ALDAcon Memories

“ALDAcon feels like a family reunion for people like me with severe hearing loss. I had never seen so many hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive devices in one place and newcomers are always welcome. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn about coping with hearing loss, make new friends, meet people with similar experience, and just have fun. It is a place where all forms of communication are welcome: captioning, signing, pen and paper—whatever works.” – David Baldridge

My first ALDAcon- Salt Lake City 2005:
While the convention itself seemed a blur, I do remember the feelings of relief, engagement and especially rejuvenation. I connected with so many wonderful people that I remain in touch with to this day. Being around so many people with hearing loss gave me the sense of identity, validation, and the relief that I can relax without having to spend the constant effort to advocate for myself made the experience so much more meaningful. Best of all, the ALDAcon was fun. One of the memorable events of that ALDAcon was the evening dinner performance given by a local native American tribe. The presentation highlighted their history & customs and culminated in a powwow. Members of the powwow were all dressed in their colorful locally traditional garb and gave a rousing performance. The constant drum beats punctuated by flutes and vocals gave way to the start of a small circle dance. Encouraged by the dancers, more people joined in the circle dance until we snaked along the perimeter of the large ballroom. Chair and tables had to be pulled aside to make room for this growing circle dance. It was an exhilarating experience. An Elder pulled me aside and shared how surprised he was to see such a large number of participants, since most conventions they perform at the participants rarely join the circle dance. I too was surprised at first. But what struck me is that these 2 distinct groups – the hearing loss community and this local Native American tribe – have one thing in common – a strong sense of community. What a powerful reminder.

I came home feeling complete, refreshed and inspired to give back what ALDAcon gave me – a sense of community that I belong to. ~ Carrie Levin

The best part of the ALDAcon is the reunion. Every year, I look forward to seeing my friends that I made from my first con and over the years.
The 2nd best part is making more new friends! I love meeting the newcomers and making sure they are making new friends and enjoying themselves.
3rd best part of the con, is that we get to experience a new city, state or region that we would never do on our own. Can’t forget the Karaoke either! So fun! (Even if Tahar hogs the mic!)
It truly is a reunion of friends and adventure that we look forward to every year! We can not wait for October!! See you all soon! 🤟
~ Kim and Tahar Mettache

Think of past conventions. they are all filled with memories but the con in Orlando stands out with making sure I was included.  I had a scooter but it means it is harder to be included.  The group went bowling. I went to watch.  Kim M. Invited me to bowl . I told her only if they played gutter ball!  As that is where my balls went.  Well she went and got the railing that usually kids use to try to keep their balls straight.  I felt strange using it at first but I got the hang of it and everyone helped me out to be able to join in.  It meant a lot to be included.  Attached is a picture Kim took. My bowl is going straight down 🙂
Marty Wilson

ALDAcon Photos