On June 23rd 2015, the most recent HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America) convention took place. For those unable to make it, Zina Jawadi was willing to sit with DeafandHoH.com for a bit of questioning regarding her experiences at the conference. She said, "In one word, I would describe the convention as empowering."
Zina spoke about how growing up with hearing loss can be a lonely experience, with many feeling as if they were alone with their condition. "It is difficult to realize that one is not alone", she added. The convention allows a multitude of people to become involved in different aspects of the community, such as through: technology, science, or discussing advocacy. "Literally, the convention spans almost every single topic related to hearing loss."
When asked about what others would remember from the conference, Zina said, "people come out motivated and excited about hearing loss advocacy, education, awareness, and support. The spirit, energy, and encouragement exuded in those at the convention and promoted by HLAA (National) is felt by attendees, even weeks after the convention."
In regards to specific technologies being developed, Zina was most interested in a new technology that she believes could help everyone. She described it as, "a group of people can speak, and the app uses speech recognition to transcribe what each person is saying – and separates who is speaking. I think this technology is revolutionary and can help even those who do not have hearing loss."
The convention is a reminder that advancements for this community can still be in advancement for all of mankind. Humans are united under our chances for growth and improvement, and the HLAA convention allowed for several gifted individuals to present their skill and talents to the world. Who knows if one of these conventions could hold the next gifted individual to change the world? The spirit of the convention is to help others, and the world could always use more people willing to do just that.
To learn more about Zina, you can see her member profile here.
To learn more about her experience at the 2013 HLAA conference, click here.
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