Family Picnics

Host community picnics to educate families about hearing loss and rehabilitation options.

Idea at a glance

People often rush to the Internet to find information about hearing loss. A lot of good information is available, but it is often difficult for people to find information that directly applies to their situation. 

What if there was a way for people to learn about hearing loss and meet other families who are going through similar challenges?

You can host picnics in your community to educate families about hearing loss, hearing technology options, and possible rehabilitation strategies. While eating food and playing games, families can get to know each other and share stories about their own experiences with hearing loss. 


Melissa Tumblin's daughter was diagnosed with Microtia (underdevelopment of the external ear) and Atresia (absence of an ear canal). Melissa felt she did not receive adequate information about what to do, why this occurred, or possible treatment options. She realized that other parents or families may not be informed about hearing loss and treatment options. She decided to take action. She has worked with hearing aid manufacturers and medical professionals to arrange summer picnics across the U.S. and Canada. At the picnics, people can freely ask questions about hearing loss and meet other families who may be dealing with similar issues. She also manages a global support group on Facebook and a website that promotes public awareness and self-advocacy.

Potential impact

Hosting and organizing family picnics is a great way to educate families about hearing loss in a fun, stress-free environment.  While you provide information about hearing loss to the group, children can play and families can get to know each other. 

Educating families about hearing loss will help them make more informed decisions about treatment options. Receiving good, quality information about hearing loss in a friendly environment can also help motivate some people to take the first steps towards action.