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Your most important resources for audiology information are your audiologist and otolaryngologist (ENT). The internet also has plenty of information on hearing loss, hearing aids and more. Please check with your health care provider to make sure online information is accurate for your unique situation.
Our team considers the following organizations to be trustworthy sources of information.
Hearing Loss Association of America is the largest organization for people with hearing loss and has over 250 chapters across the country. It is a national voice for people who are hard-of-hearing in the United States. www.hearingloss.org or call 301-657-2248 (voice/TTY)
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) provides information for both children and adults. AG Bell has sections for parents of children with hearing loss, national programs, advocacy and local chapter contacts. www.agbell.org or 202-337-5220
American Tinnitus Association offers both information and support for individuals experiencing tinnitus with both local chapters and online support groups. www.ata.org
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the professional, scientific and credentialing association for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists in the United States and internationally. www.asha.org
Association of Late-Deafened Adults provides support for individuals who find themselves new to hearing loss later in life. There is a small number of local chapters; however, you can participate in the online chat and email forums. www.alda.org or call 866-402-2532 (voice/TTY)
Say What Club is an online support group that communicates primarily through email. There are subgroups within the listing dedicated to specific topics. www.saywhatclub.com
Hearing Health Foundation provides education and information on specific hearing and balance disorders while supporting hearing health research. https://hearinghealthfoundation.org/
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) provides a wealth of information and free reports on various aspects of hearing loss. www.nidcd.nih.gov
Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) is the state vocational rehabilitation program that provides services to people with disabilities who want to work or keep their current employment. Programs and services for eligible individuals may include vocational evaluation, skills training, academic preparation and job placement assistance. People who are hard of hearing and trying to secure or retain employment may be eligible for hearing aids, assistive devices, interpreter services and more. For more information contact the DORS administrative office at 1-888-554-0334 for a referral to your local Maryland office. For addresses and detailed contact information, visit http://dors.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
United States Veterans Administration (VA) may provide hearing aids and assistive technology for veterans based on their eligibility and their degree of service-related hearing loss. Veterans must visit a local VA medical facility for services. For more information, contact the VA Health Care Benefits Center at 1-877-222-8387 or visit www.va.gov to search for a local VA medical center and eligibility requirements.
Maryland Technology Assistance Program (MD TAP) may provide temporary loans of equipment, loans for purchasing equipment, referral services and demonstration centers. This service does not have a hearing aid program. For more information and qualification requirements, call 410-554-9230 or 1-800-832-4827. You can also visit the website at http://mdod.maryland.gov/mdtap/. For assistance outside of Maryland, visit www.resna.org and click on the “Technical Assistance Project” for individual state listings.
Civic/Service Organizations receive charitable donations to purchase hearing aids and other devices for low-income individuals. Clubs often recondition hearing aids and donate them. The following organizations may be found in your local telephone book or online: National Easter Seal Society, March of Dimes, United Way, Lions International, Kiwanis Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Sertoma Clubs or Optimist Club.
Starkey Hearing Foundation, in conjunction with the HEAR NOW program, works to provide hearing aids to individuals and families with limited financial resources. This foundation assists residents of the United States who qualify under the National Poverty Guidelines for assistance. Contact the Starkey Hearing Foundation at 1-800-769-2799 for an application and more information, or visit the website at www.sotheworldmayhear.org for detailed information and an application.
Miracle Ear® Children’s Foundation provides free Miracle Ear® hearing aids and services to children from low-income families. To be eligible, the child must be a resident of the United States, 16 years old or younger, in a family with an income level that does not allow for public support and in a family committed to the necessary follow-up services needed as the child grows. For more information, please call 1-800-234-5422 or visit the website at www.miracle-ear.com
The Foundation for Sight and Sound, Help America Hear Program is a national program that provides hearing aid assistance to men, women and children who have no other resources available to obtain hearing aids. For more information and to obtain an application, call 631-366-3461 or visit them on the web at https://helpamericahear.org/
Maryland Accessible Telecommunications (MAT) program provides free assistive telephone communications equipment to qualified Maryland residents. MAT distributes free TTYs, amplified handsets and other assistive devices to qualified applicants who have difficulty using the telephone. MAT does not provide hearing aids. For detailed information and an application, contact Maryland Relay Customer Service at 1-800-555-7724 or visit the website http://doit.maryland.gov/mdrelay/Pages/Equipment.aspx. For assistance outside of Maryland, visit www.tedpa.org for more information on individual state programs.
Disabled Children’s Relief Fund (DCRF) helps children with disabilities get hearing aids and other medical equipment. DCRF focuses on children throughout the United States without adequate health insurance. Applications for assistance are available between March and September. To request an application, write the Disabled Children’s Relief Fund, PO Box 7420, Freeport, NY, 11520.
IMAGE (Independent Marylanders Achieving Growth through Empowerment) Center may be able to assist patients with the purchase or repair of hearing aids through their Assistive Technology Program. For more information, call 443-275-9395 or visit the website at www.imagemd.org.
HIKE Fund, Inc., the Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment fund, will provide hearing aids or assistive devices for children with hearing impairments between the ages of newborn and 20 years whose parents are unable to pay for them. About 100 children get hearing devices each year. For more information, call 636-928-2101 or visit the website for an application at www.thehikefund.org.
Travelers Protective Association of America established the TPA Scholarship Trust for the Deaf and Near Deaf in 1975 to provide financial aid to children and adults who suffer deafness or hearing impairment and who need assistance in buying devices, medical or specialized treatment or specialized education, speech classes, note takers, interpreters and other services for the hearing impaired. Applications are due to the Trust by March 1 each year. Trustees review all applications on file in April, notify recipients in May and mail scholarship checks after August 1. For an application, write to TPA Scholarship Trust for the Deaf and Near Deaf, 3755 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, Missouri, 63108-3476.
Maryland Hearing Aid Loan Bank provides infants and toddlers up to the age of 3 access to hearing aids for a 6-month period while waiting for a more permanent solution. For more information and to complete an application, visit their website at http://marylandpublicschools.org/programs/Pages/Special-Education/hearingaidloanbank.aspx. You may also contact them by phone at 410-767-0739 or email Stacy Fitzgerald, email@example.com, for more information.