Hearing Loss Association of America
People Helping People
Nashville Chapter
HLAANashvillechapter@gmail.com
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History
1979 Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc. (SHHH) is founded and incorporated as a non-profit educational membership organization by CIA retiree, Howard E. "Rocky" Stone of Bethesda, Maryland.
The induction loop is introduced to the Washington, D.C. Archdiocese by Rocky Stone, leading to its introduction elsewhere in the metro capital area.
1980 SHHH welcomes its first chartered SHHH Chapter in Gainesville, Georgia
Rocky Stone testifies before Congress on the problems of millions of Americans who are hard of hearing.
1981 Rocky Stone chairs a White House Conference on Aging and Hearing Loss (co-sponsored by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the National Association of the deaf, and Alexander Graham Bell Society). This conference was the first of its kind, bringing together consumers, government representatives, industry, medicine, and academia.
1982 Financed by Esso of Australia, Rocky Stone travels to Australia and SHHH gains international recognition with the establishment of the first sister organization --SHHH Australia.
1983 Rocky Stone is the keynote speaker at the First Canadian Conference of Hard of Hearing People.
1984 The first National Convention is held in Chicago. 450 people attend. Returning home after the Convention, attendees start local Chapters, growing to 122 Chapters by the end of the year.
Ann Landers advises readers with hearing loss to contact SHHH. She is awarded the first SHHH Walter T. Ridder Award for her support.
1985 SHHH has 140 chapters in 33 states.
SHHH becomes a member of the worldwide International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH).
SHHH and Gallaudet College form a Task Force on contemporary issues of hard of hearing young adults.
1986 SHHH has 170 chapters and groups in 41 states.
1987 Rocky Stone presents a paper at an International Conference, University of Bristol, England, and addresses the British Parliament.
SHHH members visit all U.S. Congressional offices and each Congressman/woman is presented with SHHH materials.
1988 After SHHH advocacy efforts, the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) is approved by Congress.
SHHH influences major hotel/motel chains to provide alerting/alarm equipment for guests.
1998 The Nashville Chapter of SHHH is formed and becomes a chartered chapter of National SHHH.
2005 SHHH changes its name to Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).
2006 The Walk4Hearing™ is launched in an effort to end the stigma associated with hearing loss and provide support and resources for hearing loss prevention and education programs. Six walks are conducted in four states: New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and California. The walk sites grew to 15 in 2007, 17 in 2008 and 21 in 2009.
2007 A new coalition, the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Telecommunications (COAT) of disability organizations is launched to advocate for legislation and regulatory safeguards that will ensure full access by people with disabilities to evolving high-speed broadband, wireless and other Internet Protocol (IP) technologies.
2007 Cordless phone manufacturers respond to HLAA advocacy by committing to make 100% of their digital phones hearing aid compatible.
2008 Brenda Battat becomes executive director of HLAA; Barbara Kelley becomes deputy executive director.
Because of all the letters written to FCC telling how much captioned telephone would help, WebCapTel service is introduced. This allows one to make a captioned telephone call from any phone, including a cell phone.
2009 The HLAA National Convention is held in Nashville, TN.
At the Opening Session at the Convention 2009 in Nashville, TN, Executive Director Brenda Battat, along with T. Alan Hurwitz, Ph.D., of NTID, announces an exciting partnership and agreement between HLAA and RIP and NTID that will benefit thousands of men and women who have suffered a hearing loss as a result of their service to our country, in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Brenda Battat joins President Barack Obama and disability representatives from around the country at the White House to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ground-breaking civil rights legislation for people with disabilities.
2010 HLAA advocated for: a mandate for captioned telephone nationwide; a hearing aid tax credit; the standard on classroom acoustics to be added to the Americans with Disabilities Act; captioned movies in theaters, on airline flights, at live events and on the Internet; hearing-aid-compatible wireless handsets; continuation of the infant screening law, and; access to 9-1-1 emergency preparedness.
President Barack Obama signed into law the 21st Century Communications Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (HLAA had input to this bill and testified for its passage). HLAA staff attends the signing at the White House.
2011 HLAA launches "Campaign to Make Hearing Aids Affordable". Components of the campaign include:
Increasing awareness about hearing loss and reducing stigma
Advocating for unbundling of hearing aids and professional services
Supporting low-cost options for consumers
Advocating for insurance coverage and tax relief in the states
Supporting the Hearing Aid Tax Credit legislation H.R. 1479 and S. 905
Creating an opportunity on the National HLAA website (hearingloss.org) to rate the hearing health services they receive and comment on their hearing aids
HLAA accepts the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) invitation to be a voting member of the Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC).
More than 1,800 people from 11 countries attend the 26th HLAA Convention held in Washington, D.C. The 2nd Annual International Hearing Loop Conference is held in conjunction with the HLAA National Convention.
Six hundred (600) attendees enjoyed the captioned and looped performance of the hit musical, "Wicked", at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This was the largest group of people with hearing loss ever to attend a performance at the Kennedy Center, and the first time the Opera House was equipped with a hearing loop.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was awarded the HLAA National Access Award for their extraordinary efforts to include people with hearing loss through real-time captioning, hearing assistive technology, and sign language interpretation. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts also provides access for people with loss of vision and people with mobility disabilities.
The Hearing Loss Association of America Nashville Chapter is a chartered chapter of the National Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). There are more than 200 Chapter and State Organizations in the United States, plus many international Chapters.

Howard E. "Rocky" Stone, of Potomac, Maryland, founded our organization in 1979. At that time, we were known as, "Self-Help for the Hard of Hearing (SHHH)." Rocky's goals were to educate the public and the government on the number of people in America with hearing loss and the problems they encounter. After only 25 years, SHHH was recognized as the largest organization for people with hearing loss in America. Rocky passed away in August, 2004. He received tributes from all over the world in recognition of his contributions.

In 2005, our organization's name was permanently changed to "Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)." Our mission is to open the world of communication for people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy, and support.

Since our inception in 1998, the Hearing Loss Association of America Nashville Chapter has become a recognized and respected source of information, education, advocacy, and support for people with hearing loss, their families, and friends. At this time, there are three (3) official Chapters in Tennessee – Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga --- a Murfreesboro group is currently in the early stages of development.
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