Staff Report

The Healthy Hearing Expo in Brandon will be the first integrated consumer health fair of its kind in Hillsborough County, offering people with hearing loss a unique opportunity to explore a wide range of practitioners, new technologies and support groups to improve their hearing. The all day, open house health fair will feature a hall full of exhibitors plus educational seminars. In addition, the new Technology Solution Center will offer attendees an unparalleled environment to both try and compare cutting-edge technologies to enhance their understanding of speech in the toughest situations.

The exhibitors will represent a broad range of practitioners such as audiologists, hearing instrument specialists and providers of hearing aid accessory devices, captioned phones, cochlear implants, assistive listening devices, loop systems, CART (captions). Importantly, there will also be wide array of support groups offering complimentary services and guidance for the hard-of-hearing and deaf communities. All attendees will have an opportunity to get a free hearing screening, as well as their choice of a free captioned or amplified phone.

The event will also reach out to the commercial and nonprofit businesses that interact with the community to demonstrate some of the new “access technologies” like the loop and captioning systems that have helped organizations such as churches, retailers and meeting places across the U.S. to significantly increase their customer and membership bases by making it feasible for the 20 percent of the population with hearing loss to participate.

Ed Ogiba, the chair of Healthy Hearing Expo said, “Many people have told us that events like an HLAA Expo changed their lives. Many attendees with hearing aids learn how to access the full power of their devices or are introduced to the accessories and techniques that can empower them to improve their understanding of the spoken word by as much as 40 percent.”

The Healthy Hearing Expo will take place on Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Maudlin Hall in the First Presbyterian Church of Brandon, located at 121 Carver Ave. in Brandon. It is an open house affair with free admission. Interested organizations can apply to exhibit. For more consumer or exhibitor information, contact 941-706-4312 or ed@groupefo.com.