Our Latest News, March 19, 2024

A star hearing loss advocate wows with a TED talk, a big local legal victory with national implications, and more.

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Last Chance to Register for Our Annual Meeting Online

THIS SATURDAY, March 23, 2024

There’s still time to register to attend our annual meeting via Zoom. Our in-person event is fully booked, but you can still attend online.

We have awards, updates, and a chance for you to connect with Rep. Tina Orwall, our greatest ally in the Washington State legislature. After the meeting, our board will meet, and you’re welcome to join.

Remember, all activities in-person and online are fully hearing accessible with ASL interpreters, live captions, and a hearing loop.

Read more about the day’s festivities on our blog.

If you’ve already registered, thank you! We look forward to seeing you in person or online.

crystal stall award with deep blue background


Looking for In-Person Support for Your Hearing Loss?

Several support groups are available to you here in Washington State, including online (HOPE), Whatcom County, Renton, and Panorama in Lacy. Visit our website for more information and ideas, or read on below.


HLAA-Whatcom County Meeting
April 20, 2024

Meet Jess Taluth, Field Representative from Dogs for Better Lives, at the next HLAA-Whatcom County chapter meeting.

The award-winning HLAA-Whatcom County Chapter meets the third Saturday of every month at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2600 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, Washington. Social time starts at 9:30 am and the meeting runs from 10:00 – 11:30 am. Live CART is provided and the room is looped. Everyone is welcome.

color photo of golden retriever or yellow lab, blurred green grass in background

Renton Hearing Loss Support Group
Friday, April 12, 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 purple background and color photo of woman with white hair. she's wearing a bright blue top. text reads hearing loss help, renton support group, april 12, 2024, 1 to 2:15 pm, renton senior activity center

Next HOPE Meeting: April 3, 2024

Telehealth captions and finding help with auditory training after cochlear implant surgery were two of the topics we discussed at our March HOPE virtual support meeting.

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.

Hearing-Accessible Events Coming Up in
Mount Vernon

The beautiful vintage Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon is LOOPED. That means you can enjoy lots of events by turning your hearing aid or CI to T or telecoil mode to hear more clearly. Coming up…

  • April 4, 2024 – Jake Shimabukuro, live in concert
  • April 26, 2024 – Best of the Seattle Comedy Competition
  • May 5, 2024 – Villalobos Brothers Cinco de Mayo, live in concert
  • September 19, 2024 – Hot Tuna, 60s band with Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, live in concert

The Lincoln also shows movies several times a week. We didn’t see any open-caption shows mentioned, but you can call and request them.

Remember, you can find hearing-friendly events all across Washington State on the events page of our website.

color painting of an old time building. sign reads 1926, lincoln theater

National Hearing Loss News

Local Legal Victory May Have BIG National Impact, and You May Have a Claim

In a legal victory for people with hearing loss, a lack of coverage for hearing aids may violate the Affordable Care Act’s antidiscrimination provision, according to a recent settlement in the Schmitt v. Kaiser lawsuit here in Washington State. And you may be eligible to file a claim.

Thanks to local and national lawyers and advocates, a $3 million settlement fund has been established. If you were covered under certain Kaiser Foundation Health Plans in Washington State between October 30, 2014 and December 31, 2023, and you paid out of pocket for hearing aids or related services, you may be eligible to file a claim.

Read more about how to file a claim, why this may have broader implications for insurance coverage, and more in this excellent summary from HLAA.

A special thank you to John Waldo for his leadership in this lawsuit. John passed away recently. We’re imagining him smiling down on this huge win.

The deadline to file a claim is April 2, 2024, so don’t wait.

color photo of a judge's gavel, gold scales representing justice blurred in the background

Registration Is Open for the HLAA National Convention This Summer

Sunshine and resort luxury join the usual wonderful combination of friendship and learning at the HLAA convention, June 26-29, 2024, at the Sheraton Grand Resort at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, Arizona.

Shanna Adamic will be the keynote speaker. The research symposium will focus on the emotional side of hearing loss. And that’s just the start of all the terrific opportunities. Will we see you there?

color photo of a southwest-style hotel, swimming pool, and lake. puffy clouds and blue sky above

How Can You Enjoy and Play Music with a Hearing Loss?

Video from the 2023 convention symposium is now available

Music is important to nearly everyone, and losing the ability to appreciate or play music can be a tremendous loss. But there’s hope.

At the HLAA convention last summer, the research symposium focused on the joy of music and loving your ears. Topics included listening safely to music, preventing hearing loss whether you’re a listener or a performer, and perceiving music when you have cochlear implants. You can watch the series of symposium videos on the HLAA website.

illustration of musical notes

Are AirPods About to Become Hearing Aids?

Apple’s AirPods Pro already have some hearing-aid-adjacent type of functions, but these devices may go even further with the next iOS 18 update via an “official hearing aid mode.”

How do you use your AirPods Pro to hear better? We’d love your feedback. Your tech insight may help others: webmaster@hearingloss-wa.org.

close up of white earbuds with blue background

Hearing Loops & Telecoils Spotlight

What You Don’t Know About Hearing Aids

You can learn a lot from Juliette Sterkens.

Hearing aids can help you hear, but tips, tricks, and tech can change your life. And there’s no better messenger on the subject of hearing aids, assistive tech, and hearing loss than Juliette Sterkens, spokeswoman for HLAA’s Get in the Hearing Loop program.

Juliette’s incredible, passionate TEDx Oshkosh talk has already earned over 183,000 views and almost 400 comments. We encourage you to watch the video, like and comment, and share with everyone you know. It’s that good.

color photo of a woman with short white hair in a bright red dress. she looks excited and is sitting on the edge of a stage. in the background, a large sign reads Ted X Oshkosh


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?

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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