HLAA-WA & Accessibility Leaders Recognized During Women’s History Month

Thank you to our Washington State Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for honoring two HLAA-WA leaders along with other leaders during Women’s History Month in March 2023.

We warmly tip our hats to all the terrific women on ODHH’s list. You may recognize some of these folks from our partner organizations…

Free Emergency Alert Devices for People with Hearing Loss or Who Are Deaf

For Idaho and Washington State residents, the American Red Cross will install free smoke alarms, bed shakers, and strobes.

You can visit the American Red Cross website or call 1-833-918-1531 to set up an appointment. When you sign up, simply request a bed shaker or a strobe in addition to the smoke alarms.

Thank you to the Red Cross for this wonderful service, and a huge wave to Jim House for his continued work on behalf of emergency planning and safety for people with disabilities.

In Memory of Judith Heumann, Disability Rights Warrior

Color photo of a smiling woman. She's wearing glasses and sitting in a wheelchair. she's holding a book in each hand, one called Being Heumann and one called Rolling Warrior.
Judy Heumann was an indefatigable advocate for people with disabilities.

Judy Heumann, the renowned champion for the rights of people with disabilities, has passed away.

Her lifetime of advocacy includes serving under the Clinton and Obama Administrations, leading the independent living movement, and helping to enact many disability rights laws, including the ADA.

Denied the right to attend school at age five, Judy went on to become the first New York teacher who used a wheelchair.

You may have seen Judy featured in the movie Crip Camp, listened to her podcast, or read one of her books (Being Heumann and Rolling Warrior). If not, we encourage you to do so, as her work remains part of her legacy.

You can join Judy’s memorial service on Wednesday, March 8, at 10:00 am at Adas Israel Congregation in Kay Hall, Washington DC, or watch the livestream with live realtime captioning at this link: Judy-Heumann : Real Time Text (streamtext.net).

HLAA-WA E-News March 7, 2023

Welcome to our e-news!

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Webinar: Ask For The Hearing Access You Need

Join the next webinar in our Empowerment Series on March 15, 2023, 4:00 pm Pacific. Hearing loss advocate Ann Thomas will explain what hearing access is, what’s required under the law, and where exactly access is required. Learn how to gain access–proactively. Free, live-captioned, and open to everyone.

two-panel graphic; right panel is a line drawing of two human forms--a squiggly line indicating confusion is drawn between them. The left panel is text that says communication access, everyone gets the message.

Legislative Update: Hearing Aid Bills Keep Moving, Need Our Support

House Bill 1222 passed the House! Next up: a journey through the Senate.

Senate Bill 5338 will be considered in executive session in the House Healthcare & Wellness Committee on March 6. It’s expected to pass out of the committee, so no action is needed at the moment. Many of you have provided heartfelt testimony in support of the bill. THANK YOU!

  • Stay tuned for how you can help move this bill forward sometime after March 8, when the bill will be in the House Appropriations Committee.
right side: color photo of man with dark hair and beard putting a hearing aid in his ear. Left side reads support hearing aid insurance coverage in Washington State, HB 1222, SSB 5338

Read more about this hearing loss advocacy movement, and the heroes–big and small–who are leading it, on our blog.

Thank you for your ongoing, dedicated support of hearing-friendly legislation! YOU are making the difference in keeping these bills moving.

Color photo of a woman with white hair and a small ponytail. A hearing aid is in her ear.

How Do Recent Hearing Aid Legislative Efforts Help Seniors?

The new hearing aid legislation in Washington State addresses hearing aid requirements for private insurance. Would seniors benefit from this legislation, too? Find out how and why on our blog.

HLAA-WA Leaders Educate in Long-Term Care Settings

Hearing loss among residents in long-term care settings is both common and treatable, and volunteers and staff can do a lot to help these folks.

At a recent meeting of the Washington State Long Term Care Ombudsman program, HLAA-WA President Cheri Perazzoli and HLAA-WA Agency and Legislative Liaison Diana Thompson shared ways ombuds volunteers can best help residents with hearing loss. Get tips from this presentation on our blog.

color photo of smiling woman with gray hair and glasses . She's looking up at a woman in medical scrubs.

Local Advocates from HLAA-Whatcom County Featured in Presentation:
The Looping of Northwest Washington

Local hearing loss advocates Lou Touchette and Mike Sweeney will present to the HLAA-West Valley Chapter on March 14, 2023, at noon Pacific time. Find out more, including how to join via Zoom, on our blog.

Next HOPE Meeting: Wednesday, April 5, 2023, 4 pm Pacific

What are some ways a PocketTalker can be useful? Can mini-microphones help in small-group situations? These are some of the questions we discussed at our last 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.

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

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

The Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is hosting meetings around Washington State. Join one of the in-person meetings below, get to know Earnest, and find out what ODHH is up to.

Saturday, April 8th, 2023

1:00 – 3:00 pm

Olympia Senior Center
Multipurpose Room B
222 Columbia Street NW
Olympia, Washington 98501

Saturday, June 10th, 2023

1:00 to 3:00 pm

Tacoma Public Library
Anna Lemon Wheelock Branch
3722 North 26th Street
Tacoma, WA 98407

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

National Hearing Loss News

Graphic reads HLAA Hearing Loss Association of America Convention New Orleans, June 29 to July 1, 2023

Diverse Workshops Coming at the HLAA Convention in New Orleans

Learn how to make yourself heard, find out more about over-the-counter hearing aids, discuss hearing loss in children, connect with the African American hearing loss community, solve uncommon hearing aid problems, and more: Check out the workshops coming up at this year’s HLAA convention. There’s even a workshop in Spanish this year. 

Registration fees start at $150 for one day, and only $175 for students for all three days.  Register for the convention here.

Amazon’s Fire TV Can Stream to a Cochlear Implant

People with cochlear implants can now stream directly from their Fire TV Cube or “compatible” smart TV–though not from Fire TV Sticks. An app is needed, but not a streamer, according to this article in Fast Company.

If you’ve found success with this tech, please let us know in the comments, or send an email to webmaster@hearingloss-wa.org.

Old, 1960s-style yellow television.

color photo of children playing an electronic keyboard.

Hearing Loss Not a Problem for Kids Learning Music

This story made our hearts sing: A music teacher in San Antonio is helping kids with hearing loss to learn and play music. The teacher, Adam Chitta, wears a hearing aid himself.

color photo of a large group of people who are looking at the camera and raising their arms to wave.


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.

Continue reading “HLAA-WA E-News March 7, 2023”

Helping and Empowering Long-Term Care Residents Who Have Hearing Loss

color photo of smiling woman with gray hair and glasses . She's looking up at a woman in medical scrubs. There is a blue ear hearing loss symbol in the left hand corn.

Nearly half of adults 75 and over have a hearing loss. If you work or volunteer in a long-term care setting, do you know how to best communicate with and help these seniors?

Hearing loss is perhaps the most overlooked disability. But hearing loss can harm communication with caregivers, staff, and volunteers in long-term care environments. More broadly, hearing loss also affects our health and well-being, increasing our risk of falls, cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, and isolation.

At a recent meeting for Washington State’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, HLAA-WA leaders Cheri Perazzoli and Diana Thompson shared how people in long-term care settings can empower and serve residents who are living with hearing loss.

Highlights of the presentation by Cheri and Diana included…

  • Recognizing the signs of hearing loss, such as difficulty hearing on the phone and withdrawal from conversation and activities
  • Learning communication techniques for people with hearing loss, such as getting the listener’s attention, facing them directly, and using a pen and paper
  • Using personal 1-to-1 assistive tech, such as PocketTalkers
  • Encouraging residents to see a hearing professional and to use their hearing aids regularly
  • Finding and using caption apps on a tablet or smartphone (Ava, Google Live Transcribe, and LiveCaption)
  • Helping residents get hearing-assistive telecommunications equipment, such as caption landline phones, often at no cost

The Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program helps protect the rights of residents in long-term care and other senior living facilities. The program’s volunteers help resolve complaints and problems in areas such as quality of care, abuse, and other aspects of resident dignity.