There are many spectacular organizations doing work at the local level, but we wanted to highlight some great national organizations that provide a wide range of support and assistance for people living with hearing loss. Here they are, in no particular order:
Hearing Loss Association of America
HLAA has a national support network in Washington D.C. as well as chapters in 14 states and more than 200 local city chapters. HLAA offers resources in the form of information on everything from navigating the job search with hearing loss to what to ask when being fitted for hearing aids. HLAA also offers resources for finding financial support, webinars and other online community events, and it hosts annual Walk4Hearing events to raise money for hearing loss research. Additionally, HLAA is a huge player on the advocacy scene, working for the rights of all people impacted by hearing loss. Learn about the different ways that you can support HLAA’s efforts.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA is also a major advocate for “making effective communication, a human right, accessible and achievable for all.” ASHA is a professional membership organization for audiologists, speech-language pathologists and others; a credentialing organization; and the publisher of The ASHA Leader newspaper and various research journals, including the American Journal of Audiology, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. It provides important research and information about hearing and speech issues to the public.
Center for Hearing and Communication
The Center for Hearing and Communication currently has locations in both Florida and New York City. It offers professional services, free hearing screenings and evaluation, fittings, and speech therapy among many other services. Through comprehensive services, Center for Hearing and Communication strives to support adults and children with all degrees of hearing loss to improve their quality of life. There are many ways to support CHC this holiday season.
Hearing Health Foundation
The Hearing Health Foundation has a major goal on the horizon: It wants to cure hearing loss in 10 years. The foundation is the largest private funder of hearing research. HHF funds important research, like the groundbreaking 1987 discovery that chicks can regrow their inner-ear hair cells when they are damaged (humans can’t), which fueled the founding of its Hearing Restoration Project to work toward a cure. Additionally, HHF provides important information to the public on hearing loss treatment and prevention. Check out the myriad ways that you can support Hearing Health Foundation’s important efforts.
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is an advocacy organization focusing specifically on childhood hearing loss and supporting and providing information to families. The AG Bell Association provides important information and works to form a community for families. It focuses on early diagnosis and intervention and advocates independence for children with hearing loss through listening and talking.
The Association hosts a yearly convention and several workshops on advocacy events to help both children and adults gain coping skills and understand their rights. If you’re interested in supporting the Alexander Graham Bell Association, you can become a member and also donate to its important efforts here.