Will You Be At The HLAA Convention This Year?

Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) 2019 Convention is only three weeks away. Will you be there? This year the convention is in Rochester, NY, home to Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) which boasts “an internationally recognized education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.” Partially because of RIT, Rochester is a hub of activity for the deaf community and incredibly welcoming for people with hearing loss. It even has a local yoga studio that offers ASL-interpreted yoga classes every Saturday morning. And the airport is looped!

This will be my fifth convention. Each year I am thrilled to meet, mingle with and expand my hearing loss community. Usually I come away with at least one new hearing loss friend and a handful of tricks and tips I can use to make the world more accessible. All sessions are looped and have CART (communication access real-time translation), so you won’t miss a word. I’ve never attended a conference that is so accessible for people with hearing loss.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

One of my favorite parts of convention is the Exhibit Hall, where new products for people with hearing loss are showcased. Last year I learned about the Tunity app which allows you to listen to TV on your smartphone. In prior years, I discovered the speech-to-text app Ava. I wonder if there will be anyone from Live Transcribe there this year?

Along with numerous workshops in advocacy, lifestyle and hearing assistive technology, this year’s convention will feature a special focus on genetic hearing loss. This includes a Research Symposium on Friday morning featuring leading researchers in genetic hearing loss as well as a series of smaller workshops later in the day. My hearing loss is genetic so I am particularly interested in learning more about this area.

Convention is also always full of inspiration. Last year, singer Mandy Harvey performed. This year the keynote speaker is Rebecca Alexander. As a teenager, Rebecca learned that by the age of 30 she would be completely blind and deaf due to a rare genetic disorder called Usher syndrome (type III). Rather than let this diagnosis defeat her, Rebecca tapped her strength to not only survive but thrive in the face of this incredible challenge. She is now a successful psychotherapist, disability rights advocate, author, group fitness instructor, and extreme athlete. I am excited to learn more about her personal journey.

If you have not yet attended an HLAA Convention, this might be a good first one. This year HLAA will be celebrating its 40th year anniversary as the leading advocacy organization for people with hearing loss. There will be an awards gala and other fun activities to “Say Cheers to 40 Years.” I would love to see you there.

Readers, have you attended an HLAA Convention?

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9 thoughts on “Will You Be At The HLAA Convention This Year?

  1. Yes- awesome learning experience
    Jazz event going on too- hearing and deefing ( my word) time time
    Worth going- it’s my 3 rd year- last one for awhile due to expenses increasing. Live it up all I can in Rochester.

    Let me count the ways it is worth it

    1) learn from fellow muggles the hearing issues we go through
    Support/ understanding helped me be a bit stronger

    2) research topic this year is awesome – genetics – and other forums

    3)therapy dogs- great mingling with permission. The Muggles know me and they tell me when it’s okay

    4) I learn what various states and chapters are doing – it is Incredible the efforts for Looping/ captioning everywhere is. What a small group can accomplish -Utah for looping etc
    5) I need to learn how to keep a chapter together – due to some health issues – our fantastic Philly Duo May discontinue . I am without a base to have meetings but I have ideas – I need to find out if it is feasible I cannot do it alone—- not a logical organizer –
    And I feel I can get this help here

    6) and informal interactions- getting to know some awesome folks

    Between the Mayo forum, and this, etc I learn so much. A lot of folks have issues with terminology of hearing loss
    I stated hearing impaired and slot of folks takes offense to that . I will continue the term for me because it works. I also learn about why things I do like keep me aids out is not good for my brain oroccessing – loses its effectiveness- that poor brainI recieved guidelines for time parameters that will help. Tinnitus is an new issue In My life and that’s helps in me being better behaved in keeping aids in longer. .
    Please go if you can

  2. I have a very bad hearing loss. I am hooked to IPhone 6 Opticon . That is wonderful ..love the connection to TV. My problem.. I have .. never hear anyone address it is,,,I can not play the piano. I have tried everything but nothing works. I have lost a big part of my life. Please help me if you have any ideas..

  3. Shari, I got hooked on the Convention 8 years ago for the same reasons you mention. I am like a kid in a candy store checking out all of the new ALD’s and other tech. Because it is on the East coast, we have more members from our chapter coming also. Last year I was the only one. Also looking forward to Research Symposium. See you there.

  4. I should not have to search everywhere to find the dates and location info of this convention. This is nerve wracking. Please send me registration info ASAP to Carolpoint@aol.com
    Carolyn Pointer

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