The Boston chapter was created in 2004 by a talented Harvard University undergraduate, Patrick Holkins, following his internship in the HLAA national office in Bethesda, Maryland – an experience that prompted his decision to begin to manage his hearing loss more openly and actively.
Hear@Boston was born out of the need to create a hearing loss community for young adults in the Greater Boston area and to help people to live fully and with well being, despite the challenges of living with hearing loss. Originally made up of a small group of young people in their twenties and thirties, the chapter today includes a diverse and widened membership made up of people of all ages who have been touched in one way or another by the experience of living with hearing loss. Our membership includes parents of children with hearing loss, teens and young adults, partners of persons with hearing loss, working people and retirees.
The purpose of the HLAA Boston Chapter reflects that of the national organization: to empower people who have hearing loss by facilitating opportunities for social engagement, education and skill development.
HLAA Boston provides wonderful opportunities for people with hearing loss to work hand in hand with others experiencing similar challenges. We encourage all of our members to let us know their areas of interest and to use the resources of the chapter to create new programs or help with ones already established. Because we are a group of peer volunteers, we enthusiastically welcome your energies in support of chapter life in a wide range of areas, including:
- Outreach and membership development
- Social events
- Meeting planning
- Advocacy initiatives, especially in promoting captions and assistive listening technologies, particularly loops, in public places
- Walk4Hearing planning and Walk day volunteering
- Mentoring persons who are new to hearing loss and/or membership in the chapter