The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), launched the start the 2016 Walk4Hearing program with Spring walks in May, Better Hearing and Speech Month. The Walk4Hearing, now in its 11th year, has raised over $10 million for people with hearing loss, and is the largest event of its kind in the US. Thousands of people come out each year to walk in support of those with hearing loss.
The HLAA Walk4Hearing takes place in 22 cities across the country, with Spring Walks occurring through June. Fall Walks will begin in September and go through November. Find a Walk near you by looking at the complete list of dates and locations. The theme for this year’s HLAA Walk4Hearing is Step Up for People with Hearing Loss and Communication Access! Each Walk4Hearing event will have information available to assist walkers, their families, and loved ones on the journey to better communication access.
Walk4Hearing is intended to increase awareness about hearing loss, help to eradicate the stigma associated with it, and raise funds to provide information and support for people with hearing loss. Money raised through the HLAA Walk4Hearing serves several purposes, assisting both local programs to provide much needed services for their hearing loss community, as well as furthering the efforts of HLAA in their national support and advocacy work.
With this year’s theme, Step Up for People with Hearing Loss and Communication Access!, the HLAA Walk4Hearing is issuing a call to action, not just for walkers, but for all 48 million people in the US who have a hearing loss – along with their families and loved ones – to step up and advocate for better communication access for themselves.
“There’s nothing like seeing family, friends and alliance partners come together on walk day for a common goal – to create awareness, raise funds, and have fun,” said HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley. “The Walk4Hearing is one of HLAA’s most visible programs in support of those with hearing loss, and we want to use that visibility to encourage people to seek better communication access in their daily lives.”
Hearing loss is an invisible condition, and many who experience it face challenges in their everyday lives that people with more visible disabilities do not. But there are steps people with hearing loss can take to gain greater access to communication, and HLAA is challenging people to take some of those steps to ultimately improve their quality of life.
HLAA is providing tips for people with and without a hearing loss to better communicate, and also invites people to share their ideas and success stories on the Walk4Hearing Facebook page and on Twitter @Walk4Hearing, #CommAccess. Those who don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account can still share a photos, ideas, or success stories by sending them to [email protected] with “Call to Action” in the subject line.