Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Holidays to our Wonderful Chapters and State Organizations!

Happy Holidays to all of our Chapters and State Organizations! In the past year, I have had the pleasure of working so closely with you, learning from each and every one of you, and assisting you in the amazing work that you do for the 48 million individuals nationwide with hearing loss. Thank you for making this a year to remember!

We at HLAA are so grateful for all of our volunteers and hope that you close the year out on a high note. The HLAA office will be closed from Monday, December 25- Tuesday, January 2. If you need anything during this time, please feel free to email me and I will get back to you as soon as I am back in the office, if not sooner.

If you missed our Zoom webinar on Wednesday, December 21 which included some very exciting announcements for the organization in 2018, you can find a replay here. Please share this information with fellow leaders and members, and do not hesitate to be in touch with thoughts, feedback, etc.

Thank you all for a wonderful year, and we will see you in 2018!

Erin Mirante
National Chapter Coordinator

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ending the Year with Exciting News!

We hope that you are having a great month so far and a wonderful time celebrating the Holidays with family and loved ones. We are “wrapping up” December with a few exciting announcements for our Chapters and State Organizations!

Save the Date! Wednesday, December 20 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time
We have some exciting news we would like to share with you! Please join us for a webinar on Wednesday, December 20 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time on Zoom (our new webinar platform!). Captioning will be provided.  We will also give you a sneak peek at a new partnership with the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) to provide affordable CART at chapter meetings.

We are eager to share these important updates with you all. Please pass this message along to fellow members and leaders and tune in next Wednesday if you want to be one of the first to know! You can access the webinar here.

HLAA2018 Postcards Available Soon
Convention postcards with special information and highlights about the HLAA2018 Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota will be available in January. If your chapter is interested in spreading the word about HLAA2018 and would like postcards to do so, please email and note in the subject line: “Convention Postcards”. In the email, include the quantity of postcards that you would like to receive and we will work with you.

Thank you for all that you do! Feel free to reach me directly at or with any questions or concerns. 

All the best,
National Chapter Coordinator 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Few Pictures from October!

Washington DC Walk4Hearing

HLAA Staff Rini Indrawati, Nancy Macklin, and volunteers Lisa Devlin and Hollace Goodman ready to register walkers!
The HLAA staff had a great time at the Washington DC Walk4Hearing at Cameron Run Regional Park on Saturday, October 21! We could not have asked for better weather or a better crowd. I was so happy to see so many familiar faces in attendance and such enthusiasm.  Thank you to everyone who came out.
The PG County Chapter in attendance. Photo courtesy of Veronica Davila-Steele (Chapter President)

Growing Your Chapter (And You!) – A Wonderful Workshop in Wisconsin

From October 27-29, I visited Wisconsin to attend the Wisconsin State Association's annual Board meeting and present the Workshop Growing Your Chapter and You. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with chapter leaders and members. Thank you to everyone who was in attendance! During my all day workshop on Saturday, October 28, we discussed strategies and plans to increase chapter involvement, membership recruitment and retention, and more. Chapter members were also able to share their experiences and insights with one another. The workshop was interactive, educational, and a great way for me to meet our wonderful volunteers and hear about what they are doing locally! Here are a few pictures from my trip.
HLAA Board Member Lisa Zovar being recognized for her work by President Jerry Lapidakis 
Program Chair Jack Spear, ready for the annual HLAA-WI raffle 
Big thanks to HLAA- WI Board Member Natalie Eberle for showing me around downtown Madison! 

Big thanks to all of our members for making this a wonderful year!

All the best,

Friday, October 20, 2017

Chapter Updates - October 2017

Get ready for HLAA2018 Convention!
Early-bird registration for the HLAA2018 Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota is now open! Leaders and delegates must register using a registration form – online registration is NOT available due to the type of information collected on the form and due to the fact that we must have a current State/Chapter Update form on file (an annual requirement). The form is available on the Convention page. State associations/offices and chapters may register up to 4 officers (i.e., president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer) PLUS 1 Delegate (encourage a member who is being groomed for a leadership role to use the Delegate registration). 

The deadline for early-bird registration is March, 31. After this, you will have to use the regular registration form. 

Questions? Email Niaz Siasi, Meeting Planner at

Now Accepting HLAA2018 Awards Nominations
You can find the awards nominations packet and more information here.

HLAA will honor outstanding individuals, HLAA Chapters and State Organizations, companies, and corporations at the HLAA2018 Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in June 2018. The presentations will take place at two separate events. Awards to states and chapters will be presented on Wednesday evening, June 20 at the State and Chapter Awards Reception & Ceremony. On Thursday morning, June 21, presentations of the national awards will be delivered at the National Awards Breakfast & Ceremony.

Please submit nominations by email to by December 8, 2017. Please note in the subject line:  “Awards:  Name of the Award.” We appreciate all submissions by email because time and geographical constraints makes dissemination to committee members more efficient. Thank you for your cooperation.

Chapter Speaking Engagements
On October 28, Erin Mirante, National Chapter Coordinator, will attend the annual Wisconsin State Association meeting and present the workshop Growing Your Chapter and You. Erin will cover a variety of topics, including education, marketing, fundraising, advocacy, increasing membership, as well as individual member goals and needs. For more information and to register for this event, visit the HLAA Madison Chapter website.

On Thursday, November 16, the HLAA Greater Baltimore Chapter will welcome HLAA’s Executive Director Barbara Kelley as their featured speaker at their chapter meeting. For more information, contact chapter president Carrie Nicholsen at

Wonderstruck Free Open-Captioned Screening
If you are in the Maryland/DC area, do not miss out the opportunity to watch a free screening of Todd Haynes’ new movie Wonderstruck. The Hearing Loss Association of America and Amazon Studios cordially invite you to a courtesy open-captioned screening of Wonderstruck in Bethesda on Thursday, October 26 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30).

Bethesda Screening: Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda MD 20814
Visit the Facebook page for more information.
Please email Erin Mirante at to RSVP. Tickets are limited, and based on a first come, first served basis. RSVP gives priority seating but does not guarantee a seat so arrive early. If you RSVP’d and are unable to attend, please let HLAA National Chapter Coordinator Erin Mirante know ASAP so that we may release your seat for another attendee. 

Thank you all and have a great weekend!

Erin Mirante
National Chapter Coordinator 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Chapter Updates - September 2017

HLAA national wishes all of our chapters well - especially those in Florida or Texas in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. We hope that you all are safe! Find more information about staying safe after hurricanes here.  

Seth Meyer - Last Call
Last chance to participate in Seth Meyer’s research study!
Seth J. Meyer, a Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University, has asked for chapter and state Organization participation in his dissertation on national non-profit organizations and the interactions between their affiliates and the central (national) office. We are excited that Seth reached out to us to pursue this opportunity. The study consists of two parts, an online survey and an optional interview. Interviews will be done via telephone or skype, depending on preference. While interviews are optional, I would encourage that all of our chapter/state leaders and volunteers take 20-30 minutes to complete the online survey by following the link provided. After all research is complete, Seth will provide a 3-5 page summary on his findings, available by request. This could be a tremendously helpful resource to our chapters and the national office, we ask for your participation!

Please refer to Seth’s letter of introduction (below) before completing the survey. Thank you to those who have already taken the survey!   

Unified Membership Program September Reports
UMP reports were emailed to participating chapters on Wednesday, September 13. If your chapter is in this program and did not receive their report, please email me at We are asking that chapters confirm all details on their reports before receiving their check. It is only after getting this confirmation that we will send the check to the mailing address on the report. Please review and confirm your UMP refund report by or before October 1, 2017.  Thank you!

CA State Association Tech Expo
The HLAA California State Association is hosting a hearing loss tech expo on Sunday, September 17, 2017, in Torrance, California. You can learn about the latest products and services for people with hearing loss, and attendance is free. If you're going to be in the area this Sunday, check it out!

Thank you,

Friday, September 8, 2017

Are You Passionate About Audio Loops?

Apply for a $1,000 Stipend to Attend the International Conference on Hearing Loops and Technology in Berlin, Germany, October 5-7. Deadline is September 15, 2017

As part of the HLAA Hearing Loop Grant, the David and Carol Myers Foundation is offering $1,000 to each HLAA member in good standing (up to 20 people) who is willing to spend some of his or her own money to go to this conference. If you are interested, send an email to Executive Director Barbara Kelley of your intent to go (first-come, first-served), and she will let you know the availability.

Then, after being accepted, submit a copy of your conference registration to Barbara Kelley and you will receive $1,000 mid-September. HLAA will be represented by JuliĆ«tte Sterkens, HLAA loop advocate, and Lise Hamlin, HLAA director of public policy, both doing presentations. We are hopeful there will be other HLAA members who can attend. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Senate Passes the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017

Big News in OTC Legislation! 

The U.S. Senate today passed the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017. The bill was already passed by the House of Representatives on July 12. With this groundbreaking legislation Congress has sent a message to America that people with hearing loss need – and deserve – more affordable and accessible hearing health care.

We are so excited about this groundbreaking step toward furthering affordability and accessibility for consumers nationwide. We thank you all for your continued support. Please make sure to share this information with everyone you know!

Read the entire press release here

Have a great rest of your week! 


Monday, July 24, 2017

Exciting chapter news to finish out July!


I hope you are all enjoying your summer. Please read the following announcements below and feel free to share with fellow HLAA members via your social media pages.

Don Doherty to speak at Rochester Chapter Meetings
The Rochester Chapter will kick off their chapter meetings in September with an exciting speaker! Don Doherty, HLAA's newest chairperson and president of the Virginia Beach Chapter, will travel to New York to speak with the Rochester Chapter at their day meeting on Tuesday, September 12 at 11 a.m. The evening meeting will be at 7 p.m. Both will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Rochester, NY. For more information, please email Sue Miller at

CaptionCall Presents... Eddy the Ear!
Looking for informational videos related to hearing loss? Look no further than CaptionCall's newest short video series Conversations with Eddy the Ear. If you did not have the pleasure of meeting Eddy during our Get Acquainted Party hosted by CaptionCall last month during HLAA2017 Convention, now is your chance to see him in action! Chapter leaders, these videos are perfect for sharing with members and non-members alike. Watch the three existing episodes here and don't forget to share on your chapter's Facebook pages, websites, or via email. We could all benefit from learning a little something from Eddy!

Full interviews from Hearing Loss Magazine available
For the July/August 2017 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, we asked our chapters nationwide to tell us stories that highlight their successes. On the cover, we spotlighted members from our local chapters near our national office and interviewed them to find out a bit more about the journeys they are on. Full versions of these interviews are now available on the Chapter Spotlight Page of You can find additional interviews and articles from our chapter members in this most recent issue of Hearing Loss Magazine. We had such a great time working on this issue for our all HLAA members to read and enjoy. We thank all of the chapters who participated and submitted articles for consideration. If you do not see your story, stay tuned. We will be adding all submissions to the Chapter Spotlight page within the next few months. 

A friendly reminder – Seth J. Meyer is still conducting research
Seth J. Meyer, a Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University, has asked for chapter and state organization participation in his dissertation on national nonprofit organizations and the interactions between their affiliates and the HLAA national office. We are excited that Seth reached out to us to pursue this opportunity. The study consists of two parts, an online survey and an optional interview. Interviews will be done via telephone or Skype, depending on preference. While interviews are optional, I would encourage that all our chapter/state leaders and volunteers take 20-30 minutes to complete the online survey by following the link provided. After all research is complete, Seth will provide a 3-5 page summary on his findings, available by request. This could be a tremendously helpful resource to our chapters and the national office, we ask for your participation!

Please refer to Seth’s letter of introduction (below) before completing the survey. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Thank you all for a wonderful HLAA2017 Convention!

Photo taken by HLAA's Meeting Planner, Niaz Siasi

It was such a pleasure attending (my very first) HLAA2017 Convention last week. I hope that you all had just as wonderful a time in Salt Lake City as our staff did, and that you had safe travels home afterward. Having the pleasure to speak with you, listen to your questions and comments, attend your workshops, and hear about what your chapters and state organizations are doing on a local level... I could not have asked for more! Thank you to those who were able to come out, and to those who were not, we hope that we will see you next year. 

As always, I am just an email or phone call away. Please get in touch with me if you need anything at all. I look forward to following up with those I spoke to during my time at the Convention and continuing our wonderful conversations. This was such a learning opportunity for me, and every interaction brought a new lesson. If you have any photos from the events that you would like to share, feel free to send them to me via email. I have so much gratitude for everything that you do for this organization, and for welcoming me with open arms so kindly as I continue in this role! Our volunteers are important, and we appreciate the work that you do immensely!

We are so excited to see you next year for HLAA2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota! 

All the best,

Thursday, June 8, 2017

State Updates- Resignations and Appointments

Thanking Alice Pakhtigian for her time as Eastern PA SCC!
Alice Pakhtigian has resigned from the position of Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter Coordinator. Alice served in this role from March 2014 until April 2017. Most recently, she was instrumental in assisting with the revitalization of the Delaware County, PA Chapter. She remains the President of the All Generations PA Chapter, and is excited to be able to spend more time fulfilling these duties. We thank Alice for her years of service to chapters in Pennsylvania! 

If you are interested in filling the position for Eastern Pennsylvania Coordinator, please contact for additional information.


Wishing Linda Tossoonian the best as the newest Florida State Association VP
Congratulations to Linda Tossoonian, who has assumed the role of Vice President of the Florida State Association. President Cynthia Moynihan noted, “Linda Tossoonian has been Secretary and recently agreed to move from Secretarial to Vice Presidential position.  She is a true hearing loss advocate and has been extremely instrumental in the success of recent events including the Let's Make Hearing Loss Visible Extravaganza.  Her Vice Presidential role has been well earned”.  Wishing you all the best, Linda!

A big thanks to all of our State Associations and State Chapter Coordinators for their continued hard work. If you (or another member) are involved in one or the other, have been appointed or are retiring, and would like it to have it mentioned on our blog, please email me directly at 

Have a great rest of your week,

Friday, June 2, 2017

Have a wonderful summer!


With many chapters preparing to suspend meetings for the summer, I would like to take a moment to wish you all the best in the coming months. Whether you will be enjoying the company of friends and family, vacationing, or just relaxing, I hope that you have an enjoyable and safe time. If your chapter is still planning to hold meetings over the next few months, I hope that they continue to be great! Thank you all for what you do. 

There will still be regular postings on this blog. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to be in touch should you need anything and enjoy your summer!

Many thanks,
National Chapter Coordinator

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

HLAA on NBC Nightly News for OTC Hearing Aids


Barbara Kelley made an appearance last night on NBC Nightly News to discuss the current legislation pushing for OTC hearing aids. Find the OTC segment that aired here.

The follow-up to the OTC segment and Barbara's interview can be found online here.

We ask that you watch both segments, and share them far and wide. Please post to your chapter Facebook, Twitter accounts, websites, share via email, get the word out!

Thank you all!
National Chapter Coordinator

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Final April Updates and Information

Chapter Updates 04/24/17

 It has been an exciting month for our Chapters and State Organizations! I have had a great time corresponding with many of our Chapter and State leaders in April. Here are some important updates and information to keep in mind as we approach May:

Exciting Research Opportunity for Chapters
Seth J. Meyer, a PhD candidate at Rutgers University, has asked for Chapter and State Organization participation in his dissertation on national non-profit organizations and the interactions between their affiliates and the central office. We are excited that Seth reached out to us to pursue this opportunity. The study consists of two parts, an online survey and an optional interview. Interviews will be done via telephone or skype, depending on preference. While interviews are optional, I would encourage that all of our chapter/state leaders and volunteers take 20-30 minutes to complete the online survey by following the link provided. After all research is complete, Seth will provide a 3-5 page summary on his findings, available by request. This could be a tremendously helpful resource to our chapters and the national office, we ask for your participation! Find the survey and Seth's letter of introduction here. Direct link to the survey here.

HLAA2017 Convention 
HLAA Chapters, especially those that have participated in a Walk4Hearing event, we are currently looking for 6 scholarships to help HLAA members who have never attended the Convention before! If your chapter is interested in providing somebody with this opportunity, HLAA asks for scholarship donations from our chapters in increments of $500. Plus, your chapter will be recognized in the HLAA2017 Convention program book! Email Nancy Macklin for more information at

Hamilton CapTel will be providing one scholarship to a Veteran who has never attended the Convention before. If you know a veteran who you think is a good fit for this scholarship, please let Nancy know.

Don’t miss this great leadership workshop!
J.D. Taylor, who has done training workshops with clients including PETCO, H&R Block, McDonald’s and more, will be presenting a 3-hour leadership workshop (sponsored by CaptionCall) specifically for our chapter and state leaders on Wednesday, June 21 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. His Leadership is Intentional Influence presentation will address the challenging aspects of leadership, as well as principles and strategies involved in successful leadership models. You will not want to miss this! If you have not registered, pre-convention registration ends May 31, 2017. Don’t wait any longer! Register today!

Tax Filing Deadline
If you have not yet filed your 990, please access this page for more information. There are only a few weeks left, don’t forget to file! If you are filing your 990-N (e-postcard) and registered your account with the IRS before February 18, 2016 you will need to create a new account as a first time user. Find directions here. Be sure to file by May 15, 2017. Please contact me with any additional questions or concerns. 

Are you attempting to file your 990-N (e-postcard) with a valid account and your EIN was not recognized? Don’t worry! If you just recently gained recognition under HLAA’s 501(c)(3) Group Exemption Number (anytime last year until now), the IRS is still processing these changes. As long as you have not gone three or more consecutive years without filing a 990-N, the May 15 deadline does not apply to you. All recently recognized chapters will be processed by the IRS and able to file their 990 within the next 4-6 weeks.

Hearing Loss Magazine Submissions for Chapter Issue
Only a few days left for submissions! If your chapter has not yet submitted a short story for consideration into Hearing Loss Magazine’s July/August issue, please consider! This is a great opportunity for your chapter to get the word out about what sets you apart. Please email submissions to me by Monday, May 1. Any stories submitted later or not considered for submission into Hearing Loss Magazine will be included on our Chapter Spotlight Page

Thank you for all that you do!
National Chapter Coordinator

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Chapter Updates- April 2017

Hearing Loss Magazine's July/August Chapter Issue

Hearing Loss Magazine Chapter Issue – We Want to Hear About Your Success!
Is your chapter doing something amazing to help it grow or to bring greater awareness to hearing loss in your community? Do you have any innovative programs for members? Have you held a wildly successful event? The July/August issue of Hearing Loss Magazine will be focused on the amazing work of HLAA’s chapters. And we want to hear from you! If you have a chapter success story that you would like to share with readers, please submit a short summary (300 words or less) and send it our way. You can also include an image if applicable (high-resolution, .jpeg format preferred). Just email submissions to me by Monday, May 1. But if your story is not published, don’t worry! Any submissions that are not published in Hearing Loss Magazine will still be posted to the Chapter Spotlight page of

IRS Filing Date is May 15- Don't Forget!

If you have not yet filed your 990, please access this page for more information. There is a little over a month left, don’t forget to file! If you are filing your 990-N (e-postcard) and registered before February 18, 2016 you will need to create a new account as a first time user. Find directions here. Be sure to file by May 15, 2017. Please contact me with any additional questions or concerns. 

Find a Chapter Website Updates

Chapter leaders, please take a moment to look on the Find a Chapter page of and verify your chapter or state associations contact information. We have many chapters whose listings on the websites are not current.Send any requests for updated information to me and I will make sure that they are updated on the website within a few days. Chapter listings consist of:

Chapter Name
Meeting Information (Months, Days, Times)
Meeting Location
Chapter Contact Information (Name, Email, Phone #)
Chapter Website/Facebook

If any of your information looks incorrect, make sure to email me and I will make changes.

Thank you all! I hope you have a great rest of your week and Easter weekend!
Erin Mirante

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wishing Valerie Stafford-Mallis a Happy Retirement!!

As you all know by now, March 31 is our Director of Chapter Development Valerie Stafford-Mallis’s last day of work with HLAA, and April 1 is her first day of retired life with her husband Sam. Valerie has spent the last year in this position, supporting all of our chapters and state associations country-wide. I was lucky to have started working with HLAA when I did. To have the chance to share this position with Valerie in her final months with HLAA is something that has helped me greatly. Valerie and I truly became a team, devoted to doing everything that we could to assist our chapters. We are all sad to see Valerie go, but so excited for her in this next chapter (pun intended) of her life. Although we were only able to work together for a few months, in my time working with Valerie I have been so appreciative of everything she has contributed to me and this role. Her general knowledge and ability to meet the needs of our volunteers is unprecedented.It has become abundantly clear just how much of an asset Valerie is to HLAA and the impact she’s made on everyone that she has been in contact with since her appointment.   I don’t think that anybody could have prepared me better for this role. Valerie has encouraged me, advised me, assisted me, the list goes on.

Many of you know Valerie well and have seen how hard-working, devoted, and passionate she is about helping others with hearing loss. Her personality is infectious and she is one of the most caring and good-hearted people I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know. She has taught me so much about this organization and its wonderful chapters. Every instance in which we were able to work together in person was a learning experience for me, and every lesson was valued!  I think I can speak for all of us when I say I am eternally grateful for all that she has done for HLAA, and forever thankful to have worked alongside her.  If you have not already, please take the time to send Valerie an email wishing her a happy retirement at Thank you for everything, Valerie! This isn't a goodbye but a see you around. :-)

April 1 will mark my first day as HLAA’s National Chapter Coordinator. I am so excited for this role and what is to come. Valerie’s emails from then on out will go to my inbox, so please expect replies from me personally should you reach out to Valerie’s work email after the 1st.We thank you for your patience during this transition, and for everything that you all do for HLAA! 

Erin Mirante

Monday, March 20, 2017

Annual Filing Requirements for HLAA Chapters

Tax Season is Fast Approaching! Don't forget to file your 990 ASAP

In 2006, federal legislation was passed requiring most nonprofits, regardless of gross income, to file at minimum a 990-N (e-postcard) annually. At that time, HLAA began notifying chapters and state organizations that all are required to file at least the minimum return 990-N or face revocation of tax-exempt status.

The IRS has now begun revoking the tax-exempt status of all organizations required to file that have not filed for the past three years. This could significantly impact the chapters’ and state organizations’ ability to raise funds or solicit donations, and cause you to go through the lengthy and costly process to have the IRS reinstate your tax-exempt status.

In addition to ensuring the affiliate (chapter or state association) is in compliance with IRS requirements, chapters and state organizations must have their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and be up to date on the filings in order to participate in the Walk4Hearing as well as accept general donations such as individual, corporate, grants and others. Below is information we hope will answer your questions about filing requirements.

What to do?
Be certain to timely file the chapter or state association’s Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N for 2016. For calendar year chapters, these forms must be filed by May 15, 2017. For those on fiscal year, the filing date is the 15th day of the 5th month following your fiscal year-end.

If the chapter or state association has failed to timely file a previous year’s Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N, it should file as soon as possible.

The IRS does not provide an online method for filing a previous year’s 990-N. However, various private contractors do provide this service for a fee. To access a list of these contractors, go to the 990-N filing page at Under frequently asked questions, click on “Can an organization file an e-Postcard for a prior year?” This will take you to a link with a list of private contractors providing the service. Check the fees for the service. For example, one private contractor on the list——provides 990-N filing for 2011 and 2012 as well as the current year. The fee for filing a 990-N is $39.95 per year.

Form 990 and form 990-EZ for previous years can be filed on paper versions. The forms are available at If you file a paper version, use registered mail for proof of mailing.

Here are some links you can peruse for help and detailed information.

Please contact or with any questions or if you are in need of assistance completing your annual filing requirements.

Erin Mirante
National Chapter Coordinator

Monday, March 6, 2017

Convention Registration for State and Chapter Leaders/Delegates

Attention State and Chapter Leaders/Delegates- Early Bird Registration for the 2017 HLAA Convention ends on March 31!

The HLAA2017 Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah is fast approaching!  If you would like to attend the Convention as a chapter leader, here are a few things that you should know:

            State associations/offices and Chapters may register up to 4 officers PLUS 1 delegate to attend at a discounted rate. The registration form is available on the Convention page. There is no online registration for leaders/delegates.

Early-bird registration:
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Rate: $125 + Cranky Cochlea Dinner Theater ($65)

Chapters and State Offices registering for this discounted package must be HLAA members, and must have a current chapter update form on file. Payment cannot be processed without a recent chapter update form.  Update forms are available at:
Please attach the document in an email to:
Or snail mail to:
 7910 Woodmont Ave, Suite 1200
ATTN: Erin Mirante
Bethesda, MD 20814

After March 31st, this pricing is no longer available; regular registration forms can be found in Hearing Loss Magazine or the Convention page.

       If you are a Chapter leader/delegate who has registered for a different package, you may not re-register for the discounted fee. Please make sure to carefully select your registration package to avoid any confusion after the fact.

Don’t forget to submit early-bird registration forms by March 31!

Be sure to check for updates on the Convention page, in the biweekly HLAA e-News (if you are not receiving the HLAA e-News, sign up at, our Facebook page, and on Twitter @HLAA #HLAA2017.

I am looking forward to meeting all of you in Salt Lake City!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

New Chapter Development Webinars Available for Offline Viewing

Did you miss the Chapter Leader Webinars in January and February? 
Good news!
They are now available for offline viewing on the HLAA Webinar page. Links to the PowerPoint slides and the handouts are posted as well.
It’s as easy as 1-2-3!   Enjoy!
1.     Go to the Online Community tab at the top of the home page on the HLAA website,
2.     Click on the Transcripts/Replay Webinars tab on the left hand side of the page,
3.     Click on the link of the webinars you wish to view
CHAPTERS – Attracting and Keeping Younger Adults
Feb 17 2017 - 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Replay Valerie Stafford-Mallis Webinar
CHAPTERS – Are You A Lonely Leader? The Role of Volunteers in Running Strong Chapters
Jan 20 2017 - 2:00pm - 3:00pm 
Replay Valerie Stafford-Mallis Webinar

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Big News in HLAA Chapter Development

Dear Chapter Members:

I am pleased to bring you some news on this Saturday afternoon in February.

Our wonderful Valerie Stafford-Mallis, director of chapter development, is entering the well-deserved world of retirement on March 31, 2017. She and her husband, Sam, are retiring from their careers on the same day and are starting their retirement life together in Florida where they live.

My selfish nature says "boo-hiss" because Valerie has brought a strong sense of professionalism and business sense to our chapter department as well as her willingness to assist and train our chapters in many positive ways. We sure do hate to lose her. But, how can we not be happy for her and Sam? Be sure to catch the article in the upcoming March/April issue of Hearing Loss Magazine where Valerie says her goodbyes and gives us some insight into what she will be doing. Congratulations and thank you to Valerie.

Valerie's last day is March 31, but she and Erin Mirante (see below) will be traveling to the Pacific Northwest (March 4-5) and to St. Louis (March 11)  for chapter development workshops before Valerie retires. 

Welcome Erin Mirante

Knowing that Valerie was going to retire sometime in 2017-18, we hired Erin to work part-time in chapters and part-time in membership/data. Erin quickly showed a keen interest in chapters, especially as she began to interact with you. Our hope for Erin came true when she said she would LOVE to work with HLAA Chapters full time as our national chapter coordinator. 

Erin is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland and has a degree in social work. She has been a volunteer herself throughout her college life (and before) and did an internship with a local adoption agency helping parents navigate the complicated process of adopting a child. Her compassion, warmth and intellect are immediately evident. She also understands what it's like to be a volunteer and appreciates all of you who volunteer your time and talents for HLAA. 

I am pleased to have Erin on staff to support chapters. For those of you going to Convention 2017, Erin is looking forward to meeting all of you. Please join me in welcoming Erin Mirante as the national chapter development coordinator! She is a lovely, young woman and we are all excited to have her and her passion on staff.  

Leadership Training at HLAA2017: As always, there will be a room devoted to chapter workshops at the convention. On Wednesday, June 21, there will be a leadership workshop with a renowned presenter who has worked with companies like McDonald's, Pampered Chef, H&R Block, Ericsson, and more. I wish I could sneak in myself, but I will at the HLAA Board of Trustees Meeting. We are thrilled to bring you this top-notch presentation, sponsored by CaptionCall. 

We are all part of one HLAA. Without the national organization, there would be no Walk4Hearing, HLAA state organizations or chapters; and without the “boots on the ground” at the local and state levels, the awareness, mutual support, local/state advocacy, access, and much more, couldn’t happen. Thank you for the work you are all doing across the country.

With appreciation,
Barbara Kelley
Executive Director

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hearing Aid Tax Credit Legislation

HLAA Prioritizes Legislative and Advocacy Agenda for 2017

Takes Focus Off Hearing Aid Tax Credit Legislation

Since 2003, Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) has supported legislation that would allow consumers to receive a tax credit for the purchase of hearing aids. The Hearing Aid Tax Assistance Credit Act (Senate bill S.48), re-introduced in the Senate on January 5 by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), would provide a non-refundable $500 tax credit for the purchase of a single hearing aid, or $1,000 for two, once every five years. In the past, a House version of the bill included a $200,000 per year income eligibility cap. The House has not yet introduced a bill in this session of Congress.

Several iterations of the tax credit bill have been introduced over the span of nearly 14 years, and none have passed. HLAA has therefore decided to focus its efforts and resources on initiatives that we believe will have a more far-reaching impact. Some of these current efforts include:

·        Working toward the implementation of the recommendations contained in the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report, Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability.

·        Supporting legislation that would ensure Medicare coverage for the cost of hearing aids.

·        Providing input to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is currently working on a rulemaking that would consider a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing devices.

·        Supporting the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016, a bill introduced in December 2016 by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to provide for the regulation of OTC hearing aids.


While we are diligently working on these and many other efforts to improve the lives of people with hearing loss, we cannot do it alone. If ever there was a time in the fight for more affordable and accessible hearing health care for HLAA members to mobilize their extensive grassroots efforts, now would be it. Whether you call, write or visit your congressman, file a complaint when you are denied access, or attend local council meetings to advocate on behalf of those with hearing loss, the importance of your efforts cannot be understated.  

HLAA’s commitment to advocating for more affordable and accessible hearing health care for everyone with hearing loss will not waiver. But we will be selective about the issues and legislation we support. We seek to support legislation that has a greater potential to impact more people and provide tangible and significant benefits. We will be sure to keep you updated on all developments.


Barbara Kelley

Executive Director