Who is an HLAA Leader?

  • Chapter presidents
  • State association and state office leaders
  • Chapter coordinators
  • Anyone who holds an office or heads a committee
  • Potential leaders being groomed to step up when the time comes for a change in leadership

The Hearing Loss Association of America and its state organizations (associations and offices) and chapters are all one organization. States and chapters are a critical part of the national organization and carry out the mission of HLAA within states and communities while they represent HLAA. This reach into the grassroots across the country is crucial to creating awareness about hearing loss through local programs and outreach. HLAA is dedicated to helping our leaders across the country to start and grow a successful state organization, chapter, or chapters within a state.

Stay informed by subscribing to HLAA’s online communications:

We highly value the work of HLAA State organizations and Chapters because they improve the lives of people with hearing loss. Thank you for working with HLAA to ensure that people with hearing loss participate fully in life. We could never accomplish our mission without dedicated volunteers like you.

Below you will find a wealth of information – everything from starting a chapter, to promotion and publicity and everything in between!  A dedicated staff person, HLAA Chapter Coordinator, is here to support you. Call 301.657.2248 or email whenever you have questions or concerns.

Although I've lived with hearing loss for over 30 years, it wasn't until I attended an HLAA New York City Chapter meeting that I met so many people who openly embrace living well with hearing loss. They advocate for themselves and for others. Many have become cherished friends. Holly Cohen

Start a Chapter

Thank you for your interest in starting an HLAA Chapter. You are joining a distinguished core of volunteers who have brought HLAA to their communities to reach out to people with hearing loss.  A chapter begins as a support and information group. Step-by-step with your efforts and our guidance, the group will develop into an HLAA Chapter.

Please contact chapters@hearingloss.org if there is anything you don’t understand or have questions about.

Guide to Developing an HLAA Chapter

Ideas for Meetings

HLAA Chapters meetings draw people in to come and learn about hearing loss and meet others who share in trying to live well with hearing loss. Peer support always underlines meetings, but interesting meeting topics will get people to come and keep coming back. In general, any time you involve everyone in the room in an activity or discussion, they feel recognized and are more likely to come get involved.

Share your ideas with other leaders and program committee members!

Post them on the HLAA Official Leaders List, or send them to Chapters@hearingloss.org.

Annual Requirements

Just the term “Annual Requirements” may sound daunting, but the requirements are critical since our network of Chapters and State organizations is the backbone of HLAA.

Legal and Governance

As an established entity, HLAA Chapters have certain obligations as they represent all of the Hearing Loss Association of America in their states and local communities. At HLAA’s national office, we work to keep the number of requirements for the state organizations and chapters to a bare minimum. We have listed below those legal and governance requirements.


HLAA is organized as a nonprofit corporation and qualifies for exemption from federal income tax under IRS section 501(c) (3). An HLAA State Office or Chapter may apply for exemption under HLAA’s federal IRS application or they may apply individually as a state office or chapter.

Publicity and Promotion

Basic business and marketing tools are necessary for a nonprofit to create credibility. Presenting a professional and wholesome image online as well as through marketing resources such as pamphlets, brochures, and newsletters allows the organization to gain trust with donors and members. Accurate and professional presentation allows a nonprofit to increase funding through direct financial contributions and in-kind donations. All communications made on behalf of the organization must project the desired professional image.

Publicity is created when the public or media outlets (such as newspapers, magazines, television news programs, etc) give attention to a cause or organization. An example of publicity would be the Walk4Hearing being mentioned in a local newspaper. Promotion, however, entails communicating the purpose of the organization or cause to current or potential members, advertisers, etc. An example of promotion would be a billboard advertisement for the Walk4Hearing.

By having a plan for how to publicize meetings and events, state organizations and chapters will be able to promote the organization to people with hearing loss, as well as their friends and families.

Chapter Development Workshop Recordings

The Future of Hearing Care: Are You Ready? – September 27, 2021
presented by Christopher Furlan, Ida Institute

Watch Recording  View Presentation

Tech Help is on the Way Workshop 6-Part Series: Session 5 : How to Use the Internet and Email – August 19, 2021
presented by Ann Thomas and Alan Katsura

Watch Recording  View Presentation

Tech Help is on the Way Workshop 6-Part Series: Session 4: How to Use Groups.io – May 13, 2021

presented by Ann Thomas and Alan Katsura

Watch Recording  View Presentation 

Tech Help is on the Way Workshop 6-Part Series: Session 3: Follow-up Discussion – April 16, 2021

presented by Ann Thomas and Alan Katsura

Watch Recording   

Tech Help is on the Way Workshop 6-Part Series: Session 2: How to Run Zoom Settings As Host – April 1, 2021
presented by Ann Thomas and Alan Katsura

Watch Recording  View Presentation  Zoom Support links

Tech Help is on the Way Workshop 6-Part Series: Session 1: How to Set up Zoom Settings As Host – March 25, 2021

presented by Ann Thomas and Alan Katsura

Watch Recording  View Presentation  Zoom Setting Recommendations

How To Set Up Meetings in Zoom – February 12, 2021
presented by Debbe Hagner, Florida State Association co-president

Watch Recording  View Presentation

HLAA Midwest Chapters Winter Rendezvous with HLAA Executive Director, Barbara Kelley – January 9, 2021

Watch Recording  View Presentation

Engaging Discussion about Good Hearing Care – November 18, 2020
presented by Bert Meijers, Ida Institute

Watch Recording  View Presentation

Tips and Steps Setting S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals for Your Chapter – October 26, 2020
presented by Debbie Schaaf, Ohio State Chapter Coordinator

Watch Recording  View Presentation

What Level is Your Chapter? (What Level Do You Want It To Be?) – August 17, 2020
presented by Beth Wilson from HLAA Central Massachusetts Chapter

Watch Recording  View Presentation

Amplifying the Next Generation of HLAA Leaders – July 30, 2020
presented by Deb Dietz, Anecia Lockhart, and Carrie Leising from HLAA Austin Chapter

Watch RECORDING  View Presentation

Branding and Business Tools for HLAA Leaders – July 16, 2020
presented by Ann Thomas, HLAA Brand Ambassador and President, HLAA Diablo Valley Chapter

Watch Recording   View Presentation

State and Chapter Leaders Meeting – May 15, 2020
Our first virtual State and Chapter Leaders Meeting with Barbara Kelley, executive director, and Lise Hamlin, director of public policy.