The below letter was published March 12 on the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) website:
Dear Chapter Leaders, Members, Walk4Hearing Participants, Corporate Partners, and Everyone in our HLAA Community,
Like everyone around the world, we here at HLAA are concerned about the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). All aspects of life as we know it has changed with many events being cancelled. I just heard today that my son’s university will be suspending classes for two weeks following their spring break which ends tomorrow.
Some of our HLAA Chapters have asked if they should continue to hold their meetings. I would say first and foremost, do what you think is best to protect your health and the health of our members. There might be people at increased risk, especially our older members and those with health conditions. Please know you are not required to hold meetings. Please follow the recommendations of your local public health officials and follow the CDC guidelines for safety. The CDC gives excellent advice for hand washing, staying home if you are sick, and other precautions. If you have the means to meet virtually, that is a great solution. A fine example of that is our Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter.
What’s Happening at the HLAA National Office?
The national office is located in Bethesda, Maryland, and a few hours ago we heard that all Maryland schools will be closed for two weeks. Regardless, HLAA is open for business. If needed, we have a plan in place for staff to telecommute and use all the virtual tools to keep working and serving you.
The HLAA2020 Convention is to be held in New Orleans, June 18-21. Registrations are coming in and, as of today, there are no plans to cancel the convention held in late June. We will continue to monitor the situation and follow the guidelines of the CDC and other sources. Let’s hope since the HLAA Convention is still three months away, we can go ahead as planned. We understand those of you who might wait to make plans.
Our 15th anniversary Walk4Hearing events are scheduled to begin in early May. We are hopeful that community efforts to curb the virus will allow the Walks to take place as envisioned. Rest assured, the Walk4Hearing and its goal to provide resources and support for people with hearing loss will go on. Please keep in touch through our Walk4Hearing communication channels as we update you regularly with the plans in conjunction with local Walk sites.
If there are any changes in HLAA plans or procedures, we will let you know. Please check the news section on our website. In the meantime, please stay healthy and safe. If you have any questions please reach out to me or any of my staff.
Image: HLAA website