2024 Walk4Hearing Events Kick off to Support Growing Number of People with Hearing Loss Across the U.S.

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 15, 2024 ~ As the number of Americans with hearing loss continues to grow, the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is taking action to raise awareness and funds for this widespread issue. The organization has announced the start of its 2024 Walk4Hearing season, which will include community support events in 21 cities across the United States from May through November.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in seven Americans and one billion young people worldwide are at risk for hearing loss due to noise exposure. In response to this alarming statistic, HLAA's Walk4Hearing events aim to bring hope and support to those living with hearing loss.

HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley emphasizes the importance of paying attention to one's hearing health, stating that it is often overlooked but critical for overall wellness. She also notes that the Walk4Hearing events provide a platform for people with hearing loss to connect with peers, local programs, and experts who can empower them to live well despite their condition.

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One inspiring story from last year's Walk4Hearing event involves a mother and daughter whose lives were changed by attending. This year's first walk will take place on May 18 in Michigan, followed by 20 others across the country through November.

To further spread awareness and encourage participation, HLAA has designated April 16 as Walk4Hearing Day. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences on social media using the hashtag #WhyIWalk4Hearing. Those interested in participating or donating can sign up on walk4hearing.org.

In addition to raising awareness, HLAA also advocates for accessible care, treatment, and communication for those with hearing loss. The organization recognizes that untreated hearing loss can lead to other serious conditions such as increased risk of falls, isolation, and depression.

Many of the Walk4Hearing events offer free hearing screenings and access to experts in hearing care and assistive technology. Local HLAA Chapters and State Organizations also provide community assistance at these events. Since its inception in 2006, Walk4Hearing has raised over $18 million for essential programs and resources.

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The 2024 Walk4Hearing has two national honorary co-chairs: Robert Engelke, president and founder of CapTel, Inc., a company that provides captioned telephones for people with hearing loss and low vision, and Brandon Sawalich, president and CEO of Starkey, one of the world's leading hearing technology companies. These partnerships are crucial in supporting HLAA's programs that aim to improve access to care and enhance the lives of those with hearing loss.

With the WHO predicting that the number of people with hearing loss will double by 2050, the messages of awareness and prevention promoted by Walk4Hearing are more critical than ever. To find a Walk near you, visit walk4hearing.org. Join HLAA in their mission to bring hope to thousands of people with hearing loss across the country.
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