The Chicago North Shore Chapter has been a leading advocate to bring the Chicagoland area hospitals together to call their attention to the safety issues of people with hearing loss. Our Chapter has held an annual program entitled Panel Discussion: Hospital Safety for People with Hearing Loss beginning in October 2015.


  • The panel is composed of hospital representatives from hospitals in the Chicagoland area. We have encouraged a collaborative meeting among hospital representatives to share information and ideas through the mutual support of our HLAA Chapter.

  • The audience is composed of HLAA chapter members, their families, friends and people from the community. The emphasis for the audience is discussing the importance of Self-Advocacy.  The audience makes suggestions to the hospital representatives of further accommodations needed. They give personal examples of problems while hospitalized, and ask questions. The panelists respond to their suggestions, stories and questions. 


Thank you, everyone, that attended our fourth annual Panel Discussion: Hospital Safety for People with Hearing Loss program in October 2018. Representatives from Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, Rush University Medical Center, Swedish Covenant Hospital and Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center sat on this panel. It is through our audience’s participation that the hospital representatives actually see and hear our hearing loss community’s needs for accommodations. At our first Hospital Safety Program in October 2015, all four hospital representatives offered only American Sign Language to our audience. They had NO accommodations for hard-of-hearing patients.

It is the questions, stories, and experiences of our audience members that have influenced the Chicago area hospitals, one by one, to become aware of hard-of-hearing patients. Each year the panelists were eager to learn from our audience and from each other. The new panelists tell us they were returning to their hospital to look at their hospital’s accommodations and implement our suggestions. The returning panelists tell us that attending our program reminds them to review their hospital’s accommodations at least once a year. 

Our fifth annual Panel Discussion: Hospital Safety for People with Hearing Loss will be held on October 14, 2019 at the North Shore Senior Center, 161 Northfield Rd. Northfield, Illinois in the Auditorium. Representatives from Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, Rush University Medical Center, North Shore University Healthsystem, University of Chicago Medicine, Swedish Covenant Hospital, Weiss Memorial Hospital, and Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center have agreed to participate inn this year's Panel Discussion. All are welcome to join us at this informative event.


Most importantly, please remember to advocate for yourself in any medical setting.


  • Tell the hospital staff and your doctor’s staff repeatedly that you are hard of hearing.

  • Bring any Assistive Hearing Devices (AHD) you use with you: hearing aids, CI’s, batteries, AHD, smartphone or tablet, etc.

  • Tell staff what they can do to help you hear!

  • Use the Communication Assess Form (CAP) form contained in the Guide for Effective Communications in Health Care found here.