Welcome to our e-news!
Washington State Hearing Loss News
Legislative Update: Making Progress on Hearing Aid Insurance Coverage in Washington State
House Bill 1222: An Encouraging Public Hearing
After last week’s moving public hearing in the House Health Care & Wellness Committee, the Committee will review House Bill 1222 in executive session–and perhaps vote the bill out of committee–on Friday, January 27, 2023. If they do so, the bill will then be read in a full session of the House.
Senate Bill 5338: A Companion Bill Introduced in the Senate
Senate Bill 5338 would review the addition of hearing aids as a Washington State Essential Health Benefit. This bill was received a committee hearing on Friday, January 20, 2023, and was considered in an executive session by the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee today, January 24, 2023. If passed through this committee, the bill will be read to the full senate.
What can you do next?
- Sign in “SUPPORT” to Senate Bill 5338. This takes just two minutes!
- Sign in “SUPPORT” to House Bill 1222. This takes just two minutes, too!
- Write your legislators and encourage them to support these bills and keep them moving through the process.
- Join us at our webinar TODAY, January 24, 2023, and find out more about the hearing aid insurance coverage efforts in the 2023 legislative session. There’s still time to register.
Need some inspiration? Watch this KING-5 News report about the kids who testified in support of the House bill, and watch all the testimony from the January 18 hearing here (start at the 45-minute mark).
Next HOPE Meeting: February 1, 2023
Special Guest: Author Elana Kupor
Living with hearing loss can feel like climbing an endless series of sometimes thorny stairs over and over again.
In an article published in The Sun magazine in October 2022, Elana Kupor writes eloquently about her hearing loss, which began when she was a child, and about climbing the famous Thistle Steps in West Seattle. Elana’s writing reminded us how important it is to tell our stories.
Elana will join our February 2023 HOPE meeting, when she’ll share her personal and evocative journey through hearing loss. We encourage you to read Elana’s article, then join us at the meeting and welcome Elana to our community.
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.
Short Play Festival, March 2-5, 2023
Join Deaf Spotlight in person or virtually for their Short Play Festival at the 12th Ave Arts Studio in Seattle and online.
Six 10-minute stories centered around one flower show will be performed, including “Fifty Flowers” and “Plant a Kiss.”
Hearing-Friendly History Events Coming Up at MOHAI
At Seattle’s terrific Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), don’t miss these hearing-friendly, in-person events.
Upcoming programs with both CART captioning and ASL interpretation:
History Café: Paying Tribute to Seattle’s Black Landmarks and Their Namesakes on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 6:30pm
History Café: Creating a Hopeful Future for The Puget Sound on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 6:30pm
CART captioning will also be available at the following programs:
- Building with Purpose: Black Architects and Community Agency on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 11:00am
- Designing with Intention: Three Generations of Black Architects on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at 7:00pm
Find more hearing-friendly things to do on our Events page. Remember to check back regularly, as we update the page monthly.
National Hearing Loss News
Improving Your Workplace Performance:
Webinar from the HLAA Employment Task Force
Want tips and tricks on how to navigate a fast-paced work environment when you have a hearing loss? Join this 60-minute HLAA webinar on Feb. 7, 2023, when Dr. Chad Ruffin will share both science-based and personal recommendations.
Barbara Kelley Reports from the Consumer Electronics Show: Enhanced Listening Is on the Way
Barbara Kelley, HLAA Executive Director, was panelist an accessibility roundtable at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January. The panel, “The New World of Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids,” also featured researcher Frank Lin.
At the show, Barbara saw lots of new tech to help us all hear and understand better, including caption badges called “Badger,” caption glasses, and apps like Alango to customize listening in headphones and hearables.
Call to Action: Updated Accessibility Requirements for New Technology
Technology is changing fast–but accessibility isn’t necessarily keeping up. We need new standards and requirements to make sure that emerging tech includes everyone.
The Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility (CVTA) would help people with disabilities by requiring closed captioning for online videos and built-in accessibility features for video conference programs. The CVTA would also empower the FCC to make sure accessibility rules keep pace with emerging tech, like artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
We encourage you to write your Congressperson and let them know you support the CVTA.
Thank you to Jim House and the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) for their work on this and for keeping us in-the-know.
Forbes Magazine Selects the Best Hearing Aids for Severe Hearing Loss in 2023
Which hearing aids might help you if you have a severe hearing loss? Forbes magazine lists its top picks for 2023, which include some models with telecoils, like some Signia Motion Charge&Go SP X and Starkey Evolv AI models.
We recommend hearing aids with telecoils so that you can easily connect to hearing loops and assistive listening systems around the world.
Join HLAA and HLAA-WA
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.