The April 15, 2013 bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three and injured more than 260 others. One day after the Boston attack, One Fund Boston was formed by Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas M. Menino with the purpose of helping those most affected by the tragic Boston Marathon bombings. In June this year, One Fund announced that an additional $18 million would be distributed to the victims of the Marathon bombings on top of the $61 million already disbursed.
Members of HLAA’s Board of Trustees and our Boston Chapter were present at a news conference June 20, 2014 in support of Boston Bombing victims who suffered significant hearing loss and tinnitus as a result of the bombings. These were runners and friends who were close to the blast and while their arms and legs are intact, their hearing is not. These victims say that One Fund Boston fails to recognize the serious nature of hearing loss, tinnitus and mental health issues.
In setting up protocol for distribution of the funds, One Fund Boston looked only at physical disabilities. For head injuries, One Fund Boston determined that “innovative programming would be a better way to facilitate meaningful long-term assistance.”
HLAA sent comments to One Fund Boston to urge them to include people with hearing loss as part of the protocol for disbursement of funds directly to victims of the bombings. HLAA believes theirs is a flawed analysis of the impact of hearing loss, and a flawed delivery plan for services. People who suffered serious hearing loss at the Boston bombing should not be dismissed by Boston’s One Fund as requiring less than others who were injured.