The Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) Kentucky Chapters, in partnership with the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH), will host their inaugural regional conference “Hear More: A World of Resources” July 19-20 at the Marriott Downtown in Louisville. 

Hearing loss does not discriminate by age. It is the third most common health issue behind heart disease and arthritis and one in five teenagers will develop a hearing loss early in their lifetime, according to statistics from the National Institutes of Health.

“Hearing loss is growing at an alarming rate, and affects every facet of one’s life,” said KCDHH Executive Director Virginia L. Moore. “This conference is a valuable tool for the 650,000 Kentuckians with a hearing loss to educate themselves on this health phenomenon that affects them and their families.”

Conference attendees will have more than 20 workshops from which to choose, ranging from assistive technology for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, self-advocacy, mental health and general information for those with hearing loss. The conference costs $60 per person for both Friday and Saturday if the registration is received by July 10 or $85 per person for both days after that date.

The conference exhibit hall, which opens at 9 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday, features examples of the latest in assistive technology for demonstration and is free to the public.

“No one with difficulty hearing or their loved one should miss this event,” said Paula Esterle, HLAA’s past state coordinator for Kentucky. “We are hoping that the information and support shared will make communication improvements that will last a lifetime.”

The highlight of the conference will be the banquets, which begin 7 p.m. Saturday evening, with guest speaker and entertainer Kathy Buckley, who has a hearing loss. She also will deliver the welcome address at 5:15 p.m. Friday. The banquet is an additional fee.

Buckley is a five-time American Comedy Award Nominee as Best Stand-Up Female Comedienne and the winner of countless other awards for her work. She is also an actress, writer and producer, author, humanitarian, and one of the country’s leading motivational speakers. Her television appearances include The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, The Today Show, Entertainment Tonight, CNN and HBO. E! Entertainment named her one of the “World’s Most Intriguing Women” in their original special.

In addition to comedy, Buckley is an actress who is also known for her co-starring roles in TV series such as “Touched by an Angel,” and starred in her own original award winning PBS special, “No Labels, No Limits.” Buckley is an active volunteer for causes close to her heart, and she spends time helping numerous children’s charities such as No Limits, a non-profit organization for children who are hard of hearing or deaf.

“We are so excited to welcome Kathy Buckley and be treated to her unique perspective,” Esterle said. “She is a one-woman riot with a purpose.”

For more information about the regional conference, call (502) 515-3762, e-mail conference@hlaa-ky.org or visit www.hlaa-ky.org.    




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