The Boston Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), popularly known as Hear@Boston, serves as one of five HLAA chapters in Massachusetts. A peer group of volunteers who are affected by hearing loss, the chapter offers opportunities for friendship, mutual support, and creative involvement in projects and events related to chapter life, and all members are welcome to contribute to the many activities enriching the spirit of Hear@Boston.
The Boston chapter was created in 2004 by a talented Harvard University undergraduate, Patrick Holkins, following his internship in the HLAA national office in Bethesda, Maryland – an experience that prompted his decision to begin to manage his hearing loss more openly and actively.
Hear@Boston was born out of the need to create a hearing loss community for young adults in the Greater Boston area and to help people to live fully and with well being, despite the challenges of living with hearing loss. Originally made up of a small group of young people in their twenties and thirties, the chapter today includes a diverse and widened membership made up of people of all ages who have been touched in one way or another by the experience of living with hearing loss. Our membership includes parents of children with hearing loss, teens and young adults, partners of persons with hearing loss, working people and retirees.
The purpose of the HLAA Boston Chapter reflects that of the national organization: to empower people who have hearing loss by facilitating opportunities for social engagement, education and skill development.
HLAA Boston provides wonderful opportunities for people with hearing loss to work hand in hand with others experiencing similar challenges. We encourage all of our members to let us know their areas of interest and to use the resources of the chapter to create new programs or help with ones already established. Because we are a group of peer volunteers, we enthusiastically welcome your energies in support of chapter life in a wide range of areas, including
outreach and membership development;
advocacy initiatives, especially in promoting captions and assistive listening technologies, particularly loops, in public places;
Walk4Hearing planning and Walk day volunteering.
mentoring persons who are new to hearing loss and/or membership in the chapter.
We welcome your participation and support! To let us know if you’d like to join us, send us an email:
the Steering Committee can be reached at HLAABoston@gmail.com
the general membership can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEIGHBORING NEW ENGLAND HLAA CHAPTERS
HLAA Boston Chapter is neighbor to a network of HLAA New England chapters serving people with hearing loss who live in the North of Boston, Cape Cod, Plymouth, Central Massachusetts, and Eastern Connecticut areas. Like the more than 200 HLAA chapters across the U.S., each of the New England chapters is made up of peer volunteers committed to promoting resources for living well with hearing loss. Each chapter has its own history and set of key initiatives related to accessibility, education, skill development, and social connection.
North of Boston Chapter (primarily serving Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose and the North Shore) celebrates 25 years of service this year, offering an intimate, supportive environment and a program that emphasizes education and encouragement for young people with hearing loss through its scholarship program.
Central Massachusetts Chapter (primarily serving people in the areas near and west of rte. 495, including Worcester) is made up of a group of old and new HLAA volunteers who continue to offer support and resources to the hearing loss community. The Central MA Chapter has a longstanding history of excellent programming as well as generous support for the Walk4Hearing. The group meets in the Northborough Public LIbrary.
Cape Cod Chapter (primarily serving Southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the Islands) has a membership fee of only $10 a year. All meetings are free and open to the public. There are many activities you can help with–from baking for the coffee table to advocating for accessibility at your neighborhood theater and everything in between. Meetings are accessible to people with hearing loss: transcribed with CART (computer assisted real time transmission); accessible through an induction loop in the ceiling which works invisibly with the telecoil in your hearing aid to bring the sound directly to your ears; and, if you do not have a hearing aid, with the use of receivers and headphones to amplify the sound from the microphones.
Eastern Connecticut Chapter (serving all of CT except Fairfield County) is in its second year of programming and is growing in many ways. ECC provides a well rounded schedule of programs, including programs with a strong emphasis on aural rehabilitation, looping, and assistive technology. ECC has tremendous resources available in the form of its board members, professional advisor and supportive outside organizations.
All people affected by hearing loss are welcome to attend programs at any of the HLAA New England chapters. Information about events and programs can be found by following the links under “New England HLAA Chapters” at the bottom of this web page.
HEARING LOSS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
To learn about our parent organization, Hearing Loss Association of America, visit our special webpage about the benefits of membership in HLAA, or visit HLAA national’s membership page .