It’s that time of year again — Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) annual Walk4Hearing in New York City! This will be my third year walking. Like last year, my family and I will also be Walk volunteers, arriving early to help set up and to man the registration tables. It is a great way to get the whole family involved.
Walk4Hearing is one of my favorite advocacy events of the year. To find or support a walk near you, click here.
Walk day is always fun — lots of smiling children with CIs and hearing aids surrounded by supportive families and friends galore. Big teams and small teams. Patients and audiologists. Advocates and volunteers. All there to make a difference. It is a beautiful moment to share with others in the hearing loss community.
This year, the Walk4Hearing will include a #HearingLossChallenge. Walkers will have the opportunity to wear earplugs during the walk to experience what hearing loss is like first hand. The earplugs will be provided free at the walk sites.
Hearing loss is difficult for hearing people to understand, and rightly so. It is hard to imagine the disorientation that comes from the absence of sound, the concentration required to communicate using both visual and auditory clues, and how people and things can come up from behind you with no warning.
While the experience with earplugs will not be 100% accurate, it will certainly provide a taste of what living with hearing loss is like. I am interested to see how people are affected by the experience. Photos and reactions can be shared on social media using the hashtags #HearingLossChallenge and #Walk4Hearing.
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) Walk4Hearing increases awareness about hearing loss, helps to eradicate the stigma associated with it and raises funds to provide information and support for people with hearing loss. Since 2006, the Walk4Hearing has raised more than $9 million and has become the largest walk for hearing taking place in cities across the United States.
Readers, will you walk this year? To find or support a walk near you, click here.