New Beginnings = New Opportunities.
The first statewide Let’s Make Hearing Loss Visible Extravaganza was held on April 22 at the Orlando Health Medical Center. Hosted by the HLAA Florida State Association and Florida State Chapter Coordinator, the event was designed to bring together the hearing and hearing loss alike for support and to encourage people to become hearing loss advocates. Why? People of all ages with hearing loss require support and guidance in their hearing loss journey, especially from those around them who are hearing, such as spouses, partners, parents, friends, co-workers and children. They are all an integral part to help someone close to them live successfully with hearing loss and can play a critical role in making the difference in other’s lives as present and future advocates. They can assist with everything from understanding effective communication, to stressing the importance of hearing protection, to assisting a family member, friend or fellow employee in need of hearing loss support and information.
The Let’s Make Hearing Loss Visible Extravaganza proved to be a great success! With less than four months of planning, sponsors, speakers, and volunteers came to together to produce the event, which was completely hearing-accessible, offering CART, Hearing Loop and sign language interpreters.
The event featured an exhibit hall with a wealth of information available and two workshop rooms overflowing with both hearing and hearing loss individuals of all ages. Workshop and panel topics included early steps, musical therapy, the power of positive thinking, the importance of speech and mental therapy, lipreading, sign language, hearing dogs, effective communication and socializing, cochlear implants and more. In addition, current and potential chapter and self-support group leaders and volunteers participated in an afternoon chapter workshop with the Florida State Chapter Coordinator.
Thanks to the Let’s Make Hearing Loss Visible Extravaganza success, more individuals and organizations statewide are sharing interest in HLAA and offering support. In fact, Karen Adams, Anchor/Producer from Jacksonville WJXT Channel 4 News, has promoted chapter events in Florida and Georgia and the 2017 HLAA National Convention!
The Hearing Loss Association of Florida and our respective Chapters Self Support Groups and volunteers look forward to the continued promotion to make hearing loss and visible.
Cynthia Moynihan, President
Hearing Loss Association of Florida