By Ron Hendricks

wo Oklahomans were awarded $500 scholarships during the Hearing Loss Association of America Central Oklahoma Chapter’s 25th anniversary celebration. Ashton Darling and Shaun Bainter are the recipients.
Ashton Darling is attending Oklahoma State University in Stillwater to pursue a second degree, in Business Administration. Ashton was diagnosed at 18 months as being deaf/hard of hearing. The Doctor told her family that “…she wouldn’t be able to have a life like a normal kid…” but she has proved him wrong! Ashton is currently employed at the university in the accounts receivable department. Ashton moved to Oklahoma from Kansas. Shaun Bainter, a recent graduate from Putnam City High School, will begin his higher education at Oklahoma State University OKC. After he completes the curriculum at OSUOKC, Shaun plans to attend the University of Oklahoma. Shaun said, “I was born with a hearing loss and even in elementary school was a mentor to other students with hearing loss. I was raised to see my hearing loss as a gift, not a disability and that I would do great things with it.” Shaun’s goal is to become an audiologist.
Hearing Loss Association of America was founded in 1979 with the goal of helping people with a hearing loss live successfully in a hearing world. The Central Oklahoma Chapter is celebrating being a part of HLAA for 25 years. Hearing loss is virtually an invisible physical ailment but 60% of returning veterans complain of hearing loss. About 38 million Americans have hearing loss. Your Central Oklahoma Chapter of HLAA fosters public programs aimed at alleviating misconceptions of hearing loss; encourages social enrichment, and educational opportunities for the community and those with hearing loss; and even offers a place to inspect and try out listening devices in the Hearing Helper’s Room. There are 3 convenient meeting times and locations to answer your questions and help with concerns. The public is invited to all meetings and there is no admission charge to attend or belong to HLAACOC. Visit the website www. for more information.