The Hearing Loss Association of America

Pennsylvania State Office (HLAA-PA)

We are the state office of Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the nation's foremost advocacy organization for people with hearing loss. Our all-volunteer state office was established in 2001 to:

  • Provide information, education, support, and advocacy for people with hearing loss
  • Publish a free quarterly newsletter, currently reaching over 2200 people--ask for your subscription!


Hearing Loss Association of America Pennsylvania State Office - Office Policies

  1. The State Office established by Hearing Loss Association of America in Pennsylvania is called Hearing Loss Association of America Pennsylvania State Office.
  2. The State Office consists of a Director, a Financial Secretary, a Corresponding and Recording Secretary, a Treasurer and an Advisory Council. The Director will serve a minimum of four years and can serve longer. The first year, the Director will be co-Director with the outgoing Director, and the last year, the Director will be co-Director with the incoming Director. All other officers and Advisory Council members will serve two-year terms, with no term limits.
  3. Officers, with the exception of the State Director, and persons seeking Council membership must be approved by a 50% vote of all Council members. The Director will be selected by HLAA; recommendations to HLAA for suitable candidates require approval by 50% or more of the Advisory Council members.
  4. All Advisory Council members and officers must be members of Hearing Loss Association of America and must agree to serve a minimum of two years.
  5. No Council member or officer will use the organization to further his/her own business.
  6. Following two unexcused absences from Council meetings, the Council reserves the right to revoke the absent member’s membership by a majority vote of members present at the next meeting.
  7. The Advisory Council will establish committees as needed.
  8. Meetings can be held either in person or as online chat sessions.
  9. Office policies can be modified at any time and modifications require approval of a minimum of 50% of Council members.
  10. Council members may spend up to $10 on State Office business without prior specific approval if on State Office projects and assignments, and receive reimbursement.
  11. Prior approval from the State Director is required for expenditures over $10 if reimbursement is to be made.
  12. Reimbursement policies for expenses related to travel for outreach and meetings:
  • Advisory Council Meetings: The State Office will pay for meeting rooms, CART, and ALDs. Transportation expenses, but not food and beverages, will be covered. Council members will be reimbursed for mileage and tolls when attending Council meetings.
  • Since Council members serving on state government advisory boards are reimbursed from those boards for their travel expenses while attending the state advisory board meetings, they will not submit such expenses to the State Office.
  • The State Office will pay the State Director’s transportation and lodging expenses for visits to Hearing Loss Association chapters in-state, or attendance at in-state conferences in the capacity as State Director. Food will be paid for 2 day trips for which an overnight stay is required. A substitute for the director can be chosen to attend a meeting which might be less costly if a Council member or designee lived in the city in which the meeting is being held. Daily meal expenses are not to exceed $50 and mileage will be reimbursed at the IRS non-profit rate.
  • The office will pay transportation expenses for Council members or other HLAA members who conduct HLAA-PA presentations at outreach events. In addition, the office will pay food and lodging expenses for 2 day trips in which an overnight stay is required.
  • The State Office will pay parking expenses for the State Director, Council members and other HLAA members participating in events on State Office business.
  • The State Office will not acquire equipment for use in a physical office at this time. The State Office will pay for supplies for the State Director and/or Council members necessary for the use of personally owned office equipment if requested. Small office equipment (less than $100) may be purchased at the discretion of the State Director.
  • Expenses relating to State Office special event activities (e.g. statewide convention) will be handled according to the State Office Policies.
  • The State Office will establish official contacts, including membership where appropriate, with all pertinent statewide organizations.
  • Persons requesting reimbursement for an expense must present the State Office with a reimbursement form for said funds. We should consider the “best available, least expensive” options in equipment, transportation, lodging and meals.
  1. No person shall have the right to use HLAA-PA stationery unless first given permission by the State Director or Advisory Council. The Advisory Council and/or State Director shall have the right to allow or restrict such use in any manner they deem reasonably appropriate. This includes committee chairpersons, who must use stationery that clearly states in the letterhead or signature line that they are sending such correspondence on behalf of their committee only.
  2. Dissolution: The organization shall use its funds only to accomplish the objectives and purposes specified in the by-laws of the national organization, and no part of said funds shall inure or be distributed to the members. In the event of dissolution of the organization, any funds remaining shall be distributed to the parent organization, Hearing Loss Assoc. of America. In the event the parent organization is no longer in existence, the funds shall be distributed to one or more regularly organized and qualified charitable, educational, scientific, or philanthropic organizations selected by the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Assoc. of America.

Adopted October 18, 2014

HLAA-PA Advisory Council

 Bill Best
Mitch Bilker
Don Groff
Nancy Kingsley
Dale Long
Carolyn Meyer
Kay Tyberg
Bill Pfeifer
Lee Williams

 HLAA-PA State Office Committees


Advocacy - monitor services in PA and current events to identify issues where efforts are needed to improve access for hard of hearing PA residents (Nancy Kingsley, chair; Mitch Bilker,  Carolyn Meyer, Kay Tyberg)

Arts & Entertainment Access Committee – work to get major movie and live theaters, museums, and other arts and entertainment venues to provide captioning and assistive listening systems. (Alan Kutner and Kay Tyberg, co-chairs; Alice Dungan, Nancy Kingsley)

Communications - provide information related to hearing loss to interested Pennsylvanians through website and a free quarterly newsletter, including an electronic version (Don Groff, chair);  Mitch Bilker,  Nancy Kingsley, Carolyn Meyer, Lee Williams)
Subcommittee on the Future of HearSay – reduce the production and distribution costs of HearSay, solicit income through advertising, add content including more statewide information, and make other improvements (Pat McGeever, chair; Lee Williams, development director; Diana Bender, Don Groff, Nancy Kingsley, Carolyn Meyer, Bill Pfeifer)

Diana Bender HLAA National Convention Scholarship - select recipients of HLA-PA scholarships to HLAA conventions by disseminating information about the scholarship and reviewing applications received (Mitch Bilker, chair; Carolyn Meyer)

Government Affairs - (1) promote representation by HLAA-PA members on state government advisory committees so they can provide input on the needs of hard of hearing people and (2) monitor and/or introduce legislative bills of interest to hard of hearing people and lobby for their passage (open)

Lunch and Learn –  organize annual educational luncheon (Nancy Kingsley & Carolyn Meyer, co-chairs; Lois Armon, Richard & Gay Balsam, Diana Bender, Bill, Best, Mitch Bilker, Alice Dungan, Don Groff, Marianne & Martin Lock, Joe Meyer, Bill Pfeifer

*Marcia Finisdore Advocacy Award - select annual recipient for this award (Marcia Finisdore, chair; Linda Heffernan, Alan Kutner)

Outreach – provide information and support to Pennsylvanians by presenting workshops on hearing loss topics throughout the state (Carolyn Meyer, chair; Diana Bender, Mitch Bilker, )

Turn Down the Volume – educate public accommodations to reduce sound volume to protect hearing (Pat and Emilio Cortez, co-chairs)

*Walk – plan and conduct the annual Walk4Hearing fundraiser in the Philadelphia area. (Ronnie Adler, Walk chair)
*Operates independently of the HLA-PA Advisory Council    





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