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Hearing Life e-News from HLAA
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July 23, 2020 hearingloss.org
HLAA Will Soon Have a New Home
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Effective August 1, 2020, the HLAA national office’s new address will be 6116 Executive Blvd, Suite 320, Rockville, MD 20852.

In the coming weeks we will give you an inside look at HLAA’s new office! For health and safety purposes during the pandemic, HLAA staff is continuing to telecommute in accordance with Montgomery County, Maryland occupational health and safety guidelines. However, we are always available to serve you.

We encourage you to do online transactions, if you can, such as membership, donations, etc. We do handle regular mail; but it might take a little bit longer to respond. For a faster response, email your questions to HLAA staff. We hope that everyone in our HLAA community stays safe and well.
HLAA Receives Clear Masks from Cricut
woman wearing a clear cloth face mask
During COVID-19 an ongoing issue for those with hearing loss is being able to communicate with cloth masks covering a person’s mouth and lips.

In the spirit of the Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) mission, Cricut, maker of products and tools to create one’s own crafts and designs, is launching an effort to make clear cloth face masks with a vinyl shield over the mouth and lips to improve communication and access.

Recently, the company mobilized crafters worldwide through the Cricut Millions of Masks initiative, gathering masks from handy designers all over to donate to HLAA and other organizations. Supplies are limited; masks are free, but you must pay for shipping. Order here:

The clear masks use a pattern from Cricut project designer Nicolle Ashton.

Read more and order your free mask »
Cloth Face Masks Pose Ongoing Challenges
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"A face mask is a barrier to communication for those of us with hearing loss," said Lise Hamlin, HLAA director of public olicy. "HLAA's mission is to advocate for those with hearing loss. Clear masks are one way to help people with hearing loss. Communication is a two-way street, with each of us helping each other particularly at a time when we are all facing challenges during COVID-19."

The CDC and HLAA advise those with hearing loss to use written communication, closed captioning, phone, and text apps when possible and try if they can to decrease any background noise. Hamlin agrees with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adaptations to cloth face masks, stating that consideration should be given to wearing clear face masks.

Special thanks to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) for using HLAA as a resource in a letter to the CDC requesting that they dispense information on their website about clear masks.

Read more »
Doctor with Hearing Loss Makes See-Through Masks
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When Asli Knowles saw Dr. Brian Travers’ clear masks on Instagram she had to have one. Knowles works at a grocery store and wanted people to see her face. And, she wanted to communicate with deaf and hard of hearing customers without risking their health. When she requested a mask, Travers’ felt so moved that he wrote a letter to her managers. “Asli’s reason for wanting my clear, see-through facial covering with a plastic window is the most selfless reason I have ever come across. She is clearly an asset to her organization.” Meghan Holohan shares the story for today.com.

Read more »
Give us your feedback on Experience HLAA!
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If you attended last month’s Experience HLAA virtual convention, we ask that you take a few minutes to complete this survey. Yourinput is important in helping HLAA shape the direction of future virtual webinars and sessions.d. If you have questions about our virtual convention or about HLAA2021 Convention in San Diego or would like more information about HLAA please email: convention@hearingloss.org. The full sessions from Experience HLAA! will be on our website soon. We will let you know when those are ready for viewing.

Take survey »
Fall Walk4Hearing Events Go Virtual
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This spring we brought the Walk4Hearing to you virtually. It was a chance for all of us to stay connected during these most unusual times. In the spirit of overall health, wellness and safety, our fall Walk4Hearing events will also come to you online. The virtual celebrations will bring us together to energize our fundraising and provide a call to action for communication access and hearing health. Our fall Walk4Hearing events are not to be missed! Register today! And join us on the Walk4Hearing Facebook page to share your stories.

Read more and note our updated fall walk schedule »
Why 'Headphone Culture' is Making Young People Deaf to Health Warnings
girl listening to headphones
Lengthy exposure to loud noises is affecting the hearing ability of a growing number of people, especially those who are part of the “headphone culture.” But few are listening to the experts’ concerns, writes Guy Kelly for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Read more »
How Have Kids with Hearing Loss Managed in Online Classrooms?
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These are difficult times for all of us. But children with hearing loss need to be educated. Make sure they are hearing, and make sure they are receiving all the services they need. And don’t forget socialization. Figure out a way for them to have contact with other kids. Jane Madell shares her thoughts about online learning for Hearing Health and Technology Matters.

Read more »

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ADA 30th Anniversary
ADA30 Lead On: Celebration of Disability Arts, Culture, Education & Pride

Thursday, July 23 at 7 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Join this free event to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on YouTube and Facebook Live. Actor and activist Danny Woodburn will host the celebration that will feature performers, artists, singers, dancers, poets, filmmakers and storytellers with disabilities. Hear from disability rights leaders, including Senator Tom Harkin, Judy Heumann, Governor Tom Ridge, Tony Coelho and Marlee Matlin.

Read more and register »
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Webinar for Chapter Leaders
Thursday, July 30 at 2 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Anecia Lockhart
Carrie Leising
Debra Dietz

Amplifying the Next Generation of Chapter Leaders

Read more and register »
Check out the Hearing Loss and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources page.
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More news

FCC approves 988 to be 3-digit number for national suicide hotline starting in 2022
Recently, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to establish 988 as the new nationwide 3-digit phone number for those in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors.

The number takes effect in July 2022. Those who need help right now should continue to use the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and through online chats.

Read more »

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