experience hlaa banner

Presented by

CapTel Captioned Telephone logo

Experience HLAA! – A Virtual Success!

Like many associations and conferences taking place during COVID-19, HLAA 2020 was canceled. To bring information to people with hearing loss, HLAA hosted Experience HLAA! on June 18 and 19, a virtual convention, unlike anything the organization has ever done. Our founder, Rocky Stone, would be proud. The event featured two days of informational and educational webinars on subjects ranging from regenerative medicine and workplace advocacy for those with hearing loss to tinnitus as part of the annual Research Symposium.

This year HLAA also took its exhibit hall online as well, showcasing sponsor websites along with a well- rounded rotating lineup of sponsor ads which were educational and inspiring.

In fact, HLAA saw its highest average of attendees on day one with nearly 800 people tuned in. Around 2,400 combined registered for the event and another interesting statistic—83% of attendees viewed the convention on a desktop PC or laptop.

Statistics taken from an HLAA survey after the virtual convention reveals 400 attendees attended the live Research Symposium on tinnitus. The reaction to the symposium was very good, with many stating they gained insight on the subject matter and enjoyed the presentation along with the Q&A.

Experience HLAA! Opening Session


Barbara Kelley
Executive Director, Hearing Loss Association of America

Rob Engelke
President and CapTel Inventor

David Owen
Author, Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World

Brandon Sawalich
Chair, Board of Directors, Hearing Industries Association Summary: Opening remarks to start off the Experience HLAA Convention.

Video Recording

Opening Session

The Potential for Regenerative Medicine to Restore Hearing Loss

Today, new potential treatments are being developed to provide patients a solution for hearing loss and help improve the clarity of sound by restoring the biology that enables natural hearing function. From regenerative medicines to gene and cell therapies, emerging categories of potential medicines may introduce new treatment paradigms for physicians and patients while potentially transforming the standard of care. What could this future look like and how could it benefit patients with hearing loss?


Carl LeBel
Ph.D., Chief Development Officer, Frequency Therapeutics

Justin Golub
M.D., Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, Columbia University

Christina Runge
Ph.D., Professor of Otolaryngology & Communication Sciences, Medical College of Wisconsin

Moderator: Carrie Nieman
M.D., HLAA Board member, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Video Recordings


Presentation Q&A

Workplace Gain: A Discussion on Self-Advocacy, Marketing and Navigating the Workplace with Hearing Loss

You’ve secured an interview or a great job with an exciting new team. Now what? Are you concerned about when or how to disclose your hearing loss, or what accommodations are available to you? Are you nervous about fitting in with your team or proving yourself in your role? Join this panel discussion with representatives from two large employers to learn about the employer’s perspective on hearing loss in the workplace. Panel members will discuss workplace culture, disclosing hearing loss, accommodations, self-advocacy, and how to successfully navigate the workplace with hearing loss, leaving plenty of time for questions. By the end of the session, you will be prepared to turn your hearing loss into a workplace gain.


Greg Pollock
Accessibility Officer, PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

Theodore Shomsky
Business Systems Analyst, PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

Elizabeth Tsukimura
Program Manager, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, The Boeing Company

Moderator: Kelly Tremblay
Ph.D., HLAA Board member

Video Recordings


Presentation Q&A

Research Symposium: The Latest on Tinnitus Research

Sponsored by

Cochlear logo with tagline Hear now. And Always

Each year at the HLAA Convention we convene professionals to speak on specific areas of hearing health research. This year’s topic is “The Latest on Tinnitus Research.” The Symposium featured talks by top scientists and clinicians who explained what tinnitus is, what causes it, what is available for treatment and management, and how researchers are thinking about treatment and prevention in the future. The Symposium is supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and sponsored by Cochlear. Here are the presenters for this year’s Research Symposium.


Lynn Henselman
Ph.D., U.S. Army (Retired), Senior Health Care Consultant, Pharos Group Incorporated

Colleen G. Le Prell
Au.D., Professor of Audiology, University of Texas at Dallas

Richard S. Tyler
Ph.D., Professor of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Moderator: Kelly Tremblay
Ph.D., HLAA Board member, Research Symposium Program Committee

Hearing Loss and the Health Care System: A Call to Action

This session will review epidemiologic data on the association of hearing loss and important health care outcomes including utilization, cost, satisfaction with care, and perception of physician-interactions. In addition, this session will cover translational implementation initiatives to address hearing loss in the inpatient setting and advocacy approaches to improve care across the United States health care system.


Nicholas Reed
Au. D., Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University

HLAA Wishes to Thank the Following Sponsors
for Their Generosity in Supporting Experience HLAA!


Presenting Sponsor Level

CapTel Captioned Telephone logo

Platinum Sponsor Level

T-Mobile logo

Silver Sponsor Level

CTIA logo

Starkey logo