The President of the Hearing Loss Association of America, Delaware Chapter, Linda Heller, spoke of how the organization supports and advocates for the over 20% of the population suffering from hearing loss and her experiences with it. She described causes of hearing loss, including genetic issues and noise related loss, as well as the devices available to help sufferers, including closed captioning, magnetic loop systems for theaters, churches and lecture halls, and the coming soon min-amplifiers that will be available over the counter. She described protections for students in the classroom and people on the job through the ADA, but the need for people to ask for them. She discussed the stigma of hearing loss and how that may change as younger and younger people develop the issue, how people with hearing loss are at higher risk of mental health problems, dementia and Alzheimers through lack of social interaction, she also described the problems the hard of hearing face with police and emergency responders, the problem of high decible restaurants and venues, and the need for visible signers at press conferences or government announcements, she spoke about HLADE successes in getting newborn hearing tests, printed visors for drivers stating the problem and their programs for police and other officials.
For more information about the Delaware Chapter, its programming and resources visit HLADE.ORG