Monday, April 6, 2009

Chapter News You Can Use April 6, 2009


  • * Prescott Chapter in Formation Stages: Makes local News
  • * What Chapter Members Really Want

Dear Leaders,

This newsletter is to share some ideas and happenings from other chapters. Thank you Ginny Clark-Wright, Arizona State Chapter Coordinator, and Ruth Bernstein, member of the Manhattan Chapter, for your inspiring contributions.


Toni Barrient | Director of Chapter Development
Hearing Loss Association of America
7910 Woodmont Ave Ste 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814
301-913-9413 FAX

  • Prescott Chapter in Formation Stages: Makes Local News

Arizona State Chapter Coordinator Ginny Clark-Wright reports that a new chapter she is helping to form has made the local newspaper. Janice Woodson of the HLAA Prescott forming chapter emailed Ginny this article. Click here for the article. Publicity like this will draw new people to the chapter and it cost the chapter nothing. What is happening in your chapter? Does your local newspaper know? If you are holding a special event, or presenting a special topic/speaker, let your local newspaper know. The news media just might send a news reporter and a photographer. Way to go Prescott!

  • What Chapter Members Really Want

By Ruth Bernstein

Structuring chapter meetings can be difficult because they are often a “one-room school house”
situation: attendees are at many different learning levels.

People with hearing loss want to hear solutions to the coping problems they have 24/7/365. Many chapter members have a lot of practical knowledge to share.

My experience as a listener and speaker at HLAA meetings locally and at state and national meetings has taught me that “less is more.”

Dr. Sam Trychin says “that people with hearing loss experience difficulty sustaining focused listening over extended periods and a great deal of physical fatigue.” Keeping presentations short and as focused as possible will be appreciated by meeting participants.

Here are some suggestions for successful meetings:

  • Arrange for an assistive listening system and CART
  • Use visual backup; e.g. flip charts, black or white boards or power point presentations
  • Pick a single topic: health care, movies, TV, travel
  • Have one speaker at each meeting. Ask the speaker to learn and abide by the chapter’s speaker guide lines
  • Try to keep presentations short: a limit of 15 to 20 minutes can be effective to allow time for questions
  • Talk about hearing problems that may occur and how to solve them.
  • As much as possible, avoid technical explanations.
  • Provide a written “Coping Tip Sheet” that focuses on solutions and includes a list of resources including web sites and companies that sell assistive devices
  • Consider having planning committee members “plant” leading questions
  • If appropriate, suggest one advocacy action for the situation discussed and provide a postcard to be filled in and returned at the meeting.

Ruth D. Bernstein, M.A. , is a member of HLAA National and Manhattan Chapter. She is co-
coordinator of the Advocates for Better Communication/a.b.c., the advocacy group allied with the League for the Hard of Hearing and contributes to the “Sound Advice” column in The Buzz, the League’s electronic newsletter.