Be a Hearing Health Ambassador

Living out loud with your hearing loss helps everyone

Color photo of two women with glasses and blue baseball caps. They're holding t-shirts that say Walk 4 Hearing.

Living out loud is the practice of being yourself, wholly and unapologetically. When you live out loud with your hearing loss, you defeat the stigma and inspire others to do the same. This is what it means to be a hearing health ambassador.

Diana Thompson (l) and Glenda Philio
Long-time HLAA-WA advocates

Leading by example

When you share your hearing loss with others — even with one person — you are a hearing health ambassador. When you tell a colleague about living and working with hearing loss, or let people know you wear hearing aids, when you encourage friends to get their hearing tested, and when you ask for hearing help at your local library or place of worship, you’re a hearing health ambassador. You are living out loud.

Every time you say the words “I have a hearing loss” or “I need help hearing” — you’re a hearing health ambassador.

Color photo of two people looking at the camera with gentle joy.

Past HLAA-WA Treasurer, Bill Collison and his wife Aundie. Two well-loved, long-time hearing health ambassadors in Washington State.

Bill passed in 2021, but Aundie continues their legacy of living out loud with hearing loss.

Why would I want to talk about my hearing loss?

We get that it’s hard — that talking about your hearing loss can raise feelings of shame or embarrassment. We understand that hearing loss still carries a stigma and denial is common. It can seem easier to try and fake your way through missed words and miscommunications. It can feel like a better option to simply avoid situations where you might get called-out or teased for not hearing well. But on the flip side, owning and talking about your hearing loss benefits you and everyone you know.

Compelling reasons to talk about your hearing loss:

  • Change from a victim mentality to a proactive, self-advocate mentality
  • Decrease isolation, depression, relationship stress, cognitive decline/dementia and falls
  • Stay engaged with the people and activities you love
  • Maintain your independence longer
  • Inspire others and help build more hearing-friendly communities

Learn more from hearing loss advocate and author, Gael Hannan, “It’s YOUR Hearing Loss – Own It!”

Let’s start more conversations about hearing loss

More than 1.5 billion people — nearly 20% of the global population—are currently living with hearing loss. Over 48 million people in the US and 1.5 million in Washington State. That’s a lot of people! And hearing loss is not just a problem for the elderly; hearing loss affects people of every age, race, and socio-economic group. Imagine if we all started speaking up.

Download this helpful guide: Hearing Loss Conversation Kit

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

We’re here to help!

Gain the confidence you need to be your own advocate and live out load with your hearing loss

Zoom HOPE Meetings

Find friends, support, tips, and encouragement at our monthly gatherings to Hear Other People’s Experiences

How To Ask for Hearing Help

Asking for accommodations gets easier with practice and keeps you connected and active in the places where you live your life

Communication Tips

Help your friends, family and colleagues communicate with you so that you can hear better and fully participate.

Color photo of a group of people, many in sunglasses, a few with Walk 4 Hearing t-shirts or caps. Many have their arms raised to wave at the camera.