Grace Tiessen is a legendary pioneer of hearing loss causes and has been a champion of HLAA and HLAA-CA for over 30 years.
Grace has been the editor of the HLAA-CA state newsletter, The Hearing Loss Californian, since 2001. Grace was president of the HLAA (called SHHH at the time), San Gabriel Valley Chapter from 1985 to 1990. Furthermore, Grace was a member of the HLAA-CA state board of trustees from 1997 to 2011, where she also served as corresponding secretary (1997-1998), vice president (1999-2000), and president (2001-2002).
For decades, Grace has been deeply involved with HLAA, doing outreach, participating in Walk4Hearing, performing advocacy, attending meetings, hosting Christmas parties, and anything to help further the aims of HLAA. Grace has recruited and mentored young adults for HLAA. She is a role model to many.
Grace was a member of the California Department of Education Advisory Task Force for the deaf and hard of hearing; a member of the Board of Directors of the HEAR Center, a nonprofit speech and audiology center in Pasadena, from 1996 to 2007; and a member of the City of Pasadena Commission on Accessibility and Disability from 1990 to 1995.
Grace is the winner of HLAA’s highest national honor, the Keystone Award, in 2003.
Grace was born in 1919 in Sacramento, California, just one year before women were able to vote. Grace attended UC Berkeley, graduating in 1940 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Later, Grace obtained a second B.A. in Psychology from California State University of Los Angeles, then a third BA in Math and Computer Science. Grace worked as a software engineer from age 62 to 73.
At UC Berkeley, she met and married, Leonard Edmondson, who was an artist and art professor. They had three a son, a daughter, and a second son. In the 1970’s Grace took her mother’s name, Tiessen.
Grace has lived in Pasadena, California, since1946.
Grace grew up with hearing loss, started wearing two hearing aids in 1970, and now uses cochlear implants.