If you live in the United States and have a hearing loss, you MAY be eligible for free hearing aids regardless of your income. You must have a hearing loss and:
- be 18 or older
- be employed
- preparing for employment (college/university/technical school)
Click HERE and find your state. Contact Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and make an appointment to meet with the deaf/hard of hearing specialist (you may need to attend orientation first).
After you meet with your VR counselor, you will be referred to an ENT and an audiologist to evaluate your hearing loss and determine if hearing aids are useful for your type of hearing loss. If you need your old hearing aids replaced, they will be evaluated, also. Please be patient as the entire process may take several weeks.
If you are interested in going to college/university/technical school, you will go through a more rigorous process, including psychological, IQ, and aptitude testing. Believe me when I say it is well worth it! VR helped me with tuition, books, gas, and general support while I pursued my undergraduate degree. I was on my own for graduate school, but after I finished my M.A., VR bought me two digital hearing aids and a SmartLink, enabling me to hear my Library customers better and participate in staff meetings.
Vocational Rehabilitation exists for the sole purpose of helping people with disabilities (mental and physical) prepare for and retain gainful employment. If you are already employed (or even self-employed) and need new hearing aids, you will probably be eligible for assistance. VR is NOT a handout for poverty-stricken people, although poor people are among VR’s clients. If you have difficulty locating the VR office nearest you, contact your local Library for assistance, or contact me, your cyber-Librarian! You can reach me at beethovensears (at) gmail.com.