March 23, 2021


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

In this E-news...
  • Vaccine eligibility and help for people with hearing loss
  • Tech help for chapter leaders
  • Our next HOPE virtual meeting April 7, 2021
  • The Captions-On bill gets an amendment and moves forward
  • A new documentary by, for, and about people with hearing loss
  • The latest hearing aid technology, including remote programming
  • GiveBIG dates announced
  • More

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

Washington State Hearing Loss News

Washingtonians with Hearing Loss May Be Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccines

If hearing loss or another disability puts you at high risk for severe COVID outcomes and you're over age 16, you're eligible for a vaccine in Washington State beginning March 22, 2021. Washington State AARP has excellent, helpful info. 

How do I know if I'm eligible?
Use the Washington State Phase Finder tool and check here for guidelines, which change often. 

Where can I get a shot?
Find vaccine locations on the State Department of Health website. 

I need help scheduling a vaccine.

  • Call Nina Unadkat, volunteer site coordinator, at 425-241-4216. Nina is an HLAA-WA member who’s offered to help people get registered.
  • If you’re on FB, join this group and ask for help
  • Call your doctor directly for advice.
How can I communicate better at the vaccination site? Let us know if we can help, and please feel free to write us to share your experiences with navigating the world of vaccines with a hearing loss:

Olympia Legislative Update

Captions-On Bill Moves Forward with Amendment
The Television Captions-On Bill  (Senate Bill 5027) is being reviewed in the House Rules Committee after an amendment was adopted. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Tina Orwall, requires that the captions be readable for people with low vision. The bill should then move back to the Senate for another vote. 

Thank you to Rep. Tina Orwall, Rep. Drew Hansen, Rep. Jenny Graham for supporting the bill. We're thrilled to have so many wonderful friends and allies in the Washington State Legislature. And thank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, especially the folks who gave public testimony. You can watch the public testimony below—fast-forward to SB 5027 at the 1-hour, 9-minute mark (1:09).
Watch the Video of the Captions-On Bill Public Testimony
Click Here to Read More About the Captions-On Bill
Budget Proviso Still Needed for Children's Hearing Aid Coverage
The Children's Hearing Aid Bill (1074) did not get a hearing this year, but with an accurate budget estimate, it could be considered next year. The bill would require private insurance in Washington State to cover hearing aids for children, and perhaps also for adults due to equity requirements. A $75,000 cost study by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner could give legislators the information they need to consider the bill. 

Ask your legislators to request the budget proviso that would fund the cost study. Your comments could include the high cost of hearing aids and the adverse impacts on children's cognitive and social development when hearing loss is untreated.
Click Here for Washington State Legislators' Contact Info
Next Hope Meeting: April 7, 2021

Connect with others with hearing loss, ask questions, share experiences, and gain support and information, all in a friendly, safe, facilitated space. Free, captioned, and open to everyone.

Our HOPE Crew hosts these valuable and enjoyable Zoom meetings the 1st Wednesday of each month at 4:00 p.m. We’ll be looking for you!
Register for the April 7, 20201 HOPE Meeting
News From HLAA Headquarters
Tech Help For Chapters: A Webinar Series

Does your chapter need help starting virtual, online meetings? Or would you like help doing them more effectively? Learn how to host and run a Zoom meeting online with this chapter development workshop series from HLAA Brand Ambassador Ann Thomas and HLAA CA Board Member Alan Katsura. Discover...
  • Which settings you need to turn on
  • Where to find the right settings
  • How to run Zoom meetings as a host
  • How to use the HLAA Leaders 
  • Ways to use the Internet and emails
  • Ways to navigate the HLAA website as a leader
These one-hour sessions are free and captioned. Registration is required. More dates will be announced soon.
Register for Session 1: Setting Up a Zoom Meeting as a Host March 25, 2021
Register for Session 2: Running a Zoom Meeting as a Host April 1, 2021
Register for Session 3: Follow-up, Questions, and Discussion April 16, 2021
Navigating Your Disability in the Workplace: Online Workshop
Students and professionals with hearing loss, vision loss, or other disabilities: get career advice and learn from others who identify with these disabilities at this April 5, 2021 webinar. 

This virtual workshop is organized by financial group SMBC's Mental Health, Disabilities, and Neurodiversity Employee Resource Group, "UNIQUE."  For more details, see Zina Jawadi's LinkedIn post, and to register, email Naman Parekh (

You can also join Zina's HLAA Young Adults Hear (YAH) Facebook Group for continued help and support.
Hearing Loss in the News
Documentary Shares Real Hearing Loss Stories
Representation matters. It especially matters who tells our stories—whose real-life experiences take center stage. 

When people with hearing loss tell our own stories, it looks like this new documentary produced by HLAA leaders Shari Eberts, Roxana Rotundo, and Holly Cohen. The film We Hear You centers the story of four women living with hearing loss, battling its stigma, and finding the silver linings and the gifts, too.

Read more about the film on Shari Eberts's blog. And please watch and share the We Hear You trailer. The producers say the full film will be available in April, and they hope it will be distributed to a wide audience via a streaming service or network TV.
Let's Talk Hearing Loss Technology

Exploring the Power of the Latest Hearing Aids 

Hearing aids are getting smarter, more customized, and more powerful. Consumer technology journalist Mark Sparrow borrows a pair of hearing aids and connects with the manufacturer remotely to program and adjust the aids to his needs. Read about his experience in his Forbes article

Remember to Request Your Free Zoom Captions

Zoom captions are now free for people with hearing loss—even if you have a free Zoom account. Read more from Shari Eberts here, and if you have a hearing loss, request your captions here.

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: Each week, Theatre Development Fund (TDF) lists virtual events from around the country. Many are captioned. Check back every week for the latest in accessible live (or virtually live, or maybe recorded live) theaterTDF is a nonprofit "dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone since 1968."
Click below for more hearing-friendly (captioned) virtual 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. Dues start at $35 for an individual. Veterans can join free for one year.
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Note: HLAA-WA does not endorse any product we discuss, nor does exclusion suggest disapproval.
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Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 265 
Redmond WA  98073-0265

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