January 12, 2021


Happy New Year!

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

In this e-news...
  • Raise your voice for Washington State kids
  • Smile and learn with audiologist Juliette Sterkens
  • Learn about a high-tech way to separate sounds
  • Join the 40th annual statewide disability legislative reception
  • And more

Our e-news will now come to you every other Tuesday.  If you have news to share, ideas, questions, or comments, kindly email us directly:

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Let Washington Kids Hear:
Email Your House Rep

Hearing is crucial for a child's speech, learning, language, and ongoing brain development. Yet Washington State doesn't require private insurance companies to cover hearing aids for kids, and many families can't afford hearing aids for their children.

You can make sure vulnerable kids get the medical care and equipment they need. Urge your state representative to support Children's Hearing Aid Bill (HB 1047), which would require Washington State insurers to cover hearing aids for youth until they're 19 years old.

Click Here to Find Your Legislative District
Click Here to Find Your House Rep's Email
Comment Directly on HB 1047 Here
Click Here for a Sample Letter to Support Hearing Aids for Kids
Disability Legislative Reception: 
"Zooming In On Disability"

Join this online (virtual) reception for your chance to talk with Washington State legislators about issues important to people with hearing loss and other disabilities. You can also listen quietly if you're shy! Let's show our lawmakers that disability issues matter. 
Zooming in on Disability: Funding & 40 Years of Advocacy
40th Annual Statewide Disability Legislative Reception

January 27, 2021
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free, Realtime-Captioned
Register for the Disabilities Legislative Reception
Celebrate MLK Day with a Virtual Health Fair
Illustration of Martin Luther King Jr. in front of a microphone
Celebrate the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., find community health resources, learn about Black-owned businesses, and enjoy guest speakers and live performances at the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual Celebration. This online event is hosted by the City of Bellevue and Delta Sigma Theta's Bellevue Alumnae Chapter.
A Day On Not Off
MLK Virtual Celebration and Health Fair
January 18, 2021 
11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Be sure to request captions by emailing diversity@bellevuewagov. or calling 425-452-6168.
Register for the MLK Celebration Here
Hearing Loss Help at Home

Webinar: Advice to Make Your Ears Smile
With Juliette Sterkens

Listening to and learning from Juliette Sterkens always makes us smile. Here's your chance to learn and smile, too, as she shows you how to get the hearing care you need, including how to choose the latest technology that works best for you. 

Let’s Talk Hearing
Advice to Make Your Ears Smile!
Juliette Sterkens, Audiologist and HLAA Loop Advocate

Thursday, January 14, 2021
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Central Time (8:00 am - 9:30 am Pacific Time)
Online via Zoom or by Phone
Captioned, Free

Register for Let's Talk Hearing with Juliette Sterkens
News From HLAA Headquarters
Communication Upgrade: HLAA Office is In the Loop


Visitors and staff can communicate more easily at the new HLAA headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, thanks to the new loop system at the reception desk.

The system’s microphones and hearing loop improve communication where speech is muffled by a glass barrier. The loop driver, which is installed under the desk, sends dialogue from the microphones to a hearing aid or cochlear implant. The microphones help people without hearing aids hear better, too. 

This loop is the second loop system at HLAA headquarters; a meeting room is also looped.

Thank you to Peggy Bell and Audio Directions for donating the equipment, and kudos to James Stowell at  American Hearing Loop for donating his time and expertise, and for testing to ensure the loop meets the international standard (IEC60118-4).

New Support for Young Adults with Hearing Loss: YAH

Young adults with hearing loss are often navigating different life challenges than older adults with the same hearing health issues. So HLAA created a Facebook group for young adults called Young Adults Hear (YAH) to provide support, advice, and shared experiences across issues like employment, dating and relationships, school, and mental health. 

Please feel free to join, and share this fun, private group with young adults you know.

Hearing Loss In The News

To Help Others, Girl Writes a Book About Her
Sudden Hearing Loss

Sudden hearing loss can be scary, but it doesn’t have to define you. Just ask Demii Wright, who has unilateral sensorineural hearing loss and now wears hearing aids at age 9. Though Demii has been bullied by other kids and says she’s still going through a tough journey, she wanted other kids to know they’re not alone. So she wrote a book, Can You HEAR Me Now? A Memoir of a Child Who Experienced Spontaneous Hearing Loss. Even better, part of the proceeds from the book will be donated to hospital ENT units and the AG Bell Association.

We think that with a heart that big, Demii is well on her way to being an incredible hearing loss advocate. 

Read Demii's Story on NBC15 Here
Support Demii by Buying Her Book Here
Let's Talk Technology

A High-Tech Way To Separate Sounds

A new machine learning technology may soon help our ears zoom in on what we want to hear.

Scientists have trained a neural network to find and separate voices in a sea of other voices--much like our brain does when we listen to one voice amidst others in places like a noisy restaurant.

The technology could be used to help us isolate sounds in everything from hearing aids to Zoom calls. Read more in this story by Matthew Huston in Science Mag.

Thank you to Carolyn Odio for the news tip.

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: Be dazzled at home by none other than the Metropolitan Opera, including Angel Blue, Matthew Polenzani, and Sondra Radvanovsky. You can even watch the New Year's Eve Gala until January 13, 2021. All performances are subtitled in English.

Click below for more hearing-friendly (captioned) events.
Find Other Hearing-Friendly Online Events Here
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. 
Join HLAA Now
Subscribe to the HLAA-WA E-News
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Note: HLAA-WA does not endorse any product we discuss, nor does exclusion suggest disapproval.
We believe each person can review and select products based on their unique circumstances and needs.
We support the full spectrum of hearing technology access.
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Copyright © 2020 Hearing Loss Association of America - Washington, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 265 
Redmond WA  98073-0265

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