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Hearing Loss Association of America Names New Executive Director

March 3, 2008, Bethesda, Maryland: Brenda Battat, M.A., of Bethesda, Maryland, has been named executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the nation's largest organization for people with hearing loss. She officially assumed the title and duties on March 3, 2008, having been unanimously chosen for the position by the HLAA Board of Trustees at their february 29-March 2 meeting in Bethesda.

Ms. Battat brings a wealth of experience to the position having joined the HLAA national staff in 1989. She has been deputy executive director and served as acting executive director on three interim occasions. She brings this experience to the position as well as her personal exposure to hearing loss as a user of a cochlear implant and a hearing aid.

Ms. Battat is well known among her peers in the field of hearing loss, disability access, and key industry, government, and hearing health professions. Her collaborative approach to advocacy and finding common ground among consumers, industry, and government is well known and respected. Among her most noted accomplishments at HLAA is her work on hearing-aid-compatible mobile and cordless phones and Internet captioned telephone.

Her skills as a leader are well recognized by her colleagues, national staff, and HLAA leaders and members who trust her judgment and avidly seek her advice. As a leader with a unique intelligent common-sense approach , plus a faculty for teamwork, she is a proven strength of the organization.

Battat says after a successful tenure with HLAA:

"I am ready to take on the challenge of leading this great organization in a changing world where hearing loss is burgeoning, technology exploding, and social networking a way of life. Nothing in today's society is business as usual, with the exception of the stigma of using hearing aids and we have to change that."

Ms. Battat holds a bachelor's degree in physical therapy with 15 years working in the field in Europe and North America. She holds a master's degree in counseling from Indiana University. She is married to Joe Battat and lives in Bethesda. They have two grown children Anna and James.

Anne T. Pope, president of the HLAA Board of Trustees commented:

"The Board of Trustees is delighted that Brenda Battat has agreed to become the next executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America. Brenda is unequalled as an advocate for people with hearing loss. For almost 20 years, she has been a key leader in securing federal legislation and regulation to accommodate our challenges, and has taught thousands of our members how to work for accessibility at the state and local levels.

"Millions of people with hearing loss have benefited from her efforts. In the short time that she has been acting executive director, we have seen the same creativity, skill, and energy in her executive leadership that has made her such an effective advocate. We cannot imagine a better person to lead the organization in educating the general public about hearing loss and its challenges."

About the Hearing Loss Association of America

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), founded in 1979 by Rocky Stone as Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy and support. HLAA publishes the bimonthly Hearing Loss Magazine, holds annual conventions, Walk4Hearing, hosts online learning with the Hearing Loss Academy, and more. HLAA has more than 200 chapters and 14 state organizations.

More information is available at www.hearingloss.org. The national headquarters is located at 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200, Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone: 301.657.2248 (Voice and TTY)

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