HLAA-WA E-News, April 11, 2023

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Legislative Update: Both Hearing Aid Bills PASSED!

It’s hard to believe, but it’s true: BOTH hearing aid insurance coverage bills passed the Washington State Legislature!

What Does That Mean?

The House will need to concur with a small change that the Senate made to HB 1222, or the House and Senate will need to negotiate changes that both chambers adopt. But we have no doubt, with the overwhelming support the House and Senate have shown, that this process will be completed before the end of the 2023 legislative session. Then HB 122 will make its way to the governor’s desk, where SB 5338 already awaits.

When both bills become law, hearing aids will be included under the State’s individual Essential Health Benefits (Obamacare) and under private insurance for employers, unions, and associations.

And THAT means that Washingtonians with hearing loss will have much more equity and fairness in their care, treatment, and medical equipment.

Many people deserve our enthusiastic gratitude for this victory. We’re especially grateful to HLAA-WA Legislative Liaison Cynthia Stewart for her considerable skills and effort in understanding the laws and providing testimony. Watch for a blog post coming soon with more details. But for now, know that YOU are a big reason these bills succeeded. Your testimonies, calls, emails, “PRO” votes, likes, and shares were able to reach our representatives’ hearts and minds.

Read more about the bills in this State of Reform article, and find out about this hearing loss advocacy movement, and the heroes — big and small — who led the way, on our blog.

color photo of a woman smiling. her arms are around two young boys wearing suit coats and button-down shirts. the washington state capitol is in the background.

Save the Date for GiveBIG 2023

The annual 48-hour giving event is May 2-3, 2023, with early giving kicking off on April 18.

Last year you helped us raise over $3,000. Our goal this year is $4,500.

Mark your calendars to give BIG during this statewide fundraising event and help us reach our goal!

Learn About Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids at the HLAA-Whatcom County Chapter Meeting

Our president Cheri Perazzoli will give a presentation, “OTC Hearing Aids: A Story of Ongoing Consumer Advocacy,” at HLAA-Whatcom County’s Saturday, April 15, 2023, meeting. Cheri will share the wins accomplished so far and the ongoing advocacy for better consumer information. Cheri is also a member of the HLAA Board of Directors.

Audiologist Pam Spencer will lead the Q&A following Cheri’s talk. Free, captioned, and open to everyone.

Cheri will be presenting via Zoom, but you can also come to the in-person meeting at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2600 Lakeway Drive in Bellingham.

To join the Zoom meeting directly from 9:30 am – 11:30 am, click here. The meeting ID is 889 352 2564, and the passcode is 17232103.

color photo of woman with straight brown hair and glasses. she is smiling and wearing a jean jacket and a black sweater.

woman with long blond hair talking behind podium.

Hearing-Accessible History Talks in Seattle This Spring

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle is continuing its terrific series of hearing-friendly history talks.

Programs with both CART captioning and ASL Interpretation:  

  1. History Café: Seattle’s Sephardic Jews in the 20th Century on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at 6:30pm
  2. Denny Lecture: Seattle History from the Margins  on Tuesday, May 09, 2023, at 7:00pm
  3. History Café: Tales from the Mountain on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at 6:30pm
  4. History Café: A Decade of Gender Justice on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at 6:30pm
  5. Reflections on Art Practices in Seattle: 25 Years of the Neddy Artist Award on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at 7:00pm

CART captioning will also be available at the following programs:

  1. Designing with Intention: Black Architects’ Visions for Seattle’s Future on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, at 7:00pm
  2. Behind the Seams: Ugly Clothes on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 2:00pm

You can also visit our events webpage for more hearing-friendly entertainment ideas.

Next HOPE Meeting: Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 4 pm Pacific

How can I travel safely and hear well when I’m in a tour group on vacation? Are there technologies that can help me in my hotel room? Travel is one of several topics we discussed at a recent 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.

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

The Washington State Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is hosting meetings around Washington State. Join one of the in-person meetings below and get to know Earnest, plus find out how ODHH might help you and others with hearing loss. Carolyn Odio attended the meeting already held in Olympia and shared this blog post with us.

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

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

*Note: Spokane Meeting Is Rescheduled*

Saturday, May 6th, 2023

1:00 to 3:00 pm

Spokane Public Library
Hillyard Branch
4110 N. Cook Street
Spokane, WA 99207

Saturday, May 20th, 2023

1:00 to 3:00 pm

Husky Union Building (HUB)
HUB 337
4001 E. Stevens Way NE
Seattle, WA 98195

Pay-by-Phone parking in lot N20 and N21. Go to the digital pay machine, input license plate number,
choose pre-arranged hourly, 3 hours, coupon number 110772.

Saturday, June 10th, 2023

1:00 to 3:00 pm

Tacoma Public Library
Anna Lemon Wheelock Branch
3722 North 26th Street
Tacoma, WA 98407
Free street parking and a small parking lot (5 spaces)

National Hearing Loss News

Get Your (Free!) Custom Loop Location List

Wondering where hearing loops are available in a given city, state, or province? Or are you interested in specific types of venues with loops, like museums or libraries?

The HLAA Get in the Hearing Loop program offers detailed, custom lists of hearing loops across America and Canada. You can use the lists to find looped venues that you and your loved ones can enjoy. And you can also draw on the list when you’re advocating for a hearing loop in a favorite location. For example, if you’re trying to loop your local library, you can provide that library with a list of other libraries that use hearing loops.

Email the GITHL team: loop.locations@hearingloss.org with your requests.

color photo of a man with white hair and glasses. he's wearing green headphones and smiling happily.

HLAA’s 2023 Convention Research Symposium Will Explore the Joy of Music

How do we perceive music? How can we make and enjoy music when we have a hearing loss?

This year’s convention research symposium, “Joy of Music/Loving Your Ears” will explore topics and more. The symposium is included in your general registration fee, and it’s held on June 30, 2023, 8:30 am – 10:30 am.

Register for the convention here. Note: You can also register for the symposium only.

New Tinnitus Treatment Approved by the FDA

The FDA recently approved a tinnitus treatment from Lenire called Neuromod.

Dr. Cliff Olson discusses how this auditory stimulus works, and HearingTracker explains more here.

Hint: The device involves headphones and your tongue. Really.

If you experience tinnitus and you try this new treatment, let us know how it works for you.

photo of a white electronic device.

Color photo of a bald man with a beard, he's wearing a black puffy coat and looking thoughtful.

Senator John Fetterman Has Hearing Aids, Spotlighting the Need for Hearing Help

To treat “mild-to-moderate” hearing loss, Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) is now wearing hearing aids.

When high-profile folks like Senator Fetterman talk about their hearing loss and their decision to treat it, we believe that the hearing loss stigma and shame can fade. Thank you, Senator.

Compare How Hearing Aids Sound Online on Soundly’s Website

Soundly allows you to pick several hearing aids from various manufacturers and hear how they sound in different environments.

Listen and compare and contrast here.

Color photo of  blue hearing aids with a blue auxiliary device.

Color photo of two women in sunglasses and a man with glasses.

Get Involved with Us: Volunteer Today

If you have a hearing loss or you know someone who does, we need your help!

Volunteering with your peers can be powerful and rewarding. You can learn more about advocacy and self-advocacy, built enduring friendships, and yes, even change the world. Your lived experience with hearing loss is a resource for others to learn from and be inspired by.

We have lots of different volunteer opportunities. Check out our webpage to find out ways you can serve the hearing loss community, then drop us a line.

HLAA-WA does not endorse any technology, nor does exclusion suggest disapproval. We support the full spectrum of hearing technologies for everyone.

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