Unified Membership Program

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Unified Membership Program

What is the Unified Membership Program?

The Unified Membership Program is an exciting way to combine the benefits of membership in the HLAA national organization with the benefits of membership in a local HLAA Chapter. How? Anyone who joins the HLAA National organization automatically receives a membership in the local HLAA Chapter closest to them or any chapter they choose to designate as their home chapter. Joining creates a unified membership at both the national and the local level. No more paying dues to both a local chapter and the national organization. One small annual dues payment of $35 does it all!

Why Have a Unified Membership Program?

HLAA is one organization – national office, state offices and associations and HLAA Chapters – all working to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, support and advocacy. HLAA offers the most comprehensive array of local and national resources that help people live  successfully with their hearing loss.

Many people  join HLAA directly through the national website (hearingloss.org)or send in a hard copy membership form, or email/call the national office. Often, they either are not aware there is a chapter to support them nearby or they are not yet ready to take another step. The Unified Membership Program is a way to welcome them as HLAA members, and if they are interested, connect them with a local HLAA Chapter for the kind personalized support a chapter can offer.

Two Chapters Pilot Test the Unified Membership Program

On January 1, 2014, the Sarasota/Manatee Chapter began a pilot test of the Unified Membership Program. They were soon joined by the New York City Chapter as the second pilot site. For these chapters, the HLAA Unified Membership Program has proven to be successful in generating new HLAA members and greater participation within the chapters by attracting more attendance at meetings and volunteers from the direct HLAA membership base.

The Sarasota/Manatee and New York City Chapters’ experience was that the Unified Membership Program has helped their membership to grow. The Sarasota/Manatee and New York Chapters marketed the benefits of the Unified Membership Program and acquired new members and volunteers from previously unaffiliated HLAA members in their area. Most of these new members were unaware a chapter was nearby and had not previously attended chapter meetings.

These chapters who piloted the Unified Membership Program quickly recognized the local and national benefits they received were worth way more than the $35 they paid. The key reason is the Unified Membership Program offers the convenience of one membership as opposed to maintaining separate local and national memberships. The Unified Membership Program offers many benefits, such as significant discounts on the purchase of assistive listening devices, discounts on HLAA Convention registrations, travel and technology discounts at participating national companies, subscription to Hearing Loss Magazine, captioned educational webinars, and local support from more than 160 HLAA Chapters.

How does the HLAA Unified Membership Program differ from past Chapter Rebate Programs?

The HLAA Unified Membership Program differs from past Chapter Rebate Programs in several important ways:

  • It is a not a one-time payment rebate program like prior chapter rebate program, but rather a program that shares revenue with chapters on an on-going basis for all new and renewed memberships for individuals and professionals.
  • It also shares revenue with all new and renewed members from people in your market area (established by zip codes) who join HLAA directly through the national office and who might not even know about an HLAA Chapter in their area.
  • Chapters benefit from gaining the HLAA membership of anyone joining HLAA who lives in the chapter’s area, whether or not that person has ever attended that local chapter’s meeting!
  • HLAA members pay regular rates to join HLAA and become members of both HLAA National and a local chapter determined by proximity or personal member preference.
  • HLAA national shares membership revenue with the chapter for each and every new membership that comes directly to HLAA from interested people in the chapter’s zip code areas.
  • HLAA national shares revenue with the chapter for each and every renewed membership that comes directly to HLAA from interested people in the chapter’s zip code areas.
  • Revenues are shared with chapters enrolled in the Unified Membership Program and following the procedures every time a new member joins or a current member renews. Some chapters are receiving revenue sharing checks on a monthly basis!

The revenue is shared accordingly:

  • $10 for Individual 1-Year Membership
  • $10 for Couple/Family Membership
  • $10 for Library/Nonprofit Membership
  • $10 for Student Membership
  • $10 for Professional Membership
  • $20 per Individual 3-Year Membership
  • $30 per Individual 5-Year Membership

How Does A Chapter Join the Unified Membership Program?

To enter the program, a chapter in good standing with HLAA completes the Unified Membership Program application process.   HLAA will accept Unified Membership applications  from chapters that are current on their Chapter’s  annual filing requirements. Please click here to review HLAA annual requirements for chapters.

The Unified Membership Program Application process consists of three documents:

To be approved for the HLAA Unified Membership Program, the chapter completes the three forms mentioned above and emails them to chapters@hearingloss.org for processing.

Once those three forms are processed, HLAA notifies the Chapter of its acceptance into the Unified Membership Program and send it two forms to use in promoting membership in HLAA and membership in the individual chapter.

Thank you for being a part of the Unified Membership Program. We greatly appreciate all the work that goes on in HLAA chapters to reach out to people with hearing loss. Chapters are an indispensible part of the HLAA mission to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, support and advocacy.

HLAA Founder Howard E. “Rocky” Stone (1925-2004) once said “Hearing loss is a daily challenge you can overcome. You do not have to hide your hearing loss.  You do not have to face hearing loss alone.”  Chapters form the unique link to not facing hearing loss alone by providing peer support, a personal sense of community with others who live with hearing loss, and much more.

We often hear, “HLAA has saved my life.” Our hope is that the Unified Membership Program will give your Chapter additional tools with which to build more robust chapters and provide more pathways for members to live better with their hearing loss.

For questions or additional details, please send an email to chapters@hearingloss.org