Awards and Scholarship Winners, Access, BAHA Hearing Aids, and More News

Welcome to our June news! Our next newsletter arrives July 9, 2024. Until then, we’ll see you in Phoenix at the HLAA convention!

Washington State Hearing Loss News

What’s a BAHA Hearing Aid, Anyway?

In this three-part blog series, “The Things We Do When We Have a Hearing Loss,” Rick Faunt writes with humor and wisdom about his hearing loss journey. In the third and final post, he discusses his surgery and recovery, and why a BAHA was a good solution for his hearing loss.

color photo of side of head, baha hearing aid, and ear


Local Hearing Loss Advocates Receive National Awards

Four Washington State advocates will receive national HLAA awards this month at the HLAA convention in Phoenix.

Find out who in this blog post.

We’re beaming with pride and gratitude.

3-photo montage, two smiling women and one woman with hear arms around two grade-school children in front of the state capitol. text reads 2024 national hlaa award winners


We’re Looking for a New Treasurer. Is It You?

Our longtime treasurer and board member Rick Faunt is stepping down this year. That means you have an opportunity to join our board.

Read more about what’s involved with the role and find out how to apply on our website.

hand drawing red line under the words join us

Reminder: Our Annual Picnic Is July 20

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. We’ll have a raffle and perhaps some open mic and sharing.

Stay tuned for more details.

white illustrated outline of a picnic basket on purple background. text reads annual hlaa-wa picnic, everyone is welcome, join us for a hearing-friendly summer picnic, july 20, 2024, lake boren park, newcastle, wa

You Want to Talk to My Caregiver?
Stories from Life with Hearing Loss

In a recent trip to a “Buy-A-Lot-Co” store, hearing loss advocate Greg Bawden encountered a strange reaction from a staff member when he pointed out that staff needed training in communicating with hard-of-hearing folks.

Greg describes what happened and what he did next in an article on his LinkedIn page.

photo of a shopping cart looking down the aisle of a costco-type store

Whatcom County Chapter Announces 2024
Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to Jace Stanley and Jesse Stewart winners of HLAA-Whatcom County’s Founders Fund scholarships. Both Jace and Jesse attend Lynden High School, and each is now eligible to receive $500 a year for up to 4 years of post-secondary education.

color stock photo of a jar of coins, plus a small graduation cap

News from the Washington State Association of the Deaf: Emergency Planning, Community Art, and More

  • Community Meeting with the Everett Police Department – Learn about how the Everett police plan to better serve the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at 2:00 pm at the Everett Police office, 1121 SE Everett Mall Way. Captions and ASL provided.
  • The Coalition on Inclusive Emergency Planning is working on distribution of ASL emergency alerts, interpreter availability, and ASL classes for the Emergency Management Division.
  • Deaf Spotlight is showcasing a community art exhibit, “Summer Solstice,” June 1 – 30th, 2024. The exhibit also features a reception on June 22, 2024.
color photo of a man with glasses in a light green shirt using ASL to communicate with a kindergarten-aged boy in glasses and a dark green shirt


Local Classes Aim to Help You Prevent Falls

Hearing loss is linked to an increased risk of falling. Beyond getting hearing aids, what else can you do to reduce the risk of a tumble?

Several different types of falls prevention classes are available not only in King County, but across the state. Project Enhance Fitness, Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL), Otago, and a Matter of Balance (MOB) classes are available, and in long-term care facilities, a program called STEADI is being tested.

For more information, check out your local senior and community centers. You can also check these resources for more classes, home safety checklists, videos, and more about preventing falls.

color photo of man with silver hair and a light blue shirt taking an exercise class. he's holding a pole above his head and smiling. other exercises are in the background

National Hearing Loss News

Telehealth Accessibility Is Long Overdue

Telehealth can be a huge help in getting care, especially if you have a disability, live in a rural area, or have barriers to getting to a doctor’s office.

One barrier that needs to be addressed to ensure equal access: telehealth accessibility. Telehealth captions are needed for millions of people who have a hearing loss.

More in this article in STAT News.

color photo of woman in blue scrubs and a long dark ponytail. she's looking at a laptop

Deaf Filmmaker Tells Stories in a Different Way

This story caught our attention. Deaf filmmaker Alison O’Daniel is the director of Tuba Thieves, a film that takes a very different approach to filmmaking.

“The goal was to make the viewer feel the film physically, and be very active. And also to recreate a visual version of the feeling I have with my hearing: a lack of clarity or ownership over the image,” she says in this PBS article.

Tuba Thieves has shown on the film festival circuit, including at Sundance, but you can also watch it on the PBS Independent Lens website.

color photo of woman in large glasses and orange shirt. bright blue background

Airport Hearing Accessibility Improvements Arriving Soon

Few places can be more frustrating than airports, especially if you’re trying to hear announcements, talk to a gate agent, or find your way around.

Good news: Flying while you have a hearing loss is about to get easier.

photo of woman from behind. she's wearing a backpack and gazing up at a digital airport arrivals board

Hearing Loops & Telecoils Spotlight

How Do I Pay for a Hearing Loop?

Hearing loop advocates often get the question, “But how do I pay for the loop?” There are lots of ways, including direct fundraising from parishioners, patrons, and the community.

But there are lots of other ways. Here’s a list of ways to help fund hearing loops at different types of venues.

split screen. left side is a stack of coins with a tiny green plant. right side is the purple universal symbol for hearing loop access

Airport Loops Await You in Phoenix, Memphis

If you’re headed to the HLAA convention in Phoenix this month, be sure to use the hearing loops at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Thank you to the wonderful hearing loss advocates in Arizona (Michele Michaels!) who made that happen.

If you trip takes you through Memphis, we’ve learned that there are loops throughout the Memphis airport, too. Ditto for the Albuquerque and Grand Rapids airports.

We encourage you to turn your hearing aid to T or telecoil mode and tune into the airport loops to make your trip easier and more comfortable.

a photo taken from the back of a man with red hair and a buttondown shirt. he's holding a suitcase and gazing out toward the tarmac of an airport.

Hearing Loss Events

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.

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

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

Virtual Hearing Loss Support Meeting
Find HOPE on July 3, 2024

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.

Read the notes from the June HOPE meeting here. The group talked about healthcare access, restaurant TV caption, and more.

HOPE meets the first Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm. We hope you can join us! 

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

Learn About ODHH’s Case Management Services at Meetings Across the State

Understand your rights, find out how case managers can help you, and discover new resources and services at three community meetings coming up in June with the Washington State Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH).

  • Tuesday, June 11, 10 – 11 am, Bellingham DSHS, 2219 Rimland Drive, Suite 419, Bellingham
  • Tuesday, June 11, 2 – 3 pm, Seattle DSHS, 1700 East Cherry Street, Suite 200, Seattle.
  • Wednesday, June 12, 10 – 11 am, Tacoma DSHS Centennial Building, 1949 S State Street, Tacoma.

Captioning and ASL provided. Free.

log of the washington state department of social & health services ODHH office of the deaf and hard of hearing

Last Chance to Register for the HLAA Convention

Celebrate with friends old and new at the Welcome Back Bash and the Awards Ceremony, learn about new technologies, and soak up some Arizona sunshine at the 2024 HLAA convention, June 26-29, 2024 at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse in Phoenix.

We’ll be there. Will you?

color photo of two women at a trade show looking at a hearing aid

Happy Pride Month

At HLAA-WA, we wish our friends and members in the LGBTQ+ community a very Happy Pride Month in June.

hand with long red fingernails holding a rainbow heart

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.


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