Arizona Tax Credit: ALOHA helps Southern Arizonans facing the loss of hearing

Arizona Tax Credit: ALOHA helps Southern Arizonans facing the loss of hearing

Few understand, unless they have experienced it firsthand, the profound impact losing one’s hearing can have.

Hearing loss can lead to frustration, loss of employment, isolation, dementia and depression. When the telephone rings at ALOHA, it is common to hear: “My husband (or wife) is not hearing well. I am so frustrated. Can you help us?”

A caregiver or first responder may call and say, “I am trying to help someone who is alone and cut off from family and friends because of severe hearing loss. They cannot drive and they have lived in isolation for three years. Can you help me help them?”

Many other calls for help come from low-income seniors who desperately need hearing aids but cannot afford them. ALOHA has helped thousands of people who call or walk through our doors receive the vital support they need.

ALOHA was founded in 1984 by a former teacher, Gloria Baral, who lost her hearing as an adult, and who understood firsthand the life-altering impacts hearing loss can have on an individual’s life.

She founded ALOHA to provide substantive support to people whose hearing loss happens gradually or suddenly.

Toward that end, ALOHA has quietly, yet intentionally, through its small staff and many volunteers, reached out to thousands in Southern Arizona.

It is the only nonprofit in the country offering the following services (and more):

• Peer discussion groups, offered twice every Tuesday at The ALOHA Center and monthly in Sierra Vista, Tucson’s eastside and Green Valley.

• The Hearing Loop Program that seeks to promote installation and maintenance of hearing loops in venues and organizations such as churches, theaters and meeting rooms. Hearing loops ensure that people with hearing loss have the most effective technology to enhance listening in public and private facilities.

• Assistive hearing device demonstrations at The ALOHA Center .

• Cochlear implant informational and support groups.

• Referrals to agencies that provide low- or no-cost hearing exams and hearing aids.

ALOHA services are available to everyone in Southern Arizona and are designed to improve the lives of the hard of hearing, their friends and family .

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