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Hearing Loss Association of America's Convention 2009 in Nashville this June Welcomes Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)

Bethesda, Maryland: The Hearing Loss Association of America will hold Convention 2009, June 18 - 21, 2009, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville. Thirty years of the organization's accomplishments will be toasted at a celebration, and a DVD generously donated by the American Abilities Television Network will be shown at the event.

HLAA is pleased to announce it has been named as a partner by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), in the Military Veterans with Hearing Loss Project, a program designed especially for veterans of OIF and OEF who have a hearing loss as a result of their service. The goal is to bring qualified veterans into RIT beginning in fall 2009. Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz, President of NTID, will formally announce the partnership at the Opening Session on Thursday, June 18, 2009. He will be followed by a 28-year old Army captain from Knoxville, Tennessee, who will recount the story of his traumatic brain injury and hearing loss caused by a suicide bomber in Iraq. The Hearing Loss Association of America applauds NTID and RIT's commitment to veterans and their unique approach to education for veterans with hearing loss.

HLAA has pledged its support of OIF and OEF veterans by offering a complimentary one-year membership and registration to its upcoming convention. In addition, HLAA has launched a new page on its website, www.hearingloss.org, especially for veterans for OIF and OEF where vets can meet our Featured Veteran, read pertinent articles about hearing technology, relationships, communication strategies, and more.

Convention 2009 highlights include:

  • Birthday celebration marking HLAA's 30th year, and three decades of accomplishments;
  • Vint Cerf, Ph.D., Opening Session keynote speaker, is widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet;"
  • Research Symposium sponsored by the Deafness Research Foundation, An Update On the Latest Hair Cell Regeneration Research, featuring scientists from around the country on their ground-breaking research;
  • Exhibit Hall and Trade Show with many hands-on, interactive exhibits showcasing the latest technology and services for people with hearing loss;
  • Five educational tracks of workshops: Living and Working with Hearing Loss, Relationships and Communication, Advocacy and Access, Hearing Technology, and Young Adult Issues;
  • Grand Ole Opry show Saturday night; and
  • Sunday Breakfast Awards Ceremony.

The Opening keynote speaker, Vint Cerf, Ph.D., is vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google. Widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet," Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. In December 1997, President Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Cerf and his colleague, Robert E. Kahn, Ph.D. In a pre-convention statement, Cerf said he plans to speak "about technology and hearing assistance including the role of mobile, Internet-enabled devices."

Dr. George A. Gates, Scientific/Medical Director of the Deafness Research Foundation, will moderate the Research Symposium, An Update on the Latest Hair Cell Regeneration Research. He will introduce his distinguished colleagues in the field: Neil Segil, Ph.D., Director of the Division of Cell Biology and Genetics at the House Ear Institute; Douglas Cotanche, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery and Anatomy & Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine, a Lecturer in the Department of Otology & Laryngology at Harvard Medical School, and a Member of the Affiliated Faculty of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; and Hinrich Staecker, M.D., Ph.D., a tenured associate professor in the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

About 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 Hearing Loss Magazine, holds annual conventions, Walk4HearingTM, hosts online learning with the Hearing Loss Academy, and more. HLAA has more than 200 chapters and 14 state organizations.

For further information, go to www.hearingloss.org. For more information about sponsoring an event or exhibiting at the convention, please contact Christopher T. Sutton at   301-657-2248, or email csutton@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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