Summer ’10 for the hearing aid industry was ushered in by meetings of the two major consumer organizations: The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), Bethesda, Md, and AG Bell, Washington.

In June, HLAA welcomed 800 people to Milwaukee for a 4-day meeting packed with educational and informational sessions, and AG Bell drew 1,500 people to their biennial convention in Orlando.
Presentations on the Hearing Aid Tax Credit by a staff member from the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), Washington, were greeted enthusiastically at both meetings. HLAA and AG Bell local members have been extremely influential in the Congressional events that HIA sponsors around the country to thank members of Congress who support the tax credit legislation, notes HIA. 

Efforts are under way to schedule events for Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Me) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich). Both are cosponsors of S 1019, Senator Harkin’s Hearing Aid Tax Credit bill.  At the same time, the coalition is working to schedule events for Representatives Dean Heller (R-Nev) and Pete Olson (R-Tex). Both would be hosted by groups that have previously held events for Representatives in their area. 
The tax credit coalition continues to work with lead sponsors Rep Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Sen Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), aiming to insure that the Hearing Aid Tax Credit is considered when major tax reform legislation moves to the top of the Congressional agenda. They are well supported by other Representatives and Senators, many of whom have attended coalition events back in their home districts, according to HIA.
At the HLAA convention, HIA provided a hearing screening booth for spouses and family members and local employers, to have their hearing checked.
A highlight of the HLAA meeting was a June 18 session titled Hearing Aid Research and Development: What It Means for the Consumer. Chaired with vast knowledge, care, and humor by Catherine Palmer, PhD, director of the Center for Audiology and Hearing Aids in the department of otolaryngology at the Eye & Ear Institute, UPMC, Pittsburgh, the 3-hour session featured presentations from HIA members companies: GN Resound, Oticon, Phonak, Siemens, Starkey, Unitron and Widex.

Highlights of the HLAA questions will be shared with HIA Members at the 2011 HIA annual meeting.

[Source: HIA]