In February, SHHH Deputy Executive Director Brenda Battat received a 2005 Oticon Focus on People Award for her outstanding advocacy work on behalf of people with hearing loss. Oticon awards honor hard of hearing people who prove that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to live a full, productive, and even, inspiring life.

In March, two booklets for consumers about cochlear implants: When Hearing aids Aren’t Enough (revised) and Questions to Ask Your Surgeon are mailed to 25,000 professionals and 10,000 randomly chosen consumers. Bulk mailings of the publications are also sent to other groups such as BHI, AARP, cochlear implant clinics and all SHHH chapters and state organizations. The project is sponsored Cochlear Americas.

Prior to the July 4th celebration, the 20th International Convention is held in Washington DC. It commemorates the 25th anniversary of the founding of SHHH. During the Convention, the Stone family holds a Memorial Celebration of the Life of Rocky Stone. At the organization’s banquet, the Howard E. “Rocky” Stone Humanitarian is awarded to Alice Marie (Ahme) Stone, the beloved wife of the founder. Award-winning singer songwriter Mary Sue Twohey performed a lovely “Ode to Rocky Stone.”

A 2005 SHHH Telecommunications Access Award is presented to FCC Commissioner Michael Copps following his presentation on the progress in telecommunications accessibility for people with hearing loss. At the 12th Annual Research Symposium, leading scientists shared the results of their research into the developments in stem cell research and hearing loss.

With the integration of the Cochlear Implant Association Inc. (CIAI) into SHHH, Hearing Loss Magazine introduces “Cochlear Implants: Today and Tomorrow”, a section of each issue of magazine devoted to cochlear implants.

In September SHHH responds to the devastation caused Hurricane Katrina by establishing the hear2care project. SHHH serves as a depot for donations of money, batteries, hearing aids and assistive devices to be distributed to victims. Several hearing health related businesses and organizations provide services along with donations.

During the year, membership is enhanced with the addition of several benefits to including discounts with car rental agencies, Best Western Hotels, and Costco stores.

In the fall, the first class of the American Academy of Hearing Loss Support Specialists launches. The Academy is a self-paced online, distance learning certificate program designed to build knowledge about hearing loss, increase understanding, improve services and enhance the professionalism and credibility of people in diverse professions who provide support services to people with hearing loss and their families.

During the November 2005 Board of Trustees meeting, the board votes to change the name of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People to the Hearing Loss Association of America. Richard Meyer, president of the SHHH Board of Trustees stated, “This strategic decision is a significant milestone in SHHH’s 25–year history. While remaining committed to the vision of founder Rocky Stone, SHHH is evolving to best meet the needs of people with hearing loss today and in the future, continuing to be a pioneer in advocacy and support for consumers with hearing loss.”

Terry D. Portis, Ed. D., executive director of SHHH stated, “SHHH needs to position itself to meet the needs of a new generation of people with hearing loss while continuing to serve the constituents who rely on us today. I believe that by updating our name and image we will be

better able to communicate our message and fulfill our mission. SHHH expects to complete the transition to the Hearing Loss Association of America in March 2006.”

Hearing Loss publication gets name change to Hearing Loss Magazine.