I had the honor of representing Sound World Solutions at the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) 2015 convention June25-June 28, 2015. This year, the convention was held in St. Louis, Missouri at the beautiful Doubletree Union Station hotel, a converted train station built in 1894 when public buildings were truly grand. Sound World Solutions participated with a booth on the exhibit floor where we displayed our product line and interacted with attendees. We attended the HLAA convention in Austin, Texas last year, so there was familiarity with our personal sound amplifiers, but the announcement of the Companion – our first FDA registered hearing aid – resulted in a significant increase in interest and conversation.

That interest, the need for accessible and affordable hearing aids and the number of discussions we had has prompted us to expand our demonstration program for those providing community outreach services in the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. This program is specifically designed for state-level programs and individuals performing this type of outreach. If you or someone you know is involved in this work and interested in knowing more about our demo program, please contact us at customersupport@soundworldsolutions.com.

The interest in personal sound amplifiers as a category continues to increase, and there is a definite need for education and awareness about this category and how it fits into the world of hearing care solutions. At the convention, I was sitting in on a session regarding the compatibility of hearing products and cellular phones and was invited to provide a short overview of the personal sound amplifier category to those in attendance. More efforts on this front will be coming soon, as we work with the mobile device industry to educate and inform their customers about affordable hearing options that will interface directly with their phones.

One final note is regarding an exciting new development from HLAA, the impending launch of their Consumer Technology Initiative (CTI). In the words of Anna Gilmore-Hall, Executive Director of HLAA, “The CTI goals include: providing assistance and resources to people with hearing loss and their families in order to learn to effectively use assistive and emerging technologies; ensuring communication technologies are compatible and user-friendly for people with hearing loss; increasing our technology capacity to enhance outreach to people with hearing loss; advocating for communication access in public and private venues; leading a national dialogue on hearing loss at the highest levels; orchestrating a national public awareness campaign; and increasing our outreach to underserved communities and populations. We recognize there needs to be a unified, rather than fragmented, approach to increasing access to and knowledge of the most current technologies. Therefore, one feature of this new HLAA program is to build a national clearinghouse for information and access to hearing assistive technology.”Sound World Solutions looks forward to the benefits that the CTI will provide to consumers, and will be working with HLAA to provide whatever support and information we can in this effort.

To wrap up, the HLAA 2015 convention was a terrific event. We appreciated all of the interaction and interest, and look forward to our participation again at next year’s HLAA 2016 convention, which will be held in Washington, DC.

Shawn Stahmer has been the VP of Business Development at Sound World Solutions since 2012. He is responsible for marketing and business development and he has a passion for sharing Sound World Solutions’ mission to create and deliver high quality, affordable hearing devices that allow people to rediscover the power of connection, no matter what their geographic location or economic circumstance happens to be.