Cheer for Hearing Loss Research

By Lauren McGrath

Residents of Westport, CT and the surrounding area shopped and socialized at “Cheer for the Hearing Health Foundation” to support life-changing hearing loss research and awareness on Thursday, November 29.

Graciously hosted by Genevieve Bouchard at her women’s clothing boutique, Scout and Molly’s, proceeds from the all-day event benefited both Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) and the Staples High School (SHS) Cheerleaders in Westport.

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The shop was open to the public during the day with 10% of sales supporting HHF and another 10% going to the cheerleading team. In the evening, Ms. Bouchard and the SHS cheerleading team entertained a private group of attendees with food and beverages, raffle prizes, and a silent auction.

The SHS cheerleaders organize a fundraiser annually for their team in conjunction with one nonprofit organization. Ms. Bouchard selected HHF because her two daughters, Katelyn, 12, and Solenne, 10, are cochlear implant recipients.

A presentation from HHF staff was kindly captioned by Lisa Nuland, a Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) provider at Bedford Middle School in Westport. In addition to giving an overview of HHF’s research, speaker Lauren McGrath highlighted the importance of hearing loss prevention and challenging stigma to an audience of mostly school-age children and their parents.

Genevieve Bouchard (center) with HHF Development Associate Gina Russo and Marketing Manager Lauren McGrath.

Genevieve Bouchard (center) with HHF Development Associate Gina Russo and Marketing Manager Lauren McGrath.

HHF is sincerely grateful to the organizers for the opportunity to share our mission, and thanks the event guests for their interest in our work.

You, too, can host an event to help HHF advance progress toward better treatments and cures for hearing loss. There are many different fundraising event ideas from golf outings and bake sales, to birthdays and weddings, to marathons and triathlons. Email to plan your event.

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Believe, Support, Share: #GivingTuesday 2018

By Lauren McGrath

Thank you for supporting Hearing Health Foundation (HHF), the nation’s largest charity funder of hearing and balance research, on this worldwide day of kindness. You can make HHF part of your #GivingTuesday celebration in one or more of the following ways:

Give Directly
We accept donations by phone at 212-257-6146, online, and by mail to:
Hearing Health Foundation
363 Seventh Ave, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10001

We pledge to use your gift wisely. Our responsible and effective donor stewardship practices have been commended by Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, Consumer Reports, Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, and GuideStar. All donors are recognized and acknowledged in our Annual Report.

Facebook Donations
Consider making a donation through our Facebook page, where your gift will be generously matched through a partnership with PayPal.

Workplace Giving
Many companies offer matching gift benefits to employees, doubling the value of their charitable contributions. Find out if your employer will take your support for HHF twice as far.

Start a Social Fundraiser
Unable to make a personal contribution? No problem. Enlist help from your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, or classmates to give on your behalf through Facebook or Classy.

Shop Without Remorse
On Amazon, you can make your purchase through AmazonSmile and designate HHF as your charity of choice. If you are shopping on one of many other popular retailers’ sites like CVS, Nike, Etsy, Groupon, Macy’s, or Modell’s, you may allocate a percentage of your purchase to HHF through iGive.

Plan Ahead
Planned giving donors provide essential philanthropic support that enables Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) to remain the country’s largest nonprofit funder of hearing research. The Hearing Health Legacy was established to recognize and thank these extraordinary individuals. Learn more about planned giving options.

Let everyone know you supported HHF on #GivingTuesday by sharing this photo on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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A Birthday Wish

By Beth and Jeremy Hochheiser

In Beth’s words

Our son Jeremy recently turned 29, and on his Facebook page for his birthday he asked friends and family to donate to Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) to help reach his fundraising goal, which he exceeded.

Jeremy introduced us to HHF when he discovered its commitment to hair cell regeneration. He has a profound hearing loss and has been using hearing aids successfully since childhood.

We did not realize there was a problem with Jeremy’s hearing until he was 14 months old, mainly because he had been making sounds like a typical baby. Even as a baby, Jeremy had an infectious belly laugh and was always very attentive to what was going on around him.

But when we discussed a potential hearing issue with our pediatrician, he didn’t seem concerned. It was only after we went to see an audiologist that we finally got a diagnosis of profound congenital bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.

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Throughout Jeremy’s childhood we visited audiologists and doctors regularly. We found an otolaryngologist in New York City who specialized in hearing disabilities, and we kept up with the latest technology in hearing aids to understand options for Jeremy. As he got older, we always encouraged him to ask people to repeat themselves if he couldn’t hear or understand them.

Since Jeremy was diagnosed with quite a bit of residual hearing, the audiologist suggested an unconventional means of learning speech, the auditory-verbal approach introduced by Helen Beebe. Children learn to use the hearing they still have by being bombarded with speech consistently. I read books and introduced pictures by sitting next to Jeremy, not facing him, so that he could learn how to repeat words and speech sounds by hearing them rather than watching my face and lip-reading (speech-reading).

As a result, Jeremy’s speech developed as a typical hearing child’s would—by listening and repeating. We as his parents knew that developing Jeremy’s hearing to its fullest potential was imperative—the “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” theory—and that lip-reading could come later, as a supplement.

With his hearing aids Jeremy thrived, learned to play piano at age 7, and was even presented with an award at Carnegie Hall. He excelled at school and showed us that his hearing was not an issue or a factor that would get in the way of his education or competitive spirit. The natural belly laugh he had as an infant translated into a great sense of humor and positive outlook.

As a kid Jeremy liked to place one of his hearing aids on his tummy and say, “Mom, I’m so hungry, I can hear my stomach growling!” We’re so proud of him and his studies, the many activities he has thrown himself into, his thriving career, and his own family and baby to come.

In Jeremy’s words

Be Bold

My advice to anyone with hearing loss (and their loved ones) is to be bold, brave, and up front about your hearing. Accept it and wear it proudly, otherwise others may misinterpret who you really are, or even bully you. Hearing loss isn’t who you are.

I also tell those new to hearing loss to never stop using your mind. Your brain is your most powerful tool. I play chess and compete in Brazilian jiu jitsu, plus I love being a software engineer and doing math, exploring art, and enjoying nature. I love to learn. Being fully engaged keeps your brain active and fights off feeling down from hearing challenges.

Your Voice Matters

I remember being afraid to ask others to repeat themselves, but as I got older I learned to ask, even if I had to do it more than once. In this way, I show I am involved and can contribute meaningfully to the conversation. I earn respect for that. Your voice and opinions really do matter. What definitely won’t work is to hold back.

I consider myself outgoing and social, and sometimes when I ask someone to repeat themselves it can break the flow of the conversation, or cause frustration in a new acquaintance who doesn't understand. But it is infinitely more frustrating if you can’t fully participate.

New Challenges

My wife Lauren has typical hearing and sees me as a typical hearing person. But when I am tired and my hearing is down, I have to ask her to repeat herself or let me see her lips. Then when I am less tired and my hearing is better, I get frustrated again if Lauren is still making accommodations for me that I don’t think I need—and that can frustrate her, constantly having to switch! I love my wife for going with the flow and understanding what I need to hear.

Managing Hearing Loss

I find that there are days where I can understand what people are saying without looking, and then sometimes I have to rely on speech-reading. People have said to me, “You can hear better with your glasses on!”

The company I work at now has wonderful benefits and accommodations for their employees with needs. They hold meetings throughout the year among those who have requested accommodations in order to foster an inclusive environment, and they are proactive about making sure I have everything I need. It’s been very welcoming.

How I Discovered HHF

When I was in middle school, my parents and I went to a support group, and I met a couple of kids my age who also have a hearing loss. One of them happened to end up working for HHF, Laura Friedman (HHF’s former communications and programs manager).

I also followed news on the development of hair cell regeneration in the inner ear. I am encouraged about HHF’s Hearing Restoration Project consortium bringing together multiple labs and scientists. All of this is why I wanted to do my part to raise money for research toward the cure.

Beth Hochheiser lives in New Jersey, and Jeremy Hochheiser lives in Pennsylvania. HHF sincerely thanks the Hochheisers and their family and friends for their support.

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Cochlear to Support Hearing Research By Reaching One Million Ears

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Today marks the start of Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM), a campaign to advance public knowledge of communication disorders. To celebrate, international hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear is launching the #MillionEar Challenge with the goal of informing one million people about the importance of hearing health and research.

Proceeds from the campaign will benefit Hearing Health Foundation (HHF)’s longstanding Emerging Research Grants (ERG) program. Cochlear has pledged to donate to ERG when the #MillionEar Challenge is met.

“Awareness is at the heart of Hearing Health Foundation's efforts to prevent, treat, and cure hearing loss," said Nadine Dehgan, HHF’s Chief Executive Officer. "I am deeply grateful Cochlear is committed to raising awareness of hearing loss, which will inspire more to pursue hearing tests and life-changing treatments."

HHF staff thanks Cochlear in their own #MillionEar Challenge shirts.

HHF staff thanks Cochlear in their own #MillionEar Challenge shirts.

Cochlear’s generous gift will allow HHF to continue funding up-and-coming scientists who investigate various hearing and balance conditions. Such funding has historically led to the development of many new treatments including cochlear implants which, today, benefit more than 300,000 people worldwide.

You can support the #MillionEar campaign with the purchase of a t-shirt, available in child and adult sizes. Read the full press from Cochlear release here.

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Give Your Way on #GivingTuesday

By Lauren McGrath

Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) kindly requests your help this #GivingTuesday, an annual international day of giving back.

While making a direct contribution is an option, it isn’t the only way that you can support our shared mission to enhance the lives of millions through better treatments and permanent cures for hearing loss and tinnitus.


2017 was monumental for HHF in that your support enabled HHF to fund more critical hearing research than ever before. Still, more work must—and can—be done. Our Hearing Restoration Project’s Scientific Director, Peter Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D., is optimistic about the progress you’ve already empowered. “The clues are becoming more clear, and we expect the next year will yield a bounty of exciting results,” he shares.

As people around the world unite today in celebration of giving to causes that matter to them, we hope that you are inspired to act on behalf of HHF. Take your pick from the options below to give your way on #GivingTuesday:

Make a Direct Contribution

HHF accepts donations through our website’s secure donation portal and by mail to 363 Seventh Ave, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10001. We pledge to use your gift wisely. Our responsible and effective donor stewardship practices have been commended by Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, Consumer Reports, Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, and GuideStar. All donors are recognized and acknowledged in our Annual Report.

If you are able to give today, Tuesday, November 28, consider making your donation through our Facebook page, where your donation will be generously matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Start a Community Fundraiser

You needn’t support Hearing Health Foundation's critical hearing loss research and awareness programs on your own. Reach out to your community—your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, or classmates—to give on your behalf as an HHF Community Fundraiser on Facebook or Classy. Please take advantage of our simple toolkits to ensure your fundraiser is a successful one.

Go Shopping

Perhaps the simplest way of all to give is to put your personal shopping to work for HHF—at no additional cost to you! If you are scoping out savings opportunities on Amazon, be sure to make your purchase through AmazonSmile and designate HHF as your charity of choice. If you are shopping on one of many other popular retailers’ sites like CVS, Nike, Etsy, Groupon, Macy’s, or Modell’s, you may allocate a percentage of your purchase to HHF through iGive.

Please email us at if you are experiencing difficulty or have questions about our ways to give. Thank you for considering HHF on #GivingTuesday.

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Celebrating Your Birthday in September? Learn How You Can Help HHF!

By Lauren McGrath

Sharing birthday presents is a popular custom. Most Americans report positive emotions when giving gifts. 83 and 78 percent of people feel joyful and generous, respectively, when sharing a present with a loved one, Pew Research finds. 

The receiving side of the gift-giving process is much different. The question, "What do you want for your birthday?" often triggers a mental blank, especially when multiple friends or family members inquire simultaneously. To think of one tangible item on the spot can be difficult.

More people in America were born in September than in any other month, according to a study shared in Reader's Digest from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, so it follows that this is the most popular birthday gift-giving time of the year, too.

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Should you fall among the millions of Americans celebrating a birthday during this ninth month of 2017, Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) has a suggestion for you. Did you know that you can dedicate your birthday to a nonprofit organization of your choice on Facebook, inviting your friends to give directly to the cause?

A new feature on Facebook prompts users two weeks before their birthday to select a nonprofit organization's page. The individual whose birthday is approaching can set a goal amount and enter a custom message. Friends will see the public post, which expires at midnight on the user's actual birthday.

HHF relies on the generosity of individuals to propel forward its critical hearing and balance research, awareness efforts, and advocacy work. If you are a September-born HHF supporter who considers our work personally valuable, please consider creating a fundraiser of any size. Every dollar makes a difference.

Help your friends contribute to HHF through the following steps:

1. Once logged into Facebook, go to the Fundraisers page.

2. Click Raise Money.

3. Click Get Started.

4. Choose Nonprofit.

5. Type or Choose Hearing Health Foundation.

6. Personalize your message and click Create.

Happy birthday! And thank you for considering donating your special day to HHF.

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Give Thanks and Then Give Back

By Pallavi Bharadwaj

Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is the official kickoff to the holiday buying season. Cyber Monday has become synonymous with online-only shopping deals on the Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend.

Giving Tuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving during the holiday season that will inspire philanthropy and encourage bigger, better, and smarter charitable giving.

HHF is thrilled to participate in Giving Tuesday this year on November 29th. 

This Giving Tuesday, please join HHF and support groundbreaking research to cure hearing loss and tinnitus. You can donate directly, or fundraise for a cure.

If you’re looking for some ideas to contribute to HHF on Giving Tuesday:

  • Post on Facebook and Twitter (and other social networks that you belong to) encouraging each of your friends to donate $1 to HHF. The average individual has 300 friends on Facebook which means that if each of your friends donates just $1 on Giving Tuesday, you can raise $300 in one day—it’s that easy!

  • Contribute to an item on our Wish List and give our researchers the tools they need to conduct their studies.

  • Host a potluck dinner party and invite your family and friends to join you by bringing a dish and making a donation to HHF.

  • Hold a bake sale at your workplace or your child’s school and advertise that the proceeds will be donated to HHF.

  • If you play a musical instrument, ask for donations for your music practice that day.

  • Take some time to burn those excess Thanksgiving calories and go for a run, swim (indoors of course!), or bike ride fundraising for every mile accomplished.

  • Make a donation to HHF in honor or in memory of someone close to you.

  • You can make gifts of appreciated stocks too.

    Do you have other ideas to fundraise for a cure? Please share with us in the comments!

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Give to HHF this #GivingTuesday

By Laura Friedman

#GivingTuesday is an international day of giving that kicks off the holiday giving season, is November 29th!

Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) wants to thank you for your support of our research programs, such as the Hearing Restoration Project (HRP) and Emerging Research Grants (ERG). Your support enhances the lives of millions of Americans. Thank you!



Here are some of our successes, dating back to our founding in 1958:

  • HHF is the largest non-profit funder of hearing research in the U.S.

  • HHF-funded research has led to the development of cochlear implants and treatments for otosclerosis (abnormal bone growth in the ear) and ear infections.

  • n 1987, HHF-funded researchers discovered that chickens regenerate their inner ear hair cells after damage and mammals do not. This led to the development of the HRP in 2011.

  • In the 1990s HHF advocated for Universal Newborn Hearing Screening legislation, to detect hearing loss at birth. Today, 97% of newborns are tested, up from 4% in 1994!  

The question of finding a cure for hearing loss is not if, but when. 

You can change the course of hearing and balance science and
helps us find better therapies and cures by giving today.

Here are some ways you can #HearTheHope this holiday season:

Post that you gave to HHF on social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, and encourage your friends to give as well.

  • Post that you gave to HHF on social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, and encourage your friends to give as well.

    • The average person has 300 friends on Facebook which means that if each of your friends donates just $1 on Giving Tuesday, you can raise $300 in one day—it’s that easy!

  • Let your talents and interests lead you to your own fundraiser for HHF through our website! No event is too large or small. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

    • Host a potluck and ask your guest bring a dish and make a charitable contribution to HHF.

    • Organize a bake sale or golf outing with the proceeds will be donated to HHF.

    • Burn excess Thanksgiving calories and go for a run, swim (indoors of course!), or bike ride, fundraising for every mile accomplished.

Have other ideas or questions for us? E-mail us at

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7-Day Challenge for Better Hearing Health

By Maggie Niu

In honor of National Public Health Week kicking off April 4, Hearing Health Foundation has seven challenges for you to complete over the course of next week, all related to hearing loss and hearing prevention. Help us celebrate by completing our list of challenges below and sharing your experiences in with us in the comments.

On your mark… get set…GO!

Day 1: Make an appointment to get your hearing tested!

It is important to have your ears tested at least once a year, especially if you are experiencing any buzzing or ringing in your ears or unable to hear clearly. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment: Early intervention is key for preventing further damage.

Here is a directory for audiologists from the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. It is super-easy and quick to find an audiologist close to you. Simply type in your zip code and the radius you are willing to travel and bing, you have your list of audiologists.

Day 2: Reduce the volume on personal music devices to under 70% of the maximum.

We all know that unwanted noise is a nuisance so we try everything in our power to drown it out—either by turning up the volume of the music we're listening to, or talking louder. In the long run, does it benefit our hearing health? The answer is no.

Noise-induced hearing loss can occur gradually over time by listening to loud music or being exposed to loud environmental noises. We can’t always control ambient noise, but we can control personal earphone volume. Next time you are using your earphones on a high volume, remember that you are damaging your ears!

Day 3: Plan a fundraiser to help us find a cure for hearing loss and tinnitus.

Need some ideas? See examples of past events and ideas for creating your own event. Individuals, companies, organizations, sororities, and fraternities of all sizes have joined in our efforts, and we hope you will too!

Day 4: Keep a journal of the foods you eat and note the loudness of the environment you’re in. You may be surprised at what you find.

Noise can affect many things. It can cause stress and affect our mood, but would you believe that noise can affect your palate? A Cornell University study found, "…that in an environment of loud noise, our sense of taste is compromised. Interestingly, this was specific to sweet and umami tastes, with sweet taste inhibited and umami taste significantly enhanced," said Robin Dando, an assistant professor of food science. "The multisensory properties of the environment where we consume our food can alter our perception of the foods we eat."

Day 5: Eat this! Incorporate certain nutrients into your diet for optimal hearing health.

Now we know that noise can affect the taste of food we eat, but are there foods that can help our ears? Check out these five nutrients that can prevent or delay hearing loss. 

Day 6: Use everyday technology to enhance your hearing health. 

Take control of your hearing health with the technology you use daily: download a sound level meter on your smartphone or tablet to measure the decibel levels. In our Winter 2015 Hearing Health magazine, we listed apps that were vetted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and they include: NoiSee by Noise Lab ($1), Noise Hunter by Inter•net2day ($6), and SoundMeter by Faber Acoustical ($20). These apps were cited as providing the most accurate A-weighted sound level measurements.

Other apps include: The Jacoti ListenApp, where you can test your hearing via earphones, and the LesserSound App, which allows the user to take sound readings and record the location from where the noise was recorded. 

Day 7: Share your story!

Share your story about living with hearing loss, tinnitus, or other hearing conditions and how it has affected you via our online scrapbookblog, or magazine. Inspire others who are touched by similar conditions so that we can help raise awareness about the prevalence of hearing loss and other hearing disorders as well as our research to find better treatments, therapies, and ultimately a cure.

You can share your story by emailing us at It can be on ANYTHING related to hearing loss, tinnitus, or other hearing related conditions, such as funny storiespersonal experiencestips for our readers, or hearing health. If you would like to contribute but find that you're having writer's block, email us anyway! We're HEAR to get you through it! (Pun intended.) 

These are just some tips and advice that can help your hearing and the broader hearing health community. For any additional questions please contact your audiologist, email us at, or visit our website.

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Make Your Summer Fun for a Good Cause: Fundraise to Cure Hearing Loss & Tinnitus

By Tara Guastella

Temperatures are heating up, beaches are now open, the smell of grilling is in the air, and schools will soon be out for summer vacation. This is one of my favorite times of year.

If you have plans for a get together this summer, did you know you can turn your summer fun into a good cause? Well, you can! Whether you’re holding a pool party, car wash, barbecue, or any other type of event, you can turn your occasion into a fundraiser for Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) to support a cure hearing loss and tinnitus.

You can create your fundraiser through our online fundraising website that was specifically designed with you in mind. Once you register, you’ll be able to personalize your giving page with a photo, story about why you are fundraising for HHF, and fundraising goal. You’ll then be able to email family, friends, colleagues, and members of your community directly through our website to encourage them to attend the event and support the cause. You can share your fundraising on social media like Facebook and Twitter to encourage your social network to get involved, too. Finally, track your fundraising progress with your own personal thermometer that will increase with each new donation you receive.

The team at HHF is here to help with your event. We can provide you with written materials (such as complimentary copies of Hearing Health magazine and brochures on a cure hearing loss and tinnitus), earplugs, gift bags, and bracelets. We are also happy to answer any questions you may have about hosting a fundraising event or about using our fundraising website. If you’ve never done anything like this before, don’t let that stop you! We are happy to be your partner in raising funds for a cure for hearing loss and tinnitus.

If you don’t have any events planned this summer, here are a few ideas for you to consider:

  • Pool party

  • Barbecue

  • Clam bake

  • Bake sale

  • Car wash

  • Beach volleyball tournament

  • Golf tournament

  • Baseball tournament

  • Bike race

  • Running race

  • Obstacle course race (e.g., Spartan race, Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder)

  • Birthday, anniversary, wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, Sweet 16 (you can ask for donations in lieu of gifts)

See more ideas and examples of past fundraising events and get started today!

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