In 1959, the hearing aid specialists who were practicing in Washington State gathered in Wenatchee, WA and formed the original Washington Hearing Society. The name of the organization was the Hearing Aid Dealers of Washington (HADOW). Articles of Incorporation were drawn up, officers were elected, and committees were appointed. Howard Doran was elected the first President of HADOW and served in that capacity from 1959 through 1961.
At the first meeting, the members of the newly formed organization went on record to formally oppose unfair, restrictive legislation that was in effect at that time. HADOW continued to fight unfair legislation for hearing aid dispensing for the first decade of its existence. The efforts of the original HADOW board members were critical to the survival of hearing aid dispensing in Washington. These “early” professionals played a vital role in helping Hearing Aid Specialists gain recognition as hearing care professionals in our state.
In 2000, the organization was operated under the name of the Hearing Healthcare Providers of Washington. This group was instrumental in the creation of the two-year degree programs in Hearing Aid Specialist Training that continue to be offered by Spokane Falls Community College. The Washington Hearing Society successfully added the Hearing Aid Specialist Training Program (HAST) in 2014 creating a 9 month certificate program for individuals with at least a 2 year associate degree.
The name was changed over the years to become the Washington Hearing Society. The organization’s main focus continues to be to protect the licenses of all Hearing Aid Fitter/Dispensers in Washington State. Equally important is our aim to provide quality education to professionals in the hearing healthcare industry to stay in the forefront of the fast paced changes of technology in our field.