The Hearing Aid Industry Association (HIA), Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), and Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AGBell) hosted events in Iowa and Pennsylvania to thank Congressional champions for their support of the Hearing Aid Tax Credit (HR 1479).
Local ASHA and IHS members led the effort to organize a Congressional Brunch in Council Bluffs, Iowa, for Rep Tom Latham, lead sponsor of HR 1479, and co-chairman of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus.
The summer brunch attracted 50 local activists and featured presentations by Council Bluffs residents Melanie Fry, Lori Shields, and Howard Shipley who discussed the impact of hearing loss on their lives. Rep Latham has three brothers with profound hearing loss, and his father used hearing aids, as does his 95-year-old mother. He emphasized that using hearing aids "can mean the difference between having a job and not having a job" and that hearing aids also enable children to learn at the same level as their classmates.
The second event, held in Exton, Pa, was organized by HLAA of Pennsylvania, the Pensylvania chapter of AG Bell, and the Pennsylvania Hearing Healthcare Association. It attracted 100 hearing health activists, reports HIA.
Diana Bender, Christopher Brown, Alan Kutner, and Matthew Weintraub discussed the impact of hearing loss on their lives, and Rep Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania focused on the effort to enact the tax credit when major tax reform is considered in the coming year. Gerlach was introduced at the program by Bob Stewart of the Pennsylvania Hearing Healthcare Association.
A total of 15 similar events have been held during the past 5 years in California, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin.
For more information on upcoming events, contact HIA’s Andy Bopp.
(Photo: HIA’s Andy Bopp, left, with Rep Tom Latham)