

Carolyn also sends a regular newsletter and has a small lending library; please contact her to receive the newsletter or find out more.

white text on purple background reads hearing loss help, lacey support group, may 1, 2024, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, Quinault Auditorium, Panorama Senior Living. photo of smiling woman in glasses in the corner

Renton Hearing Loss Support Group
Friday, May 10, 2024

Our Renton support group meets the second Friday of each month (except July and August) at 1 pm at the Renton Senior Activity Center, 211 Burnett Avenue North, Renton. No need to register; simply check in at the front desk.

This group is led by our award-winning HLAA-WA Secretary Glenda Philio. A hearing loop is available, and everyone is welcome. Always free.

purple graphic with white writing that reads hearing loss help, renton support group, may 10, 2024, 1 pm, renton senior activity center. photo of woman smiling in corner

HLAA-Whatcom County Meeting
“Getting to Know You,” May 18, 2024

The award-winning HLAA-Whatcom County Chapter meets the third Saturday of every month at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2600 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, Washington. Social time starts at 9:30 am and the meeting runs from 10:00 – 11:30 am. Live CART and a hearing loop provided. Everyone is welcome.

graphic with photo of woman holding crystal award, text reads hearing loss help whatcom county may 18 ,2024, 10 am to 11:30 am, christ the servant lutheran church, bellingham

For more information on in-person hearing loss support, visit our website.


Stay Involved with HLAA and HLAA-WA

We’re glad you’re part of our community.

What more can you do to support people with hearing loss here and across the country?

black and white map of washington state with photos of people

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.


Related Posts

The Power of the Ask
Getting Hearing Access in Our Healthcare System

By Cheri Perazzoli, HLAA-WA President

color photo of a hand stacking blocks with medical symbols. on the right is the universal blue ear symbol for hearing access.

People with hearing loss have to plan how we’ll hear everywhere we go. This can be especially intimidating and challenging when we’re seeking healthcare. While hearing accommodations should be waiting for us every time, in reality, we have to ask. Well in advance. Every time.

And when I found myself needing a day of medical tests, I learned firsthand how powerful the ask–combined with a simple technology and some education–can be.

Before My Appointments: Ask In Advance

Recently, my primary care doctor ordered three tests: a bone density scan, a heart CT, and an abdominal ultrasound. When the scheduler called, I asked if I could have the appointments all on the same day. Then I told her I have a severe hearing loss and I would need communication assistance for my appointments. I explained that since I wore hearing aids, I might need to remove them for some tests, and depending on the particular test, the type of accommodations might vary. I explained that I customarily request a hearing aid compatible assistive listening device (a Pocketalker with a neckloop and a long extension cord for the microphone.) But given the nature of the test, I wasn’t sure that device would be helpful beyond my check-in. 

Many of these tests require you to hold your breath for specific intervals, so I might need written instructions beforehand or I might need something else. The scheduler transferred me to interpreter services and I repeated the request.  Interpreter services contacted the staff for all three tests and confirmed they had a communication process in place.

Arriving at Overlake Hospital: The Pocketalker Awaits

When I arrived, I was glad to see the receptionist was not wearing a mask. I provided my name, and before the receptionist asked another question, I said, “I’m hard of hearing and requested communication assistance. Do you have a note in the chart or has a device been delivered for this purpose?” She checked the chart, saw the answer was affirmative, picked up a Williams Sound box on the back counter, came back to me, and spoke a little louder and slower and said, “My manager is on the way and I may need your help with this.” 

She opened the box and was already pretty comfortable with the Pocketalker. She slid the neckloop across to me. As she unwound the 12-foot (!) extension cord for the microphone, the manager arrived and the other receptionist watched us. The manager wanted to use some basic ASL, but I explained I don’t communicate in ASL. I needed aural communication assistance.

color photo of a hearing assistive device called a Pocketalker. it has a microphone, cords, and a main unit.
The Pocketalker at Overlake Hospital.
The full label reads, “Use with telecoil hearing aids.”

The receptionist knew she was supposed to use the mic! I encouraged her by saying, “Yes, that’s right, you’ve got it. When you speak into the microphone, what you say will travel through the neckloop directly to my hearing aids, and I’ll be able to better understand what you say.” The other two staff members were pleased to watch and learn about this process. I realized she needed a lavalier or lapel microphone. She could not type and hold the microphone.

After the check-in, the receptionist escorted me to the waiting area and said the technician would be with me shortly. I asked if they would call my name, and the receptionist said yes, and that she’d come get me if I didn’t hear them.

During My Tests: Pocketalker + Education Save the Day

My technician seemed surprised that we would need to communicate via the Pocketalker and asked if I could hear her. I explained I could and told her how the Pocketalker worked. Like many people with hearing loss, I never know if I’ll be able to understand technicians or providers because many wear masks and speak with dialects and accents, and some people don’t understand that with hearing loss, speaking louder is not necessarily better. I explained to her that seeing facial cues with context improved my comprehension. As I prepared for the bone scan, I got all tangled up in the cords. As this was a small space and straightforward directions for the scan–no breath-holding required–we placed the Pocketalker on a chair next to the exam table and her computer.

Next was the CT scan. Once again, I explained my hearing loss, the communication device and how it worked, and why I was using it. I asked if I could keep my hearing aids on and could and could I wear the neckloop (I could). Speaking into the microphone, she explained the procedure. She placed the Pocketalker on the exam table above my head and put me through the tube. The CT machine gives an automated “hold and release breath” command. The Pocketalker amplified the commands; however, there was a great deal of interference, probably electromagnetic (EMI). I could understand the commands but would not have wanted to listen more than a few minutes.

Last was the ultrasound. This technician wore a mask and she spoke with an accent. Plus, this scan required me to lay in different positions and face different directions, plus hold and release my breath. Thus there were many directions I needed to understand. Unfortunately, the microphone didn’t work well, because without a clip, the microphone was a hindrance for this particular procedure.

After the Tests: Gratitude and Suggestions for Improvement

After my tests were done, I returned the Pocketalker to the receptionist, thanked her for her help, and asked if she might make a note to the interpreter services. She was happy to do so. I suggested they contact Williams Sound and order lavalier or clip-on microphones.

As I walked through the lobby and admittance, I couldn’t help but notice all the information geared towards translator and interpreter services, such as ASL, but not much for communication access for people like me with hearing loss. I stopped at the concierge desk to see if I might meet with or speak with someone in interpreter services. I explained I’d just had some testing done and wanted to provide feedback. Of course, I used this opportunity to explain that I was hard of hearing and mention the communication assists I could use.

At Overlake Hospital, translation and interpretation are available in exam rooms and at the volunteer info desk.
Hearing access should be added, as well.

Interpreter services sent someone from patient services. When I explained that I’d had scanning services, I think he wanted to dismiss me, saying he worked with inpatient services, but I persisted, as I noted that my experience took place in this facility and I needed communication support all during my visit. He was very receptive. I complimented what they HAD done for interpretation (languages, including ASL), but at the same time, I let him know didn’t see much information to support my communication needs. I explained those solutions might vary depending on a given situation, such as info / concierge situation. Of course, I let him know about our work in Seattle’s Swedish healthcare system, how hearing loops at counters and tablets with captions can help, the need for the mics with clips, and so on, and gave him my card. Fingers crossed for improvements in the future!

What You Can Do to Get Healthcare Hearing Access

You’ve read my story above. Here are some highlighted suggestions for your next medical appointment.

  • Ask for access far in advance, when you make the appointment, if you can. Specify the kind of access you need: tablets with caption apps such as Ava or Otter preloaded, a Pocketalker or another personal amplifier, telehealth captions, a hearing loop, or an ASL interpreter.
  • If you’re getting an MRI, you will likely be asked to remove your hearing aids. You never know when else you might be asked to remove them–something to keep in mind.
  • If you’re in the Swedish system, ask about hearing loop availability. Several locations have hearing loops at check-in, including Swedish Edmonds, Swedish ER Downtown Seattle, and Swedish Issaquah.
  • Island Hospital also has hearing loops.
  • Learn more about HLAA’s healthcare access work, and read their webpage, Guide for Effective Communication in Healthcare, which includes advice for specific healthcare settings and help for providers.
  • Bring our hospital kit, especially if you’re having surgery. To find out more, read our blog post , then download and print communication tip cards, signs to go by your bed, and more.
A hospital kit lets healthcare staff know that you have a hearing loss and how they can best care for you. We encourage you to print these items and bring them with you.

Share Your Questions, Tips, and Success Stories

Have you successfully received hearing access in our healthcare system? Or do you have questions that we can answer? Please share with us below in the comment section, or send us a message: access@hearingloss-wa.org.

Our Latest News, April 9, 2024

Madonna goes inclusive, highlights of our annual meeting, help for sleeping better with tinnitus, and more.

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Annual Meeting and Awards Show We’re Stronger Together

Thank you to everyone who made our annual meeting a wonderful success this year! It was energizing and inspiring to connect with you all.

Special thanks to our generous sponsors ODHH, Dr. Chad Ruffin, and Spencer Norby.

Kudos to the many behind-the-scenes volunteers who made this event possible.


Come Meet Us at Outreach Events

As part of our community education program, we’re sending our outreach team to a location near you. Come see us, say hi, grab some information, ask questions about hearing loss, and find out how we can help you.

If you’d like representatives from HLAA-WA to participate at a community group or event, please contact us: hope@hearingloss-wa.org.

color photo of two women and a man standing behind a table filled with brochures.

Looking for Peer Support for Your Hearing Loss?

Several support groups are available to you here in Washington State, including online (HOPE), Whatcom County, Renton, and Panorama in Lacey. Visit our website for more information and ideas, or read on below.


HLAA-Whatcom County Meeting
April 20, 2024

Meet Jess Taluth, Field Representative from Dogs for Better Lives, at the next HLAA-Whatcom County chapter meeting.

The award-winning HLAA-Whatcom County Chapter meets the third Saturday of every month at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2600 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, Washington. Social time starts at 9:30 am and the meeting runs from 10:00 – 11:30 am. Live CART is provided and the room is looped. Everyone is welcome.

color photo of golden retriever or yellow lab, blurred green grass in background

Renton Hearing Loss Support Group
Friday, April 12, 2024

You’re invited to our in-person Renton Support Group meeting. This group meets the second Friday of each month (except July and August) at 1 pm at the Renton Senior Activity Center, 211 Burnett Avenue North in Renton. No need to register; simply check in at the front desk.

This group is led by our award-winning HLAA-WA Secretary Glenda Philio. A hearing loop is available, and everyone is welcome. Always free.

graphic with purple background and color photo of woman with white hair. she's wearing a bright blue top. text reads hearing loss help, renton support group, april 12, 2024, 1 to 2:15 pm, renton senior activity center

Next HOPE Meeting: May 1, 2024
Guest Speaker: Cynthia Moynihan, “Life with a Hearing Dog”

Our May meeting features an opportunity to learn about hearing dogs from our special guest speaker, Cynthia Moynihan. Cynthia is also a Gallaudet-trained peer mentor for people with hearing loss.

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 ask questions, and also to simply relax, listen, and spend time with people who understand what it’s like to live with hearing loss.

We hope you can join us.

Get Excited: The Seattle Rep Announces Their
2024-2025 Season

The very hearing-friendly Seattle Rep Theater has announced their 2024-2025 Season. The Rep has hearing loops throughout their three theaters and at the ticket windows, concierge, and concessions. Also, some shows are captioned. You can check out receivers and headphones at coat check.

  • The Skin of Our Teeth, September 26 – October 20, 2024
  • Primary Trust, October 24 – November 24, 2024
  • Blithe Spirit, November 29 – December 22, 2024
  • Blues for an Alabama Sky, January 30 – February 23, 2025

Subscriptions are now available. Single-show tickets will be on sale soon.

Remember, you can always find hearing-friendly events all across Washington State on the events page of our website.

orange and blue color graphic with a photo of a woman in costume lifting one arm. she's holding a jar. text reads seattle rep 2024 2024 season.

National Hearing Loss News

Latest Hearing Life Magazine Features Tech, Tech, and More Tech

How is artificial intelligence working to help people with hearing loss? What’s the latest must-have hearing technology for workplace accommodations?

HLAA’s quarterly magazine, Hearing Life, has answers.

silver and white graphic with tech and human head suggesting a high-tech space-age world. text reads hearing life magazne spring 2024 the magaine for people with hearing loss, AI and other hearing technology advancements

Madonna Goes Inclusive

Madonna was everywhere in the 80s and 90s and she’s still making audiences dance — including Deaf audience members — on her latest tour.

In this blog post from Deaffriendly Consulting, Melissa Greenlee explains why Madonna’s “Celebration” tour became a “milestone for the Seattle Deaf community.” This concert included two ASL interpreters and performances by Deaf performer Russell Harvard.

For an example of how powerful an experience this can be, you can watch Russell Harvard interpret and perform Madonna’s “I’ll Remember” in this video. We could watch Russell for hours, honestly.

Pssst: Hey, Madonna, how about a hearing loop and captioned performances next?

color photo of pop music star madonna with golden shoulder-length hair

How to Sleep Better with Your Tinnitus

Tinnitus can sound even louder and be even more bothersome when you’re lying in bed trying to sleep.

On Doctor Cliff’s YouTube channel, audiologist Rachel Cook shares some advice on getting a good night’s sleep with your tinnitus. It starts with a “detox” 2-4 hours before bed.

color photo of young girl with long brown hair; focus is on her  ear, which is shaded red to show pain

Find a Walk4Hearing to Cheer and Support

While we don’t yet have a Walk4Hearing here in Washington State, there are many such walks all across the country. You can find one to cheer, share, and donate to.

Proceeds from Walk4Hearing events go to HLAA and to the local or state organization and ultimately, to help people with hearing loss thrive.

color photo of people smiling in the sunshine; they are wearing flower leis

School Bus Driver Is Gifted Hearing Aids

In Akron, Ohio, a school bus driver loves his job helping autistic kids get to school. Plus, he also cares for his grandchildren. He needed help hearing them clearly, though.

Read the story of how he can hear the kids in his life much better, thanks to a gift of hearing aids.

color photo of hands holding hearing aid

Hearing Loops & Telecoils Spotlight

Public-Access Ready Hearing Aids: The Past, Present, and Future

Hearing aids can connect you to people, and also — with a little tech help — connect to public assistive listening systems and to phones, computers, and tablets. To easily use public assistive listening systems like hearing loops, you need “public access ready” hearing aids with telecoils — and systems like hearing loops.

In this thoughtful HearingReview article from Thomas Kaufmann, AuD, find out more, and learn why Auracast ALS isn’t quite public-access ready yet.

color photo of hearing loop sign outside a meeting room


Stay Involved with HLAA and HLAA-WA

We’re glad you’re part of our community.

What more can you do to support people with hearing loss here and across the country?

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.


Related Posts

Our Latest News, March 19, 2024

A star hearing loss advocate wows with a TED talk, a big local legal victory with national implications, and more.

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Last Chance to Register for Our Annual Meeting Online

THIS SATURDAY, March 23, 2024

There’s still time to register to attend our annual meeting via Zoom. Our in-person event is fully booked, but you can still attend online.

We have awards, updates, and a chance for you to connect with Rep. Tina Orwall, our greatest ally in the Washington State legislature. After the meeting, our board will meet, and you’re welcome to join.

Remember, all activities in-person and online are fully hearing accessible with ASL interpreters, live captions, and a hearing loop.

Read more about the day’s festivities on our blog.

If you’ve already registered, thank you! We look forward to seeing you in person or online.

crystal stall award with deep blue background


Looking for In-Person Support for Your Hearing Loss?

Several support groups are available to you here in Washington State, including online (HOPE), Whatcom County, Renton, and Panorama in Lacy. Visit our website for more information and ideas, or read on below.


HLAA-Whatcom County Meeting
April 20, 2024

Meet Jess Taluth, Field Representative from Dogs for Better Lives, at the next HLAA-Whatcom County chapter meeting.

The award-winning HLAA-Whatcom County Chapter meets the third Saturday of every month at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2600 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, Washington. Social time starts at 9:30 am and the meeting runs from 10:00 – 11:30 am. Live CART is provided and the room is looped. Everyone is welcome.

color photo of golden retriever or yellow lab, blurred green grass in background

Renton Hearing Loss Support Group
Friday, April 12, 2024

You’re invited to our in-person Renton Support Group meeting. This group meets the second Friday of each month (except July and August) at 1 pm at the Renton Senior Activity Center, 211 Burnett Avenue North in Renton. No need to register; simply check in at the front desk.

This group is led by our award-winning HLAA-WA Secretary Glenda Philio. A hearing loop is available, and everyone is welcome. Always free.

graphic with purple background and color photo of woman with white hair. she's wearing a bright blue top. text reads hearing loss help, renton support group, april 12, 2024, 1 to 2:15 pm, renton senior activity center

Next HOPE Meeting: April 3, 2024

Telehealth captions and finding help with auditory training after cochlear implant surgery were two of the topics we discussed at our March HOPE virtual support meeting.

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 ask questions, and also to simply relax, listen, and spend time with people who understand what it’s like to live with hearing loss.

We hope you can join us.

Hearing-Accessible Events Coming Up in
Mount Vernon

The beautiful vintage Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon is LOOPED. That means you can enjoy lots of events by turning your hearing aid or CI to T or telecoil mode to hear more clearly. Coming up…

  • April 4, 2024 – Jake Shimabukuro, live in concert
  • April 26, 2024 – Best of the Seattle Comedy Competition
  • May 5, 2024 – Villalobos Brothers Cinco de Mayo, live in concert
  • September 19, 2024 – Hot Tuna, 60s band with Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, live in concert

The Lincoln also shows movies several times a week. We didn’t see any open-caption shows mentioned, but you can call and request them.

Remember, you can find hearing-friendly events all across Washington State on the events page of our website.

color painting of an old time building. sign reads 1926, lincoln theater

National Hearing Loss News

Local Legal Victory May Have BIG National Impact, and You May Have a Claim

In a legal victory for people with hearing loss, a lack of coverage for hearing aids may violate the Affordable Care Act’s antidiscrimination provision, according to a recent settlement in the Schmitt v. Kaiser lawsuit here in Washington State. And you may be eligible to file a claim.

Thanks to local and national lawyers and advocates, a $3 million settlement fund has been established. If you were covered under certain Kaiser Foundation Health Plans in Washington State between October 30, 2014 and December 31, 2023, and you paid out of pocket for hearing aids or related services, you may be eligible to file a claim.

Read more about how to file a claim, why this may have broader implications for insurance coverage, and more in this excellent summary from HLAA.

A special thank you to John Waldo for his leadership in this lawsuit. John passed away recently. We’re imagining him smiling down on this huge win.

The deadline to file a claim is April 2, 2024, so don’t wait.

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Registration Is Open for the HLAA National Convention This Summer

Sunshine and resort luxury join the usual wonderful combination of friendship and learning at the HLAA convention, June 26-29, 2024, at the Sheraton Grand Resort at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, Arizona.

Shanna Adamic will be the keynote speaker. The research symposium will focus on the emotional side of hearing loss. And that’s just the start of all the terrific opportunities. Will we see you there?

color photo of a southwest-style hotel, swimming pool, and lake. puffy clouds and blue sky above

How Can You Enjoy and Play Music with a Hearing Loss?

Video from the 2023 convention symposium is now available

Music is important to nearly everyone, and losing the ability to appreciate or play music can be a tremendous loss. But there’s hope.

At the HLAA convention last summer, the research symposium focused on the joy of music and loving your ears. Topics included listening safely to music, preventing hearing loss whether you’re a listener or a performer, and perceiving music when you have cochlear implants. You can watch the series of symposium videos on the HLAA website.

illustration of musical notes

Are AirPods About to Become Hearing Aids?

Apple’s AirPods Pro already have some hearing-aid-adjacent type of functions, but these devices may go even further with the next iOS 18 update via an “official hearing aid mode.”

How do you use your AirPods Pro to hear better? We’d love your feedback. Your tech insight may help others: webmaster@hearingloss-wa.org.

close up of white earbuds with blue background

Hearing Loops & Telecoils Spotlight

What You Don’t Know About Hearing Aids

You can learn a lot from Juliette Sterkens.

Hearing aids can help you hear, but tips, tricks, and tech can change your life. And there’s no better messenger on the subject of hearing aids, assistive tech, and hearing loss than Juliette Sterkens, spokeswoman for HLAA’s Get in the Hearing Loop program.

Juliette’s incredible, passionate TEDx Oshkosh talk has already earned over 183,000 views and almost 400 comments. We encourage you to watch the video, like and comment, and share with everyone you know. It’s that good.

color photo of a woman with short white hair in a bright red dress. she looks excited and is sitting on the edge of a stage. in the background, a large sign reads Ted X Oshkosh


Stay Involved with HLAA and HLAA-WA

We’re glad you’re part of our community.

What more can you do to support people with hearing loss here and across the country?

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.


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