LA Chapter Experiences the 2016 HLAA National Convention

It was an amazing 2016 HLAA National Convention! The LA Chapter was well represented with nine members attending, including the whole steering committee! Getting there and back home, well that was another story but everyone that attended can attest that it was well worth the experience.

Some Highlights

Thursday – There were two plenary sessions. First one was the academies and PCAST reports explained discussing in detail efforts underway to streamline affordable hearing care and providing more options for people with hearing loss to actually seek help. The second session discussed the latest news from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding accessible communications.

Later in the afternoon, there was a fun and educational open session featuring Don Doherty, HLAA Board of Trustee and Marine Corps Veteran as the emcee. Speakers included Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chair of the Disability Employee Resource Group and Chief Accessibility Officer of Microsoft, greetings from IFHOH President Ruth Warick, update on HLAA projects by HLAA Executive Directory Barbara Kelley and tips for communicating at the Convention from comedienne Gael Hannan (she was indeed funny!).

Friday – A three-hour Research Symposium was discussed regarding novel approaches toward addressing hearing loss and some cutting edge ideas led by moderator, Dr. Frank Lin from John Hopkins. Topics discussed included developing drugs for sensorineural hearing loss by Hinrich Staecker, M.D. Ph.D., stem cell therapy toward restoring hearing by Wade Chien, M.D., interventional audiology by Catherine Palmer, Ph.D., improving access to hearing health education and support in rural communities by Nicole Marrone, Ph.D., and community focused affordable accessible hearing care by Carrie Nieman, M.D..

In the evening, individuals had a choice to join other fellow attendees to a scavenger hunt or monuments by night bus tour. A lot of fun either way!

Saturday – A day filled with numerous workshops to learn more in areas including advocacy, assistive technology, hearing aids and cochlear implants, living your life, and state/chapter development. Too much information to digest so probably a good reason to return next year!

Sunday – A day to wind down and head to the airport. In the morning there was an awards breakfast and ceremony to honor those who have made a difference to the lives of those with hearing loss. Pat attended and may provide further details.

If anyone would like further details and information, please let Tim know. Files from the presenters were included for further reference!