Our History


At this year’s statewide GiveBIG event, HLAA-WA set a new record, thanks to our generous donors.


Two bills to require hearing aid coverage under private insurance in Washington State are passed: House Bill 1222 and Senate Bill 5338. These bills are a huge step toward health equity and access to needed hearing devices — and an investment in the health of Washingtonians.


The virtual support program Hearing Other People’s Experiences (HOPE) for Washington State is born.

Screen shot of a Zoom meeting with seven people each in a separate photo box.
Color photo of the Washington State capitol dome. Clouds are in the background, and yellow trees suggesting autumn are in the foreground.


HLAA-WA helps restore coverage of hearing aids for adults under Washington State Medicaid. The campaign began in 2016.


HLAA-WA leads the passage of the Telecoil-Bluetooth Hearing Aid Consumer Education Bill (SB 5210).

Color photo of a man in a suit signing a document. He's surrounded by other people dressed up and smiling. The State of Washington seal and the American and Washington State flags are behind them.
Color photo of a woman listening to a man as they converse at an event. We are looking over his shoulder at her.


Cheri Perazzoli receives an Oticon Focus on People Award and the HLAA Keystone Award.


Let’s Loop Seattle, later renamed Loop Washington, is founded to bring hearing loops to everyone in Washington State. With the new loop at Virginia Mason Auditorium in Seattle, the loop movement in Washington State is launched. Loop pioneer Dr. David Myers is the keynote, and over 80 people representing health, architecture, library, arts, and government attend.

Color photo of a montage of cards, a pen, notepad, and small paper signs.


Led by Judi Carr and Karen Utter, HLAA-WA begins Washington State’s first program to help people with hearing loss communicate at the hospital. Hospital kits are distributed to chapters, and a role-play “skit” is developed.


HLAA-WA hosts a statewide convention at Bellevue College.

Color photo of the front of a gray building with Bellevue College lettered on the front. Students with backpacks are walking across the foreground.


The Washington State Chapter (Association) of HLAA is born.


Nationally, Self-Help for Hard-of-Hearing People (SHHH) changes its name to the
Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).

Color photo of a very small park with park benches, a tree in the foreground, and a building with a mural on the bulkhead toward the back.


Ben Gilbert, HLAA board member, donates $25,000 to establish the Hearing Loss Outreach Fund. A park in Tacoma would later be renamed for him in 2009.


The Whatcom County Chapter of HLAA is born.

Color photo of trees and grass and a sign that reads Lake Boren Park.


First annual HLAA-WA picnic is held. Now held each year at Lake Boren Park in Newcastle, Washington, with a temporary hearing loop so all can hear.


The HLAA convention is hosted in Seattle for the first time.

Beautiful color photo of the city of Seattle's skyline, including the Space Needle and Mount Rainier, during sunset. Green trees frame the peekaboo view.
Old-timey sign with a green background and a white outline the shape of Washington State. The sign reads Welcome to Washington, the Evergreen State.


The Washington State Association of Self-Help for Hard-of-Hearing People (SHHH) is established.


President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), paving the way for equal access.

Color photo of President George HW Bush smiling and looking down at a paper he is signing. Four people surround him watching, one in a cowboy-type ht. Fountains are in the background.
Slightly grainy color photo of Seattle's Kingdome, a white domed stadium. Blue waters of Puget Sound and the snow-capped Olympic mountain range are in the background.


Seattle HEAR HERE Chapter of Self-Help for the Hard-of-Hearing (SHHH) is founded.


Self-Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH) is born, founded by the beloved Rocky Stone.

Color photo of an older man wearing a suit and a cowboy hat. He's speaking into a microphone.