Join a 2019 Walk4Hearing event to support people with hearing loss
It may not make sense to use your feet in benefit of someone else’s ears, but in the case of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and its signature Walk4Hearing events, that’s exactly what thousands of people across the country have been doing since 1979.
Each year in the spring and fall, Walk4Hearing events “increase public awareness about hearing loss, help eradicate the stigma associated with it and raise funds for programs and services.”
Since the first walk in 2006, more than 100,000 walkers and 8,300 teams have shared their hearing journey through participation in this fundraising effort. Funds are divided between the national organization and chapters in local host cities.
A good cause: Scholarships and more
National programs help raise awareness about hearing health, advocate to support hearing-related policies, and support people on their hearing journey. Local programs and services funded by Walk4Hearing proceeds include college scholarships for students with hearing loss, hearing aids and devices for those who cannot afford them, installation of assistive technology in public places, and hosting hearing health seminars sponsored by HLAA chapters and other community groups.
This year walkers hope to raise $1.3 million with 20 walks beginning in May in cities stretching across the United States from New York to California.
2019 corporate sponsors:
The HLAA had humble beginnings in the home of Howard E. “Rocky” Stone, who founded Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH) in 1979. Stone developed bilateral hearing loss in World War II at the age of 19 as the result of a nearby explosion. He founded SHHH because there were no organizations which supported others like him. Until 1984, funding for the SHHH came from family and friends and an annual membership cost of $7. Local chapters began forming in 1980, and the first national convention was held in Chicago in 1984.
In 1988, SHHH helped draft wording for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was eventually signed into law in 1990. From 1995-2002, SHHH was involved with:
During that time, the organization also solidified their mission “to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy.” In 2006, the organization became HLAA and the Walk4Hearing fundraiser debuted. National headquarters are located in Bethesda, Maryland.
State organizations work on legislation, policies, programs and communication access issues specific to their state. Local chapters offer regularly-scheduled meetings and programs to provide emotional support, camaraderie and tips and techniques for living with hearing loss.
Spring and fall provide the perfect weather to participate in a Walk4Hearing fundraiser. Whether you choose to walk solo, make a day of it with a group of friends or team up with a group of co-workers who want to make a difference for people with hearing loss, the HLAA website makes it easy to register for a walk. If you're not quite ready to join the Walk4Hearing but need to take your first step towards better hearing, make an appointment with any of our consumer-reviewed hearing healthcare providers today.