HOPE: Hearing Other People’s Experiences

Learn and share with hearing loss peers

HOPE: Hearing Other People's Experiences. Support group for living well with hearing loss.

Peer support is a powerful tool to manage your hearing loss

Talking with — or just listening to — other people with hearing loss or tinnitus is a powerful step toward living well with diminished hearing. That’s why we created our online HOPE support group.

A source of HOPE

Hearing loss peers can be an incredible source of validation, support, and knowledge. Who else can understand the exhaustion of listening all day? Who else has experienced the communication terrors of work meetings and dinner parties? As people living with hearing loss, we share the strategies we use ourselves to make hearing easier. We laugh with each other at mis-hearings and cry together when someone has had a particularly bad hearing day. But best of all, we no longer feel alone with our hearing loss. Please join us — you’ll be glad you did!

Our HOPE meetings take place on the first Wednesday of every month at 4:00 – 5:15 pm PST. Meetings are on Zoom, always free, captioned, and open to all, including friends and family.

Join us for one or for all of our meetings. Our next HOPE meeting is July 3, 2024.

In HOPE meetings, I’ve learned about new captioning programs, how to use my phone to communicate in medical appointments, and how to deal with real-life challenges trying to understand another person. With all the struggles, it’s still the best of times to be hard of hearing — that’s what we get from these wonderful HOPE meetings.

Karen Utter
Past HLAA-Washington President
HLAA member 30+ years
Close up color photo of a woman with glasses and white hair. She's smiling and looking up and away from the camera.

Designed for inclusion and comfort

HOPE meetings are thoughtfully designed so that everyone can comfortably share their challenges and ask questions, and then receive help and feedback, if they’d like. Meetings are facilitated by our HOPE Crew, a caring group of longtime hearing loss advocates who have experience living well with their hearing loss. HOPE is a safe, welcoming virtual space where everyone is encouraged to share a success or challenge, offer insight, or simply relax and listen.

The HOPE program strives to create a space where people can relax and speak freely about their hearing loss. To maintain confidentiality, we don’t record these meetings. However, we do take notes that highlight the topics we discuss and the solutions the group suggests. The notes don’t identify participants by name. We share the notes on our blog each month: You can read notes from our July and August meetings.

Recent topics at our HOPE meetings have included

  • How does a new cochlear implant work with an existing hearing aid?
  • Where can I find open-captioned movies? (Suggestions: ww.captionsfish.com, www.bigscreen.com, and Seattle International Film Festival on Tuesdays and Sundays).
  • How do we talk to people who may need a hearing aid?
  • Are Costco hearing aids a good value?
  • How can I use my Caption Call landline to caption messages from my cell phone?
  • How can I hear better when I’m talking to someone wearing a mask? (Suggestion: use the AVA caption app on your cellphone)

Meet our HLAA-WA HOPE Crew

Screen shot of a Zoom meeting with seven people each in a separate photo box.

Top row, l to r: Cheri Perazzoli, Carolyn Odio, Glenda Phillio
Middle row, l to r: Devin Myers, Erlene VanDerMeer, Jerry Paulukonis
And last but never least: Kimberly Parker

Our crew reports that they learn a lot from these meetings, too!

Another amazing meeting, WOW! The depth and breadth of it. The empathy and support and solutions and unity! I’m so thrilled to see the direction this is going and to see it growing.

Kimberly Parker, May 2022

Need another reason to join?

Read these blog posts about the power of peer support and mentoring for people with hearing loss.

Why audiologists should recommend peer support, Shari Eberts

That’s what friends are for, Gael Hannan