It can be hard to know where to find help when you have hearing loss. Luckily, many organizations exist to improve access and advocate for those with hearing difficulties in Southern California.
Deaf Counseling Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA)
The DCARA is a non-profit organization supported by the Office of Deaf Access of the California Department of Social Services. It advocates for better communication opportunities for hard of hearing people and fair access to education and jobs.
It also provides:
- communication access assistance
- independent living skills
- career services
- peer support
- information & referral services
- community education
- seminars and social activities on topics like American Sign Language and coping skills for dealing with employment issues.
Orange County Deaf Equal Access Foundation (OC DEAF)
The Orange County Deaf Equal Access Foundation's (OC DEAF) mission ensures that deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, and deaf impaired people have equal access to the same resources as their hearing counterparts.
The general aims and powers of the association are focused on promoting the social, recreational, cultural, educational, and occupational well-being of its deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, and deaf impaired constituents.
OC DEAF provides services such as employment assistance, interpreter referrals, and community education.
Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc. (GLAD)
Serving the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Luis Obispo, GLAD's general aim is to promote the educational, health, housing, vocational, cultural, social, and recreational welfare of deaf and hard of hearing constituents.
GLAD offers a range of programs to help deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, and deaf impaired people improve their quality of life, such as advocacy, affordable housing, and job opportunities.
Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) - Los Angeles chapter
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the nation's leading organization serving those with hearing loss. Founded in 1979 by Howard E. "Rocky" Stone, it aims to raise awareness about hearing loss in the local community.
The Los Angeles branch of the Hearing Loss Association of America meets for coffee on the fourth Saturday of each month (except May, November, and December). They also host frequent events such as poetry readings and talks by experts on hearing loss.
Hearing loop systems aren't anything new; in fact, you may have seen them in your local theater or city hall. Many public places have loop systems that enable hearing aid users to move their hearing aids to 'T' or "telecoil" mode. This sends a much clearer sound of the performance or event directly to your hearing aid.
Here are a few examples of hearing loop-enabled venues in Southern California.
Los Angeles International Airport: Induction loops have been installed in some parts of LAX, which will make your next visit to the airport much easier if your hearing aid has a T-coil.
Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena: The Pasadena Playhouse is a landmark Pasadena performing arts venue. For T-coil users, the auditorium is fully looped. Open captioning is also available at some Sunday matinees. Audience members who request open captioning are seated in front of a video screen that displays text explanations synchronized to the onstage action.
St. John the Evangelist Church, San Diego: Many places of worship in the Southern California area feature a hearing loop. This can work wonders as the familiar sound in large open places of worship tend to create echoey, reverberated speech that is tricky for hearing aid users to understand.
If you're looking for more information on how to navigate life with hearing loss in SoCal, contact us today!