About Sun City Center HLAA Chapter
Our Sun City Center HLAA Chapter is one of 13 chapters in the State of Florida. There are well over 100 Chapters in the United States that offer services similar to what we offer here. We are a critical part of the national organization and conduct the mission of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).
Our Chapter is a 501(c)(3) volunteer organization of people who can not hear well.
Our Mission is to be the catalyst that makes mainstream society more accessible to people who are hard of hearing through education, information, advocacy, and support for the more than 260,000 hard of hearing people in the Hillsborough County community.
REASONS FOR JOINING OUR CHAPTER
We are a family with similar needs and wants. We all share one thing. We have a hearing loss.
Community of People
Self-help chapters provide an environment unique to those people who understand hearing loss and all of the issues that surround and pertain to it. Sharing, exchanging ideas and learning from each other are key tools for this group.
Hearing loss Stigma
Stigma implies a negative viewpoint, however overcoming and identifying steps available to bypass the business of titles will allow for moving in the right direction.
Understanding these will help us navigate through the consumer market as well as basic safety environments. It is better to be proactive and understand now, than wait until it may be too late.
Daily life presents ongoing challenges that require ways that are not so exhaustive but can be safe and useful for all people with hearing loss. Communicating depends on what is given and received. Deciding specifically what is needed is our journey today.
Communicating with Others
Learning how to speak to others about what you need or don’t need requires a serious but necessary step to continue on your journey of healthy hearing. Joining others making this trek will help you learn the steps as others have done the same.
Supplementing your Hearing
Often hearing aids or implants are not enough to hear your way through the day or around your environments. Around a table, in a theatre, or even in places that are noisy require other devices that compliment your hearing devices. Learn about what will help you hear well.
Making sure you are safe in any situation, requires that you know and share the latest information available for all people who have any degree of hearing loss. This applies for your personal safety as well as when you are out in the public sector.
Conversations with those who are near and dearest to you starts right at home. Understanding hearing loss and how to tune into communication with those immediately around you is paramount to being successful in hearing well.
Identifying any and all places that are noisy and are non-conducive to effective communication for people with hearing loss is the first step. Identifying ways to minimizing and working around these type of places will help you hear better with fewer interruptions.
Effective communications while traveling can be accomplished when preliminary outreach and planning is completed and complimentary technology is utilized.
Exchange of information, knowledge, encouragement, and shared experiences with others having hearing loss, helps to build confidence, assurance and understanding about your own hearing loss. Invisibility no more.
Sharing our HLAA
As Rocky Stone has shown us since the beginning, HLAA strives to give us the tools we need to live more successfully with hearing loss and to show WE DO NOT HAVE TO FACE HEARING LOSS ALONE.
History of our Chapter
By Eloise Schwarz, Steering Committee Leader 2020
This Chapter is now almost 14 years old. Some residents in our residential community remember when this Chapter was around years ago and met at the ‘church’ with their social club, as I have been told. I have pictures of those days that show what they were like and how they met then. Not like we have with our COVID restrictions, Zoom™ platform options and the new normal way of living as it were.
Our understanding of hearing loss and other diseases of the brain are more complex and deeper now than they were fourteen years ago. While there were hearing aids and cochlear implants then, very little was spoken of in research, legislation or across standards of practices like one can hear today. Demand for devices, consumerism, and insurance coverage is coming of age and rightly so since the statistics bear the evidence that support what needs to be done last year or even ten years ago.
Our Chapter has been working to provide chapter meetings for those interested in attending by both the internet/broadband method, for those capable of doing this during the Pandemic, to meetings in person. Returning to our partnership with St Andrew Presbyterian Church, we hold our meeting in Fellowship Hall where the Audio Loop System is installed. This accommodates those wearing hearing aids /cochlear implants with T-coils. Additionally, our chapter’s Clear Windowed Mask campaign provided over a thousand sewn masks for our community and beyond when it most mattered during the pandemic. Hospital Kits for residents and Emergency Communication Cards for our EMS providers were also distributed in our communities. Grants applied for helped cover for these projects.
New projects for 2022 are on the list including:
1) Library books for the deaf and hard of hearing.
2) FDA approved Surgical Clear Windowed Masks for Hospital/ERs and Clinics
3) Proper use of Audio Loop System Use in all Public Buildings in SCC
4) Captioning accessibility