What is N-CHATT?

N-CHATT, the Network of Consumer Hearing Assistive Technology Trainers, is a volunteer, consumer train-the-trainer program. The program’s goal is to build a network of consumer trainers with the knowledge and skills necessary to train others impacted by hearing loss. Trainers assist others in the successful integration of hearing assistive technology to support individual hearing and communication needs at home, work, school, and in the community.

What comprises the N-CHATT program?

The N-CHATT program includes both online and in-person training for conducting community training events, with the option to continue to participate in the N-CHATT network of consumer trainers after the year-long activities conclude. The online training includes webinars and eight online modules completed over a six months period. The online portion of the program is followed by an in-person, two-day training session in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with presentations on training activities and hearing assistive technology topics, hands-on technology exploration, and opportunities for training practice and interactive learning. Following training, individuals attend the national HLAA convention. The program is meant to ensure trainers are comfortable in their roles and responsibilities before they conduct their three (3) required, community-training events.

Who runs this training program?

The Hearing Loss Association of America runs this program in partnership with Gallaudet University and the American Institutes for Research. The training is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), through Gallaudet University’s Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) (Grant # 90RE5020).

How long does the program last?

The program begins in October and continues through the following September. Each participant must commit to participating in the program for one year. This includes completing all online training modules, participating in webinars, attendance at the in-person, two-day training session, attendance at the HLAA Convention  in June and completion of 3 community-training events.

How do I apply for the program?

To be considered for participation in the program, you must complete an online application form that includes submitting a resume and a list of three references. The annual application process begins in May and ends in July.

Should I apply again, if I applied for the program last year but wasn’t selected?

Yes! If you submitted an application last year but were not selected as a trainer, please consider applying again. We had a very large pool of qualified applicants, but were only able to accept a small number of individuals.

How do I know if I am qualified to become a consumer trainer?

The program seeks individuals with hearing loss who use hearing assistive technology and have some training experience. Participants in the program: 1) have experience making presentations, 2) are experienced and comfortable using hearing assistive technology that enhances listening in personal and public situations and 3) are either HLAA members or willing to become a member of HLAA prior to the start of training.

What am I expected to do during the training program?

During the one-year program, participants will be expected to complete all online training modules, participate in all webinars, and attend an in-person two-day training session in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Part of training will also include participants providing input and feedback on the training itself for continuous quality improvement of materials and training implementation.

What am I expected to do upon completion of formal training?

After completing the formal training, you must commit to lead a minimum of 3 community training events for consumers (i.e., individuals with hearing loss and those who work with individuals with hearing loss in the community) within one year of the start of the program. You will be provided, if needed, hearing assistive technology on a loaner basis for your community presentations. You will collect and report feedback to HLAA from each of your training events. Also, you will be required to attend the national HLAA convention, typically held in June, following the in-person training.

Will I be paid for this opportunity?

No, trainers are not paid. Participation in the training and your provision of community training is completely VOLUNTARY.

What costs can I expect to incur if I am interested in participating in this program?

There is no application fee. There also are no tuition fees for either the online course or in-person training, both with subject matter experts.. For the two-day, in-person training, all materials, breakfast, lunch and lodging will be provided at no cost to participants. However, participants are responsible for their own dinner and transportation to the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Participants are responsible for registration and expenses related to travel and attendance at the national HLAA convention in June.

Whom do I contact if I am interested in learning more about N-CHATT?

Visit the N-CHATT Training page for more information. For additional questions, please feel free to contact us at: n-chatt@hearingloss.org.