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

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

New Webinar for Chapter Leaders 17 February 2017

Attracting and Keeping Younger Adults

February 17, 2017, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET

Presenter: Valerie Stafford-Mallis, HLAA director of chapter development


A recurring question HLAA chapter and state organization leaders ask is, “How can we get young people to come to our meetings? If we are able to get them in the door, they seem to come once or twice and then they don’t come back.”

It’s reasonable to assume that young people decide to come to HLAA meetings because they are looking for something of value. Believe it or not, even in the age of readily available information on hearing loss on the internet, not everything active young adults need in order to live well with their hearing loss can be found online.

In this webinar, Valerie will share insights learned from young adults with hearing loss about what they need. The webinar will offer suggestions about where to find active young adults with hearing loss, how to help them, and program ideas to get them to keep coming back. While we can’t guarantee that EVERY suggestion will work for EVERY chapter EVERY time, the odds are very good that at least some of them will help increase young adult participation in chapter activities. Please make plans to join us for a 40-45 minute presentation with 15-20 minutes of time allocated to discussion. The webinar will be captioned and it will be archived on the HLAA webinar portal for those unable to participate in real-time.

For more information and to register visit the webinar schedule page on the HLAA website.