Hearing loss conventions are so much fun! You meet some of the best people in the world and learn things too. Both Julia and I (Chelle) have been to several conventions and we have have a good time. As we prepare for our journey north to Vancouver, Canada for the SayWhatClub annual convention, we thought we would share some past memories with you.
Chelle: I love meeting up with the HoH (Hard of Hearing) tribe at the various annual hearing loss conferences. A definition of tribe according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: A group of persons having a common character, occupation or interest. (Just so you know, the tribe includes our hearing family and friends.) Nothing feels better than being around others who get it in a world made for hearing loss with the proper accommodations.
Why I love hearing loss conventions…
- First and foremost, I adore the people. Some of the best people I know have hearing loss. I have a lot of fun connecting with old friends and making new friends.
- Second, I learn something every year from the people who attend, presenters and attendees. We share what we’ve learned and experienced and the strategies we use. New technology is shared and we learn about new research.
- Third I get to see a different part of the country every time I attend. Half the fun is the travel, the site seeing and finding the character of each city we visit.
Here is a sample of some of the fun I’ve had at past hearing loss conventions.
HoH People Know How to Have a Good Time Together
As you can see, I’m all about having fun at hearing loss conventions, no matter where I am. My Burning Man days are still very much a part of me so I’ll go with feather boas, tiaras and if a friend brings bug eye glasses, hell yeah! I’ve worn super tall balloon hats, fancy dresses and gone western for a theme.
The Places I’ve Been
I’ve camped in Rocky Mountain National Park with about 30 HoH people. I’ve been to Providence RI, Williamsburg VA, Madison WI, Rochester NY, Minneapolis, Savannah GA and Nashville. These are all places I’ve explored only because of hearing loss conventions. I’ve had a good time in each city with memories that will stay with me forever.
The Things I’ve Learned
Because I’ve been to hearing loss conventions, I’ve made some great connections with others in the field and learned things. No matter how long I’ve been at it, I’m still learning things. Did you know the speech banana moves around on the audiogram scale according to female, male and children’s voices? How about Nashville allows those with hearing loss to register their car as it’s likely to have a HoH driver? (It’s not on the license plate.) I have heard advocacy updates for the country via John Waldo, a disability lawyer, at ALDA cons. That and more. Hearing loss conventions are valuable in so many ways.
Have you seen our post on Tribe from July of 2021?
Add to Your Bucket List
Julia: Is travel at the top of your bucket list? Traveling to a hearing loss convention is a great way to combine your summer vacay bucket list with great people, new experiences and FUN. Each convention has a little bit of a different feel so try them all. You always have great company, great food, and you never stop learning.
Chelle and I (Julia) use convention time as a great opportunity to get out of our office dungeons and travel. We like meeting with those we’ve connected with and look for odd stops a long the way.
I love all the challenges that SayWhatClub throws my way when it comes to captioning. Comedy Clubs, Riverboat Tours, Saloons with live music and lessons in country line dancing.
If every conference and convention offered inclusion and accommodation options without having people request or have to arrange it beforehand wouldn’t that be… Well the bees knees! It really can be very easy to incorporate loop, fm/wifi systems, CART and ASL. Companies have so many options to make their events inclusive. Why wait for an attendee or employee to ask for accommodations? Just put it in your budget and do the right thing. I have said it in many past blogs if small organizations and businesses like us can find quality captioning at a reasonable price, any one can! I have vast experience and a large pool of captioning contacts so I can help you find a great fit for your business. Chelle knows how to lay a portable loop and she has a plethora of experience with many different fm and wifi systems. Set up a one-on-one class with us today!
Plan a Hearing Loss Conference Next Year
The Hearing Loss Association of America will announce their next location sometime this week. The SayWhatClub will announce their next location the second week in July. It’s not too late to join the ALDA con in Austin, TX October 30 – November 3, 2023. Their early bird rate ends June 30th, so check it out now.
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