Dear California members,
It has been three and a half years since the Hearing Loss Association of California last held a state conference. It was not for lack of effort but rather the simple fact that the economy had taken a drastic downturn, making it difficult to line up sponsors and exhibitors as well as the important fact that our members suddenly had to watch their pocketbooks more carefully. As a result, it was decided to postpone our state conferences until the economy was in better shape and our members would more likely be able to afford attending.
There are still problems, but the economy has improved and the HLA-CA Board of Trustees decided it was time to bring back our state conferences. What is a “state conference?” Well, it is a lot like a national convention but on a smaller scale and much more affordable for members (and the public) to attend. For one thing we have workshops on all kinds of topics that are important to hard of hearing people, particularly on new technology and coping strategies. This time we are adding a special track of workshops for parents of hard of hearing children, an often overlooked fraction seeking help and answers on how to help their children deal with their hearing loss. All workshops will have captioning and assistive listening systems to help you hear and understand all that is said.
An extensive exhibit hall, open and free to all, will display the latest in technology, new products and services for hard of hearing people. And to cap the event, we have a lavish dinner banquet with live entertainment, allowing you to sit back, relax and enjoy.
And of course there are the interaction and friendships to be made or renewed with hard of hearing HLAA members from all over the state, and perhaps a few from out of state as well.
Our planning committee of 20 HLAA members, including 9 past and present HLA-CA board members, is moving along remarkably well in planning our first conference since 2007. We are lining up speakers and exhibits as well as sponsors for this great conference.
The conference will be held February 17 and 18, 2012 at the Oakland Airport Hilton hotel in Oakland, California. We have arranged for special rates for the hotel rooms and reduced parking fees. We are making every effort to keep the cost of attending as low as possible for everyone. With that in mind we expect a good turnout of our members as well as the general public. We hope you agree and that we will see you there.
Click here for more info about the conference.