BIG News! OTC Hearing Aids coming this fall

HLAA Makes News as Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Move Closer to Store Shelves On Tuesday, August 16, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the final rule for hearing aids sold directly to consumers, without a prescription. This will open the market to a new class of devices for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. Executive Director Barbara Kelley is featured on many top media outlets as the news breaks. She talks about why HLAA supports this additional pathway to hearing health care. While these devices aren’t for everyone, it’s an exciting step to help some treat hearing loss sooner. HLAA Press Release (will open new page) …

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Know Your Rights to Access! Legal Advocacy Presentation (Virtual) Jan. 22nd 4-6pm

HLAA- Boston’s January 22nd presentation will feature Dr. LeWana Clark from the Disability Law Center whose mission is “To provide legal advocacy on disability issues that promote the fundamental rights of all people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of Massachusetts.” LeWana will tell us a little about the organization and what she does there.  She’d like to get questions and feedback, and ideas on how they can be of help. And, if time allows, our own Carol Agate will talk about problems she has run into with advocacy, including early voting, jury discrimination, …

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Medicare Coverage for Hearing Aids – Write to your Senator

News from HLAA National Office… HLAA is thrilled to announce that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act of 2021 (H.R. 5376) on November 19, 2021. The Build Back Better Act of 2021 includes the expansion of Medicare to cover hearing aids and services. HLAA has spent years supporting the idea of Medicare coverage of hearing aids and hearing health services. This year, HLAA spent our time since the spring in talks with members of Congress and key committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate, encouraging them to vote YES! to expand Medicare to …

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Zoom Makes ASR Captioning Free for People with Hearing Loss

Good News! Thanks to a campaign spearheaded by HLAA’s  Shari Eberts, Zoom has agreed to provide captions on free accounts.  [Below is from Shari’s blog, “Living With Hearing Loss” From https://livingwithhearingloss.com/ ] Success! Zoom has heard our community’s voice! Zoom just announced it will provide its high-quality ASR captions (Live Transcript) FREE for people with hearing loss, as well as other groups who require this feature for accessibility reasons. Click here to request access. This feature will be rolled out to all free accounts by Fall 2021. Since the start of the pandemic, we have been asking Zoom to do just …

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ADA: “Include Architectural Improvements For Those With Hearing Impairments”

The January 3, 2021 Boston Globe Magazine published a Letter to the Editor by HearAtBoston board member Carol Agate entitled, “ADA Anniversary.” The letter addresses the ACCESSIBLE Massachusetts Act (H.4425) and reminds readers that hearing loss is a disability that is seldom recognized. It also advocates for architectural improvements for those with hearing impairments.

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Shari Eberts of HLAA Was Interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR)

Shari Eberts, hearing loss advocate and HLAA National board member, was interviewed by NPR’s Peter O’Dowd on Here and Now about Zoom and the lack of captioning on their free accounts.  It is well worth a listen and here’s a link to the podcast and transcript: https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/11/23/zoom-closed-captioning-hearing

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New England Walk4Hearing Online Celebration-Sunday, October 25, 2020

Let’s stay connected and celebrate our Walk4Hearing community! Join us on Walk Day to show support for people with hearing loss and connect with fellow walkers and new friends. There will be special guests, chances to win prizes, and the opportunity to share stories. After the online celebration, participants are encouraged to walk safely with family or as a team in their neighborhoods. Featuring: Bruce Peterson, Honorary Walk Chair Gael Hannan, hearing loss advocate, writer, and humorist Joss Kendrick, American Girl’s 2020 Girl of the Year YOU, the heart of the Walk4Hearing community! Sunday, October 25, 2020 Sign on begins, …

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Welcome to Our New HLAA Boston Chapter Website!

Betty Hauck wrote:   “We are so happy and excited to see this project finally come to fruition. It has been wonderful, although not surprising, to hear from so many of you about how delighted you are with the new website. And you have been asking whom to thank. That is easy – we are so grateful to Phil Temples, our website meister. He was a pleasure to work with, was very responsive to what would work best for our needs, and had lots of helpful suggestions. And among all the great new features, he has made the new website easier …

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Hearing Loss Tips during COVID19

Nicole Laffan, Au.D., M.S., CCC-A/SLP, Assistant Clinical Professor, Northeastern University | Bouvé College of Health Sciences writes: I’ve created the attached presentation to help individuals with hearing loss communicate during COVID-19. It contains information about advocating for oneself, phones with captioning, apps to add captioning to smart phone conversations, speech-to-text apps, video conferencing platforms that use captioning, resources for purchasing clear shields and masks, suggestions for wearing masks with hearing aids or cochlear implants, and info on the free aural rehabilitation sessions. I hope you find it helpful. Please feel free to share it with your members.

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Zoom: Provide Free Captions for People with Hearing Loss on Video Conferencing Platforms

Shari Eberts, a hearing loss advocate in the front lines, has been working hard to get video conferencing platforms to provide free captioning for people with nearing loss. Google and Microsoft have done so. Please sign this petition to get Zoom to provide captions for free as well. Our goal is to reach 50,000 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition at: http://chng.it/BxBmLGZbSt.

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