Since its founding in May as one of just four Wisconsin chapters of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the Door County chapter has been holding monthly meetings with attendance of up to 25. The chapter is dedicated to providing information, education, friendship, sharing and support to individuals with hearing impairments and their family members.
Meetings are held monthly on the fourth Wednesday at 10:30 am at the Aging & Disability Resource Center, 916 N. 14th Ave. in Sturgeon Bay.
The speaker at the Oct. 23 meeting will be Dr. Cassandra Bedore, a doctor of audiology who was herself diagnosed with hearing loss at a young age.
“This allows me to relate to my patients and their talents on a different level,” she said, “and provide comfort during this process.” Bedore will discuss tinnitus.
Speakers at recent meetings have included a Sturgeon Bay police officer, who talked about how a person with hearing impairments can effectively interact with police; a representative of the Door County Medical Center, who discussed what a person with hearing impairments can do to ensure full communication during a medical appointment or emergency-room visit; a representative of the Wisconsin Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, who spoke about that agency’s resources and services; and a speaker from Options for Independent Living in Green Bay, who demonstrated several devices to help people with hearing impairments to use telephones and TV more effectively and to communicate more easily in restaurants.
In November, the chapter will travel to the Wisconsin HLAA Convention in Appleton. There will be no meeting in December. The meeting on Jan. 22, 2020, will feature an activity that’s especially popular with the group: Hearing Other People’s Experiences, or HOPE. It’s a time for sharing problems, solutions, feelings and information.
Juliette Sterkens, a leading doctor of audiology from Oshkosh and a strong proponent of induction hearing loop technology, spoke at a chapter meeting last summer. In part due to her advocacy, 22 facilities in Door and Kewaunee counties – including Peninsula Players, the Door Community Auditorium and the Gould Theater at the Northern Sky Creative Center – are now equipped with the loop system to enhance hearing for those with hearing aids or cochlear implants.
To learn more about the Door County HLAA chapter, call Stan Whiteman at 920.868.2997.