February 10, 2021


At the HLAA Washington State Association, we help people with hearing loss live their best lives.

In this E-news...
  • Our first HLAA-WA HOPE meeting 
  • Seattle Disability Commission openings
  • The latest legislative news
  • A webinar for the new Remote Conference Captioning service
  • Clear N95 masks 
  • Whatcom County hearing loss hero Bert Lederer remembered

If you have news to share, ideas, questions, or comments, kindly email us directly:

Washington State Hearing Loss News
You're Invited to Our First HOPE Meeting

Our HLAA-WA HOPE (Hearing Other People’s Experiences) Group launches on Wednesday, March 3rd from 4:00 - 5:15 pm.

HOPE meetings provide opportunities to share and hear hearing loss experiences that can help everyone. By sharing our stories—be they challenges or successes—the whole group is strengthened. Our HOPE meetings are a chance to offer and receive support and to connect as a community.

Our all-volunteer HOPE Crew hails from all over Washington State. The Crew—Devin Myers, Carolyn Odio, Kimberly Parker, Jerry Paulukonis, Cheri Perazzoli, Glenda Philio, and Karen Utter—is meeting weekly to plan this new program and our first meeting. We are all very excited to see our HLAA-WA friends on Zoom in March! 

The HOPE meeting will open with a welcome, introductions, and a brief Zoom tutorial. Then, you'll be invited to share, for two to three minutes without interruption, a challenge or a success you're having. Being mindful of the time limit will give everyone a chance to share. The second part of the meeting will be devoted to offering feedback and resources, reflecting and responding to people’s earlier comments.
If you don't have a Zoom account yet, you can register at to create your password. Carolyn Odio has made an easy-to-follow tutorial video for you to practice before our first HOPE meeting together. You can also find Zoom instructions here.

Watch your email and our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for a link to sign up very soon.

-- by Kimberly Parker

Be Part of the Seattle Disability Commission

ADA 30th Anniversary Logo

Do you live in Seattle and have a hearing loss or another disability? Consider becoming a member of the Seattle Disability Commission.

The Commission recommends policy and legislative changes to benefit people with disabilities. Members of the Commission serve as liaisons between the City of Seattle and disability communities.

You’ll need to be available for meetings once a month, plus be willing to spend 10-15 hours a month on Commission projects. There are thirteen open positions, and applications are accepted until February 26, 2021.

Here’s your chance to help ensure hearing loss and hearing access are represented in City programs. Click here for a PDF with specific application instructions.

Are You Struggling to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?
If you have a hearing loss, are you having a hard time finding a vaccine appointment? Or have you experienced communication challenges or needed hearing accommodation while receiving a vaccine? Please send us an email and share your experience: We may be able to find help for you.

If you need a COVID-19 test, or you do get a vaccine appointment, this Communication Card from the Washington State Department of Health (PDF) can help you communicate. Print it and take it with you to your appointment. 

Olympia Advocacy Update

  • The Children's Hearing Aid Bill (HB 1047) will likely not move forward this session, despite terrific enthusiasm and support for it. There's not yet an accurate cost estimate for the bill, especially since hearing aids for adults may be required as well. A budget proviso may allocate funds for a cost analysis so supporters can try again next year.

    The Children's Hearing Aid Bill made good progress in part thanks to Rep. Emily Wicks (D-38th), who introduced the bill this year. We urge you to call or send her a quick thank you for her compassion for people with hearing loss, and let her know that you'll support the reintroduction of the bill in 2022.
  • The Television Captions-On Bill  (Senate Bill 5027) passed the Senate Committee on Law & Justice and is now waiting for a second reading in the Rules Committee.

    Your calls, emails, and comments can help move the captions-on bill forward. Raise your voice for people with hearing loss in Washington State.
Click Here to Comment on the Captions-On Bill
Click Here for Rep. Wicks's Video on Children's Hearing Aid Coverage
Click Here to Contact Rep. Emily Wicks
Join a Remote Conference Captioning Demonstration
Need help understanding on the phone or for a webinar or online meeting? Still foggy on how the new, free Remote Conference Captioning works?

Join this free training from our generous friends at the Washington State Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH). You'll need an Internet connection through a computer/laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Remote Conference Captioning Virtual Training
Friday, February 26, 2021
9:00 - 10:00 am
Free, captioned

Save the date—registration details are coming soon.
News From HLAA Headquarters
Survey Shows Pandemic’s Impact on
People with Hearing Loss


Increased anxiety and communication challenges are some of the impacts people with hearing loss are experiencing during the pandemic, according to a national survey conducted in January 2021 by HLAA and Cochlear

Ninety-five percent of people surveyed said face masks made communication more difficult, and nearly half reported mental health effects. Seventy percent said the pandemic made them more aware of their hearing loss.
Some good news: Nearly half of the people in the survey were more eager to explore hearing loss treatment. 
The survey garnered some media coverage, with more articles in the works. We hope this survey continues to shine a light on the everyday challenges of people with hearing loss, how the pandemic has made life with hearing loss harder, and what we can all do to build a hearing-friendly world.
Watch this Video for More Survey Results
Good Enough: A Love Story
New HLAA Webinar


Stu Nunnery and Laurel Johnson will share their screenplay, "Good Enough," and their love story, to illustrate how authentic, three-dimensional characters go beyond their hearing loss to turn what was once "perfect" into "good enough." Hollywood may be finally taking note.
Good Enough
An Inspiring Love Story
February 23, 2021
11:00 am Pacific/2:00 pm Eastern
Captioned, Free.
Read More and Register for "Good Enough" Here
Hearing Loss in the News

People with Hearing Loss Lead the Way to Better Communication for Everyone

You can learn a lot about how to communicate well by listening to someone who has a hearing loss.

During online meetings, providing captions, handouts, next-step emails, and virtual white boards can help not just people who are Deaf or hard of hearing--everyone can understand, follow, and remember the conversations better with these simple techniques.

Read more about how helping people with hearing loss helps everyone, in this Hearing Health Matters article from Zina Jawadi.

Let's Talk Technology

Clear N95 Masks Could Change the COVID-19 Game

If you've ever thought, "If everyone could wear a clear N95 mask, we might just stop this pandemic, plus help people with hearing loss," the folks at Ford Motor Company thought the same thing, and did just that.

Ford received patent-pending approval for an N95 mask that will allow folks to speech read, see each others' smiles and other nonverbal cues, and communicate better and more safely. They hope to have masks available in the spring, according to this WTVM report.

Stay Home, Stay Connected


Until we can attend in-person events again, we have hearing-friendly ways to be entertained and stay connected at home. Most are live-captioned, and all have captions added in the recorded versions. We keep an updated list for you on our website and highlight one for you in each e-news.

New this issue: The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is currently streaming several foreign films, including Best International Feature Oscar submissions from France, Ukraine, Russia, Italy, and Hungary. Foreign films are subtitled in English.

Click below for more hearing-friendly (captioned) events.
Find Other Hearing-Friendly Online Events Here
In Memory: Bert Lederer
Longtime hearing loss advocate and Whatcom County hearing loss hero Bert Lederer passed away last week. 

Bert co-founded the HLAA--Whatcom County chapter with Charlene MacKenzie, and he helped keep it vibrant and engaging. He was a friend to anyone with hearing loss who needed a word of encouragement or technical help and he knew how to find you a hearing loss service dog.

You can read more about Bert and his generous life of kind service, including his work with Dogs for the Deaf, in this 2015 article in the Bellingham Herald. We'll miss Bert deeply, but we are grateful to have learned so much from him and been inspired by his endless dedication.
Join the Hearing Loss Association of America
Hearing loss can be a lonely, isolating experience. But it doesn't have to be. HLAA and HLAA-Washington can connect you to the people, technologies, and programs that can help you live your best life.
As an HLAA member, your dues help to support our hearing loss programs, boost our advocacy efforts, and help you stay connected. Member benefits include product discounts, reduced convention registration fees, help with the latest hearing loss tech, and HLAA's award-winning quarterly magazine, Hearing Life. 
Your HLAA membership automatically includes a membership in HLAA-Washington. Dues start at $35 for an individual. Veterans can join free for one year.
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