I hope you all know by now that the 2009 Hearing Loss Association convention, celebrating SHHH/HLAA's 30th birthday, will be right here in Tennessee...June 18th-21st, in Nashville, at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Resort and Hotel!
If you haven't ever been to a Hearing Loss Association convention, I hope you'll consider attending this one. I attended my first HLAA convention in June of 2007 in Oklahoma City, OK. It was literally a life-changing experience for me. I had never been to an event with other deaf and hard of hearing people...at that time I had never even been to an HLAA meeting...and it was such a unique experience. For the first time in my life I wasn't different from everyone else...the people all around me had hearing loss just like I did. They didn't mind repeating themselves. They knew to look at me when they were talking to me and didn't all talk at once. They tried their best to include me in all conversations because they knew what it was like to miss out on the fun and they wanted me to be included. All of the workshops were captioned and interpreted so that nobody missed a thing. It was the first time I had ever been in an environment where I didn't have to struggle to keep up with what was going on around me and I just felt so at home knowing that I was in the company of people that understood what I was feeling because THEY HAD LIVED IT. I came home much more confident, more comfortable with myself, armed with new information about the latest technology, and blessed with many new friends. It was just an incredible experience!
Kicking off this year's convention will be keynote speaker Dr. Vint Cerf, the vice president of Google, who will be speaking to us on technology and hearing assistance, including the role of mobile, internet-enabled devices. The convention has quite a few workshops offered on many topics, including technology, relationships, health and wellness, and several others. This year there will also be several workshops geared specifically towards young adults between the ages of 18-35 on issues relating to them. When the workshops are over for the day, the social events begin. You will not want to miss this!!! You can find out more...including all the information you'll need to know to register and about the hotel...here. If you register before Dec. 31st, you can take advantage of the Early Bird discount...$50.00 off the registration price.
If you have any questions, PLEASE don't hesitate to ask...I would love to help as much as possible. I'd love to see every one of you there...if you've never been to a convention before, 2009 is the year to go!!