Hearing loss is the most common and widespread form of physical disability in the United States today. It is a ‘silent’ disability, as a hard of hearing individual usually does not look any different or bear any outward signs of his/her hearing loss. Because of its lack of visibility, hearing loss does not garner a lot of public recognition or assistance. Furthermore, not everyone with hearing loss qualifies for hearing aids or other forms of assistance, which can be costly. Due to the widespread nature of this issue and its lack of recognition, WLF has made it a part of our mission to improve the lives of Wisconsin residents by instituting a hearing assistance project.
Hearing Loss in the United States
- Hearing loss is an extremely common issue in the United States—possibly much more common than most people realize. 1.1 billion people between the ages of 12 to 35 are at risk of hearing loss due to recreational noise exposure.
- 60% of childhood hearing loss could be prevented by awareness and public health measures.
- One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations.
With statistics such as these, it’s easy to understand how hearing loss is an issue worthy of more attention when considering the health and wellbeing of all communities.
Hearing Solutions WLF Offers
Due to the widespread nature and impacts of hearing loss on Wisconsin communities, WLF’s Hearing Project has been one of our core projects for decades. The main mission of the Project is to provide hearing instruments for adults and children who could not otherwise afford them.
The hearing aid project offers hearing aids free of charge, or at a low cost, to Wisconsin residents who qualify under our eligibility requirements. The hearing aids are funded by collecting used hearing aids and recycling them for credit, as well as donations from individuals, Lions Clubs and other organizations.
Since 2001, WLF has collected 94,402 hearing aids and has ordered 2,471 hearing aids. We are proud of the success of our Hearing Project, and look forward to continuing to serve hard of hearing individuals.
How to Benefit
Potential recipients must fill out an application, which can be obtained by calling the WLF Office or downloaded from our website: Application for Financial Assistance. Applications are reviewed for eligibility and qualified recipients will be notified of next steps.
Hearing aid collection containers can be obtained from the WLF Office for free.