Be a Hearing Health Advocate
Join in and make a positive difference
I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is to be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.~ Maya Angelou
Creating social change
Sometimes advocacy speaks. Like asking for hearing accommodation at a public venue where you work, play, seek medical help, or pray.
Sometimes advocacy is putting pen to paper. Like emailing or writing your legislative representative to support a hearing health bill.
And sometimes advocacy whispers. Like signing a petition to ensure captions on virtual meeting platforms are free.
Loud or quiet, individual or collective, all advocacy contributes to creating laws and policies for hearing-friendly communities throughout Washington State.
One of the greatest actions you can take to live well with hearing loss is to self-advocate. Being able to communicate your hearing needs can help you thrive in school, work, and life. HLAA-WA is committed to providing you with the information and support you need to gain communication access in all aspects of your life.
The added benefit? Every time you advocate for yourself — helping people solve hearing access problems — you help everyone with hearing loss gain greater access.
Check out our How to Ask for Hearing Help page for tips, information and legal resources.
HLAA also offers self-advocacy guides for specific purposes
- The Employment Toolkit provides information for both employees and employers.
- The Guide to Effective Communication in Health Care can help you advocate for yourself or your loved ones in medical situations.
- You can also access self-advocacy resources for distinct communities, including veterans, parents, and students and young adults.
At the legislative and policy level, advocacy can impact the lives and well-being of millions of people with hearing loss. Remember life before the ADA? We sure do! Much of what we take for granted today — wheelchair ramps, hearing loops, Braille signs — didn’t exist a few generations ago. These changes only came about because of dedicated advocates who didn’t give up.
Governor Inslee signs the Telecoil-Bluetooth Consumer Education Bill into law, 2019. We were proud to advocate for this law that ensures people buying hearing aids are told about the components and technologies they need to connect their hearing aids to devices and to public assistive listening systems.
Communication access advocacy
Helping your community become more hearing-friendly is an extremely rewarding form of local advocacy. Participate in local meetings to raise awareness about hearing access. Ask a local venue or your place of worship to install a hearing loop. Your advocacy for communication access at public venues will help you and others with hearing loss participate equally. Maybe it’s your dad or sister, maybe a friend, or many people you will never meet.
Advocacy is contagious!
It’s truly thrilling to help a law get passed, to see a venue get a hearing loop installed, or simply to summon the courage to ask for hearing help. We warmly invite you to join our advocacy efforts, even if your voice shakes, even if you’re just learning to speak out. We need every voice.
Help Our Efforts
Join our Legislative and Policy Advocacy Committee and participate in creating a hearing-friendly Washington State that helps us achieve our full potential
How to ask for Hearing Help
Asking for accommodations gets easier with practice and keeps us connected and active in the places where we live your lives
Advocate for Hearing Loops
HLAA-WA has a dedicated hearing loop advocacy program called Let’s Loop Seattle and HLAA has a national program, Get in the Hearing Loop