• Diablo Valley Chapter

    SOUND OFF with…
    Hearing Loss Association of America – Diablo Valley Chapter
    Based in: Contra Costa County, Walnut Creek
    Age range of members: 40-85

    1. What makes your chapter stand out?
    In 2009, Chapter President Ann Thomas contacted the access committee for the libraries in Contra Costa County about better access for those with a hearing loss. Ann and former VP Debbie Sharp were invited to participate in a Focus Group on better access for people with disabilities. As a result of their efforts, one of their new libraries is now looped and slowly there are changes taking place in the other libraries. Ann has contacted Elizabeth LeBarron, HLAA National States and Chapters Coordinator, about how they can create a special subscription rate for libraries so all of the libraries can order the Hearing Loss Magazine. Ann is also getting both of the HLAA videos Learn About Hearing Loss and HLAA-Teamwork for Hearing Loss Awareness and distributing them to all of the library branches in her county, to be available for check out. Recently, one of their libraries had an event called “accessABILITY@your library” and HLA-Diablo Valley was asked to host an information table and also bring some ALD’s.

    2. What makes your chapter stand out?

    • New ideas and ways to do things.
    • Take action.
    • Understand nonprofit management.

    3. What tips would you like to share with other chapters?

    • Create professional quality business cards, letterhead, chapter e-mail accounts and chapter outreach materials.
    • Create a donor database and ask for donations, both monetary and in kind. It is not rude to ask for donations. Exempt organizations, non-profits are not businesses. In order to survive, you must find donors who are interested in your cause and ask them to support you. Tell your story. Create compelling promotional pieces.
    • Use free opportunities available to nonprofits, like grassroots, Voice Nation, and TechSoup.
    • Pick one new project every year.

     4. What type of outreach do you do?

    • Senior Centers
      -HLAA Hearing Loss Magazine
      -HLAA-DV chapter brochures
      -HLAA-DV newsletter to post on bulletin board. The newsletter is sent to most of the centers via e-mail and they print and post it for us.
      -Flyer about chapter meetings
    • Audiologist Offices
      -HLAA-DV chapter brochure
      -HLAA-DV newsletter
      -HLAA Hearing Loss Magazine
      -HLAA Fact Sheet, Do You think You Have  Hearing Loss
      -HLAA Fact Sheet, Purchasing a Hearing Aid, Consumer Checklist
    • Libraries
    • CI Facilities, Stanford, UCSF, CA Ear Institute
    • Information Booths
      -Farmers’ Markets
      -Health Fairs
      -CI Fairs and picnics

    5. What are some effective ways to raise money for events, captioning, technology, or activities that support your chapter?

    • Create a donor database.
    • Ask for donations, both monetary and inkind.
    • Have at least one yearly donor solicitation. Contrary to common belief the largest donors in the US are not grantors, but individuals.
    • Thank your donors. Know the IRS guidelines for donor acknowledgment.

    6. Name a long term goal and a short term goal.

    • All the hospitals in our county are ADA compliant for people who are hard of hearing.
    • Advertising on BART, MUNI, the County Connection about hearing loss.
    • Contact the CA Fire Marshall about free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for Californians who have a hearing loss.
    • Get help. More energetic younger chapter members.Want to know more? Contact Chapter President Ann Thomas at: athomas@hearinglossdv.org.