News for HLAA-WA, February 6, 2024

The new hearing aid insurance coverage law, exciting tech at CES, local hearing loss leaders featured, and more hearing loss news from Washington State and across the country.

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Mark Your Calendars: Annual Meeting & Awards, March 23, 2024, 9:30–2:30

Plan to join us at our first in-person annual meeting since 2019. Our greatest legislative advocate, Rep. Tina Orwall, will be our special guest, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask her questions.

So that we can truly include everyone, this meeting is a hybrid online/in-person event at Green River College in Auburn. Watch for registration information very soon.

graphic in white, purple and orange. text reads you're invited to our annual meeting, join us for awards, lunch, news, and what's on tap for 2024, saturday march 23 2024. Color photo of three smiling women.

New Hearing Aid Legislation Now in Effect: Your Insurance May Pay for Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are now covered under many private insurance plans in Washington State. We’re getting lots of questions on which companies might be covered under the new law, so we’re working with the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner to get more specific details for you.

Meanwhile, you can get some information on the law on our blog post. Then ask your insurance company if you now have coverage.

Please help us spread the word. Let’s get more hearing aids in more ears!

On the right: Man in white doctor coat and blue tie. he has a stethescope around his neck and his hands are cupping the outline of a family. Light blue background.

Meet Your Peers and Find In-Person Support
Friday, February 9, 2024

You’re invited to our in-person Renton Support Group meeting. This 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 in 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.

graphic with text and photo. photo in bottom right is smiling woman with glasses, gray haired bob, and blue shirt. text reads hearing loss help, renton support group, february 9, 2024, 1-2:15 pm renton senior activity center.

The Hearing Loss and Dementia Link, and What You Can Do

You’ve probably heard that hearing loss is linked to cognitive decline, and that wearing hearing aids might help prevent it.

The science isn’t quite clear on this question. But our own Diana Thompson explains the current state of the science and what you can do in this AgeWise King County article.

illustration of tree with green leaves blowing away

Hearing-Friendly History Programs Coming up at MOHAI in Seattle

History lovers can catch these events at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) with ASL and CART captioning:

mohai logo. the letter o is a compass.

Open-Captioned Movies Coming Up in Seattle

This weekend, you can catch an open-captioned movie at Ark Lodge Cinemas. Both Origins and Poor Things will be captioned at this terrific theater in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood. Origins would be a great film to see in honor of Black History Month.

At Ark Lodge, they will provide captions upon request. They do ask that you make your request one to three days in advance.

Next HOPE Meeting: February 7, 2024

At our February meeting this Wednesday, we’ll welcome Dr. Meghan Nightingale, who will talk with us about tinnitus, dementia, and hearing loss. Dr. Nightingale is an audiologist at Peninsula Hearing in Poulsbo, Washington.

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.

We hope you can join us at this meeting.

National Hearing Loss News

Webinar: How Can Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Help You?

In this second HLAA webinar on OTC hearing aids, you can chat with experts from AARP and the National Institutes of Health. Free, captioned, open to everyone. February 20, 2024, 11-12 Pacific.

Get Tech Help at Work at This HLAA Webinar

Struggling with your hearing loss and work, but you’re not sure what technologies are available to help?

At this HLAA webinar on February 27, 2024, 9–10 am Pacific, learn about accessible technologies that can help you hear better, get more done, and excel at your job. Free, captioned, open to everyone.

New Hearing Help at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

Lots of new over-the-counter hearing aids and hearables, transcription apps like BeAware and HealthScribe, noise-cancelling apps, tinnitus therapy devices, e-gaming tech for people with hearing loss, audio glasses, and more: Read about the cool new technologies featured at CES in Las Vegas January 9-12, 2024, in this article from Hearing Tracker.

black/white toned photo of a trade show, bright lights and blurred people moving about.

Hearing Aids Can Help You Live Longer, But You Have to Wear Them Regularly

Need motivation to treat your hearing loss, take those hearing aids out of a drawer, or commit to wearing your hearing aids every day?

In a recent study published in The Lancet, regular use of hearing aids was linked to a 24% lower risk of mortality. Read more in this article from Shots, Health News from NPR.

color photo of a young woman with a brown ponytail. she's wearing a small hearing aid and holidng a pen.

Deaf Native American Marvel Movie Star Breaks Boundaries

Alaqua Cox was born deaf.

But she’s now a Marvel superhero in the series Echo on Disney+ and Hulu. Get inspired by her story in Variety magazine.

Marvel Studios' Echo Disney+ Plus TV Show Season 1 Poster. watercolor blurs and a woman in a leather jacket.

Gene Therapy Helps Congenital Deafness

The gift of hearing for the first time: An 11-year-old boy, Aissam Dam, was born deaf. But thanks to gene therapy, he can hear.

Aissam’s deafness was caused by a mutation in a gene called otoferlin.

Some members of the Deaf community may not agree with the idea of treating deafness. But Aissam says in this this New York Times story, “There’s no sound I don’t like.”

Note: This story may be behind a NYT paywall.

grade school aged boy in blue jean jacket running while carrying a kite. photograph is shot from behind against a blue sky and puffy white clouds

Hearing Loops & Telecoils Spotlight

Our Local Loop Leader Featured in the Seattle Rep Theater’s Accessibility

The Seattle Rep theater is a flagship hearing-friendly venue in the Puget Sound area. The Rep has invested in hearing loops in all its theaters, plus its guest services, concession, and coat check.

In this video, you might see someone you know share her enthusiasm for our friends at the Rep. Start at 1:42 (note that her name is spelled wrong, though.)

Bluetooth or Telecoils? Yes to Both, Says HLAA-WA Board Member Carolyn Odio

If someone asks you whether you want Bluetooth or telecoil technology in your hearing aids, Carolyn Odio says yes–BOTH.

Read Carolyn’s post on the Hearing Health Foundation blog to find out why.

Hearing Loop Central: Check Out the Updated Site that Started It All

Dr. David Myers, in conjunction with HLAA and the American Academy of Audiology, helped launch the Let’s Loop America movement more than 20 years ago.

Recently, Dr. Myers has updated his website, hearingloop.org. We consider his site to be a go-to resource for hearing loop advocates, venues looking to improve their hearing access, and anyone interested in hearing loss and inclusion.

You’ll find a library of loop-related articles, legislation, papers, presentation, and videos (courtesy of Loop Colorado), a list of loop vendors, and articles from Dr. David Myers himself, and much more.

illustration of person talking into a microphone to a group of people seated in chairs. he's holding a microphone. text reads: an induction loop system transmits magnetic energy to telecoil-equipped hearing aids through a wire that surrounds an audience.


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 here and across the country?

color photo of three women close-up. they are smiling and hugging and facing the camera.

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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