Pictured are members Eloise Schwartz (l) and Lynn Conlan, along with Chief Engineer Vern Hendricks from local radio station 96.3 FM. The ladies spoke on the air about hearing loss and about the Sun City Center HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America) Chapter, which meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. through May 2020.

Stressed, depressed, frustrated, fatigued, fearful, angry and sad are some of the common words used when people try to explain their hearing loss to others. Those with hearing loss often feel left out, minimized, misunderstood, left behind and isolated.

Hearing loss affects everyone. What do you say when someone says, “Well you don’t look deaf,” after you have tried to explain why you behave as you do?

About 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss.

Myths and misunderstandings about hearing loss run rampant even today, despite the education and information that are available.

The history of the Sun City Center HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America) Chapter reflects 10 years of accepting responsibility, learning to love ourselves and reaching out to others in the hard of hearing community. Meetings will start again in September and run through May 2020 at a new time from 1-2 p.m. (meet and greet starts at 12:30 p.m.).

Meetings take place on the third Tuesday of each month at Presbyterian Church (looped conference room), located at 1239 W. Del Webb Blvd. in Sun City Center.

The next meeting will take place on September 17. You will find out what happened at the National Convention and learn about where the chapter is heading both locally and nationally.

Sharing first person experiences in a chapter such as the Sun City Center location helps to erase the ‘bad’ adjectives and replace them with others, such as accepting, enlightened, passionate, smart and motivated, and in many instances when the light comes on, members can reach out to share what is learned with others.

New leadership will offer programs and events that are designed to focus on each individual hard of hearing person. Most people who are hard of hearing have their own stories. Regardless of age of onset, all struggle in noisy environments.

You are invited to come and learn more. Please bring a friend, family member or employer. CART (captioning) and the Loop for hearing devices is available.

For more information, email Eloise Schwarz at Eloise6376@gmail.com or visit www.hlaascc.com.

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.