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VIP, August 1997

Paula Bonillas

H.E.A.R. is very proud to honor Paula Bonillas as our VIP of the Month! Paula has been a long time friend and tremendous supporter of hearing issues. We are lucky to know such a warm and genuine person as Paula. And we are big fans of Hearing Health Magazine!

Paula started publishing Hearing Health (then The Voice) 14 years ago after stumbling across a portable telephone amplifier that changed her life. No longer forced to be telephone dependent when away from home, she set out to find what other assistive devices might aid her in maintaining independence.

When she found numerous devices readily available for hard-of-hearing and deaf people, she left her teaching career behind, dropped out of a master's program in counseling, and set out to let others like herself know that help was available. Today, Hearing Health is a leading consumer publication for people who are experiencing any degree of hearing loss.

Technology continues to play a vital role in Paula's life. Within two months of going totally deaf in 1992, she had a cochlear implant; and last year, she became the first person in the world to own a cellular phone modified for a deaf person.

A long-time advocate for the rights and needs of hard-of-hearing and deaf people, Paula was named Outstanding Hard-of-Hearing Advocate in 1995 by the Massachusetts-based organization Hard of Hearing Advocates.
Since the early '80s, she has been active on local, state, and national levels in a number of capacities.

Currently, Paula is a board member of the Denver-based HEAR NOW, which provides hearing instruments for indigent people. She also continues as an advisory member of two organizations (including H.E.A.R.) and is active in Texas with the Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of

Asked how she feels about the progress she has seen within this community over the years and the role Hearing Health has played, she says, "I'm very encouraged by what I see happening and feel we are on the crux of very positive change. We are truly beginning to work
together for the mutual benefit of people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Hearing Health is filling a very real need within this niche. The letters we get daily and the growing support from the
industry have convinced me of that."


Visit Hearing Health's web site at: http://www.hearinghealthmag.com


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