On October 13, 2018, Molly and I will be participating in the HLAA Walk4Hearing to help raise awareness about hearing loss and hearing deficits. Our journey began when Molly failed her newborn hearing screen in the hospital when she was a mere 24 hours old. In the coming weeks, she failed four more hearing tests before someone actually looked me in the eye and said, "She does have a hearing loss in both ears, and it is pretty significant." The words "profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss" resonated in my head that day, but once she was identified, we were able to get her fitted for hearing aids, start therapy, and begin learning sign language to prepare for her future.
We are walking to support Hands and Voices in their endeavor to support families as they journey through raising a child with a hearing loss. What works for your child is what makes the choice right.
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) Walk4Hearing increases awareness about hearing loss, helps to eradicate the stigma associated with it and raises funds to provide information and support for people with hearing loss. Since 2006, the Walk4Hearing has raised more than $12 million and has become the largest walk for hearing loss taking place in cities across the United States.
We walk because hearing loss is a public health issue third in line after heart disease and arthritis.
- Approximately 48 million Americans have some form of hearing loss
- More than 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous levels of noise in their workplaces
- An estimated 1 in 5 American teens experiences some degree of hearing loss
- 2.3 million Veterans receive either disability compensation for service-connected hearing disabilities or are in treatment for related hearing issues
Hearing loss affects one's ability to communicate every day in different situations - from a dinner conversation at a noisy restaurant, on the phone, to not hearing alarm clocks and smoke alarms. For people with hearing loss, these situations can be become obstacles without the right information and support. HLAA provides the assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss.
For more information about HLAA, please visit www.hearingloss.org.