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On September 29, 2013 in Riverside Park in New York City, members of the New York City Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) Walk4Hearing will join together to raise funds for and awareness about hearing loss.

HLAA sponsors 22 walks in cities across the country. Here’s a list of walks this fall in addition to the one in New York:

September 22: Pennsylvania (Newtown Square)

September 28: Minnesota (Minneapolis) and Ohio (Lima)

October 5: Missouri (St. Louis)

October 6: Illinois (Chicago)

October 12: North Carolina (Clemmons)

October 20: New Jersey (West Windsor)

October 22: Massachusetts (Brighton)

November 2: Texas (Houston)

November 3: Washington D.C. (Tidal Basin)

November 9: Florida (Jacksonville)

Suzanne D’Amico, the Northeast Region Walk4Hearing coordinator says Walk4Hearing has a threefold purpose, which is: 1) To raise public awareness about hearing loss; 2) to raise funds for national and local support programs and resources for people with hearing loss; and 3) to bring together persons with hearing loss, their families, friends and the local community for a day of celebration and empowerment.  D’Amico, who first got involved with HLAA and Walk4Hearing as a response to her daughter’s hearing loss, says Walk4Hearing is a fun event that brings awareness to something that affects many people.

At their kickoff event in early August, the New York City Chapter learned about Walk4Hearing’s national mission, its beneficiaries, and heard from a variety of speakers, including Commissioner Victor Calise from the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, and Kristie D’Agnes, last year’s top local NYC and national Walk4Hearing Fundraiser, whose own experiences with hearing loss inspired her to get involved with the organization.

The kickoff event catered to deaf and hard of hearing guests with audio equipment and an induction loop provided by Metro Sound Pros. The induction loop transmitted the audio feed directly into audience members’ cochlear implant(s) or hearing aid(s) and two sign language interpreters took turns translating the entire evening. Additionally, thanks to Total Caption, a large TV screen captioned each speech as it occurred. This technology, which is similar to the closed captioning on our TVs at home, captures spoken words on a screen in real time.

If you’re interested in learning more about HLAA’s Walk4Hearing, or would like to find a walk near you, visit http://hlaa.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=walk_home_page.

by Leah Sininsky