HLAA-WA E-News, April 26, 2023

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Let’s Continue our Winning Streak: Give BIG to Help HLAA-WA Keep Up Our Momentum

HLAA-Washington is participating in Give Big 2023. The annual 48-hour giving event is May 2nd and 3rd, with early giving open NOW.

We may be small, but we are mighty! We have accomplished much this past year, and people are taking notice. Read our Let’s Continue Our Winning Streak blog post to learn about our local impact and 2023 national awards.

We all have much to be proud of, and your donations help make it all possible.  

Thank you for your support!

Legislative Update: Governor Inslee Signs the Bill!

Governor Inslee (D-WA) signed Senate Bill 5338 into law on April 13, 2023, and he is expected to sign HB 1222 related to insurance coverage very soon!

As a result of SB 5338, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner will request hearing aid coverage as an essential health benefit for Washington, and if this is granted by the federal government, hearing aids will be covered for nearly everyone in Washington State.

These bills represent a huge victory for people all across Washington State who need help hearing. How well you hear should not depend on your age, income, work status, or insurance plan. Everyone has a right to hear.

This is a dream come true. Thank YOU for supporting the bill in ways big and small. We can’t do our work without you!

Color photo of grade-school kids with their arms in the air. They are celebrating, surrounded by a marble wall.
These young hearing loss advocates inspire us with their big hearts.
What will they do next? 

Hearing Loss and Dementia: Johns Hopkins Presenting to State Alzheimer’s Taskforce and Researchers

New research out of Johns Hopkins University suggests a connection between hearing loss and dementia in older adults; the more severe the hearing loss, the greater the potential risk. The good news is that findings also show hearing aids may decrease the risk of developing dementia. Learn more about this research from Johns Hopkins.

HLAA-WA leveraged this research in our advocacy efforts for the 2023 hearing aid insurance coverage legislation. We also connected the Johns Hopkins research team with the Washington State Dementia Action Collaborative (DAC).  We are excited to share that on May 19, 2023, at 9:00 am, study author Dr. Allison Huang will present the research to DAC policymakers and members of The Alzheimer’s Disease Research Network of Washington State. The virtual presentation will be hosted on Microsoft Teams. If you are interested in joining, contact Jamie Teuteberg at jamie.teuteberg@hca.wa.gov.

color photo of a woman looking down at an iphone in one hand and a hearing aid in the other

Next HOPE Meeting: Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 4 pm Pacific.
Special Guest: Joy Borkholder from the Everett Herald

Joy Borkholder from the Everett Herald will join us as our “guest author” at our May HOPE meeting. Before the meeting, we encourage you to read her article in the Everett Herald on health care access for people who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing

In the article, Borkholder interviews four people who have struggled to get hearing accommodations throughout our local healthcare systems. Please feel free to bring your questions for Borkholder, and if you’re comfortable, you can share your experiences seeking healthcare when you have a hearing loss.

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.

woman with long blond hair talking behind podium.

Hearing-Accessible History Talks in Seattle This Spring and Summer

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

Programs with both CART captioning and ASL Interpretation:  

Denny Lecture: Seattle History from the Margins  on Tuesday, May 09, 2023, at 7:00pm

History Café: Tales from the Mountain on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at 6:30pm

History Café: A Decade of Gender Justice on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at 6:30pm

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 for:

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 in the Seattle area.

You Can Still Meet Earnest Covington III, ODHH Director, 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 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. For a list of dates and places for the community meetings, visit ODHH’s events calendar.

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

Color photo of two women in glasses, smiling.

We’re Looking for a Volunteer-Volunteer Coordinator. Is It You?

We need a volunteer to help onboard volunteers and coordinate their time and service. Can you help us out? If so, please email us: webmaster@hearingloss-wa.org.

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.

National Hearing Loss News

woman in a blue sweater and glasses. she is gesturing to a large sign that's twice her size. the sign is in bright orange and purple and it reads We Need Bluetooth plus telecoils. Do you know why?

Connecting with National Audiologists

What have we been up to here in Seattle? Talking loops, telecoils, and Bluetooth with audiologists at their national American Academy of Audiology conference last week. Our president, Cheri Perazzoli, was there on behalf of the national Get in the Hearing Loop program, which she chairs.

Get the scoop on our blog this week.

Webinar: The Workplace and The Law for People with Hearing Loss

In the working world, what accommodations must be offered? What can employers ask you, and what do you have to disclose?

At this HLAA Employment Webinar on May 18, 2023, attorney and hearing loss advocate John Waldo will help us understand the law and where it helps people with hearing loss–and where it may not. Free, captioned, and open to everyone.

graphic with text and small photo of smiling man in a suit. text reads: hlaa employment webinar, the workplace and the law, where it helps us, and where it doesn't, thursday, May 18, 6 pm ET 5 pm CT 4pm MT 3pm PT, presenter john Waldo, Esquire.

color photo of woman in blue scrubs. She's blurred in the background but her hand in sharp focus. She's holding a tan hearing aid.

Here’s What a Happens During a Fitting for Hearing Aids

Hearing aids might not work perfectly right away, but they shouldn’t hurt, and they absolutely should help you hear better in the ways you need them to.

A hearing aid fitting by your audiologist or dispenser can help make sure your hearing aid is comfortable. The fitting should also include a sound test, and you should receive instructions on how to care and use your hearing aids.

If your hearing aid has a telecoil component, be sure your hearing health provider programs this feature and shows you how to connect it to assistive listening systems like
hearing loops.

Read more about what to expect at a hearing aid fitting in this HearingDirectory.ca article.

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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