HLAA-WA E-News December 6, 2022

Welcome to our e-news!

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Color photo with a Black woman dressed as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. She's walking down a yellow brick road. A dog is at her feet.

Hearing-Friendly Holiday Shows Coming Up

Grab your friends and family and catch a hearing-friendly holiday show, including Mr. Dickens & His Christmas Carol at the Seattle Rep, holiday performances by the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Gay Men’s Chorus, and more at Benaroya Hall, and The Wiz at the Fifth Avenue Theater. Visit our Events webpage for more details.

Tip: A hearing-friendly performance is a terrific holiday gift idea for someone with hearing loss, or for the whole family.

Learn Communication Tips and Travel Skills with HLAA-Whatcom County’s Videos

If you missed the last two HLAA-Whatcom County meetings, you can watch Dean Olson’s travel skills presentation here, and you can watch Nichole Grimes’ presentation on communication strategies here.

Giving Tuesday Thanks

Thank you for your generosity on Giving Tuesday. You’re helping us end the loneliness of hearing loss. Because of YOU, we can keep bringing people the connections, friendship, and confidence they need to thrive. Stay tuned about how you can help us with our 2023 plans, which include more outreach, new advocacy initiatives, a survey, and much more.

If you missed the opportunity to donate, you can still do so here.

Help for Hearing Access in Healthcare

Communication in healthcare settings when you have a hearing loss can be a huge challenge.

But clear masks can help you speech-read and better understand your healthcare providers. On our blog this month, we share this post with a sample access request letter, courtesy of attorney and hearing loss advocate John Waldo.

Color photo of a woman with a long black ponytail. She's wearing a clear mask and a blue t-shirt.

Headshot of a young girl with brown hair. She is holding a hearing aid up to each ear.

Financial Help for Hearing Aids

Hearing aids can be expensive—but take heart. Help is available if you know where to look.

On our new website, check out our Financial Help for Hearing Aids page, which includes links to hearing aid loans, lower-cost refurbished hearing aids, resources for veterans and children, and more.

Next HOPE Meeting: December 7, 2022

What can you do if your cochlear implant processor suddenly stops working? Are there places to get affordable equipment like captioned telephones or iPads? These are some of the questions that were asked and answered 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 related.

Facilitated by a caring, compassionate HOPE Crew, these monthly virtual meetings are free, live-captioned, and open to everyone with hearing loss and their friends and family. You’re also welcome to relax, listen, and spend time with people who understand what it’s like to live with hearing loss.

National Hearing Loss News

photo of family around a holiday-themed table. everyone is smiling. a roasted turkey is in the center.

Holiday Survival Guide for People with Hearing Loss

In the chaos of holiday gatherings, it’s hard to connect deeply and create memories with your loved ones when you’re struggling to hear. Here’s some help from HLAA.

We’d also recommend asking your hard-of-hearing guests where they’d like to sit and what would help them hear better. Sometimes, sitting in the middle of the table means more competing conversations, so sitting at the end might be preferable. And sitting with your back against the wall might mean facing a noisy, open kitchen. When in doubt, ask!

Registration Is Open for the 2023 HLAA Convention in New Orleans

We’re thinking about eating a beignet and sipping coffee in the New Orleans summer sun—and of course, connecting with you all in a fully hearing-accessible, fully fun-and-friendly environment at the 2023 HLAA convention.

You can now register for the convention, which runs June 29 – July 1, 2023. You can also nominate a person or an organization for an award, or submit a workshop proposal.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: The Work Continues

December 3, 2022, was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, but the work on behalf of inclusion, respect, and dignity continues year-round, both here and all over the world.

AgeWise King County shares their efforts here, including their training and their guides for planning accessible events. From the Vatican, the Pope spoke of meeting people’s needs for belonging, and of moving beyond “slogans” to truly support people with disabilities.

Another Call to Keep Telecoil and Loop Technologies in Our Communities

The eloquent Shari Eberts joins the International Federation for Hard of Hearing People, HLAA-WA (us!), and many others in the call to keep telecoils and loops in place for the foreseeable future.

Color photo of a portable hearing loop assistive listening system with the blue ear universal symbol for telecoils and loops.

Color photo of a person holding a hearing aid in one hand and a smart phone in the other.

Hearing Aids and PSAPs: What’s the Difference?

A Personal Sound Amplification Product (PSAP) isn’t a hearing aid. But both hearing aids and PSAPs are now sold over the counter, so how do you know what you need?

This article, reviewed for scientific accuracy by Dr. Chad Ruffin, in Forbes magazine clarifies the differences in PSAPs and hearing aids. You can also read our What Are Hearables? and But I’m Not Ready for Hearing Aids webpages for help navigating the maze of these and other new technologies.

One Billion Young People Risk Future Hearing Loss

It sounds like a looming public health disaster: over one billion young people are at risk of hearing loss due to their listening practices. Clubs, concerts, headphones, and earbuds often play at volumes that exceed safe decibel levels.

Other than turning the music down, what can we do to preserve our hearing? Use ear protection and stand farther from amplifiers and loud speakers—and, well, turn the volume down.

Color photo of a young man looking up and seeming to enjoy music. He's wearing a yellow hat and headphones.

Color photo of a white holiday package with a red ribbon. A blurred, flocked tree is in the background.

Gift Ideas for People with Hearing Loss

The wonderful Chelle Wyatt has some terrific gift ideas for people with hearing loss on her blog.

We also suggest a home loop for the TV, or wireless TV headphones.

Happy Holidays!

However you celebrate this special time of year, we at HLAA-WA wish you peace, joy, and love.


Member benefits include product discounts, reduced convention registration fees, help with the latest hearing loss tech, and HLAA’s award-winning quarterly magazine, Hearing Life.  Your HLAA membership automatically includes HLAA-Washington. Dues start at $45 a year.

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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