Tuesday, December 7, 2010

From Nancy Macklin: Convention Delegate Instructions

December 7, 2010

Dear Chapter and State Leaders ~

It has come to my attention that there is some confusion regarding registration for the Convention and the 2nd International Hearing Loop Conference. We’ve tried to make registration easier for leaders and delegates by eliminating the discount codes used in the past, but there are several things I’d like to point out:

Delegates should be selected by the end of December so that those not selected have the opportunity to register as an Early Bird. (The delegate has until May 1st to actually complete the online registration; leaders and delegates must register online). Delegates should be aware that their attendance at workshops held in the Chapter Development room is expected. Please email the name of your delegate before they register to Elizabeth LeBarron, National States and Chapters Coordinator, at elebarron@hearingloss.org.

· The Loop Conference is a great deal, but space is limited; those registered for the Conference are counted when we order materials, plan meals, etc., so attendance is expected. The Conference will be highly technical – it’s not for everyone.

· The Loop Conference registration includes a ticket to the banquet on Saturday evening (A Capital Celebration). We are able to do this because the Conference has been underwritten by a grant. If you are attending the Conference as well as the Convention, do NOT add a banquet ticket.

The Convention page on hearingloss.org contains information about both events – please read through the information carefully so that you register for exactly what you want to attend. Registering correctly the first time makes life easier for everyone.

· PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE feel free to call or email me with any comments, questions or concerns. I’m happy to help in any way I can.

Happy Holidays ~

Nancy Macklin

Director of Events and Marketing


301.657.2248 Ext. 106

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chapter and State Delegates must register by December 31st for 2011 Convention

It’s not too early to think about your plans for next summer, especially when it will save you money. The HLAA Convention 2011 promises to be a lot of fun, and we have many great things planned just for you! Registration is now open!

Select your State or Chapter's Delegate and have him or her register by December 31. Please notify me (Elizabeth) of your choice as soon as possibly by clicking here. Don't delay - people's schedules fill up quickly!

Good news! This year you do not need a special code to get the discounted rate. When registering online, you will be asked to select a registration type. Pick "State and Chapter Leaders," fill in the name of the State organization or Chapter, and read the Details to learn who in your State or Chapter qualifies for the reduced rate $119. Only *one* person per State and Chapter qualifies for this rate.

We are planning State and Chapter workshops just for you at Convention, so this is one event you don't want to miss. Whether you plan to register for Convention 2011, the 2nd International Hearing Loop Conference, or both, you may now register online by clicking here. Please see the Convention page to review the Schedule-at-a-Glance and Research Symposium (The Impact of Noise on Hearing), meet Keynote Speaker Chris Artinian, find hotel and travel information, and more. The State and Chapter workshops will be posted there this spring.

See you in June, 2011 in our home town!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

News You Can Use From National HLAA

In this Issue
• The HLAA Chapter-National Partnership
• Chapter Connection Calls from HLAA
• October 15 Deadline for Filing IRS Form 990 by ePostcard
• Newsletter Help from HLAA
• How to Use Walk4Hearing™ Funds
• Fundraising Idea

The HLAA Chapter-National Partnership
You, our HLAA Chapters, represent HLAA in your community. National HLAA supports and encourages your work by providing expertise, training, communications and encouragement. All of us follow a single mission statement: to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy.

HLAA Chapters and HLAA national provide assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss. HLAA is working to eradicate the stigma associated with hearing loss and raise public awareness about the need for prevention and the importance of regular hearing screenings throughout life.

HLAA is the nation’s leading organization representing people with hearing loss. According to the National Center for Health Statistics 36 million (17%) American adults have some degree of hearing loss making it a public health issue third in line after heart disease and arthritis.

Because your HLAA Chapter represents HLAA on a local level, HLAA requires all steering committee members or officers to be members of national HLAA. Only HLAA members can speak as “insiders” because they can and do identify how HLAA is serving members through advocacy, awareness, support and shared resources.

National HLAA and HLAA Chapters share equally in the outreach that helps change lives of people with hearing loss. We appreciate the countless hours and hard work that each of you contributes to fulfilling the vision of our Founder Rocky Stone. Together we are making a positive difference in the lives of people with hearing loss.

Chapter Connection Calls from HLAA
Starting next week all chapter leaders and coordinators will receive a call from me, Elizabeth LeBarron, HLAA national states and chapters coordinator. In our brief I will reintroduce myself, ask about your chapter’s plans for the upcoming year, remind you of any outstanding documents your chapter(s) may need to submit to be covered under HLAA’s 501c3 federal tax exemption, and learn how HLAA can best support you. The conversation should take about 15 minutes. I am looking forward to talking with each of you.

October 15 Deadline for Filing IRS Form 990
Did you file the IRS 990 ePostcard this past spring for tax year 2009? If not, your chapter is risking the loss of your tax-exempt status especially if they also they failed to file the required returns for 2007 and 2008 also. Chapters can preserve their status by filing the returns by Oct. 15, 2010, under a one-time special relief program.

The IRS posted Monday on a special page of IRS.gov the names and last-known addresses of these at-risk organizations, along with guidance about how to come back into compliance. The organizations on the list have return due dates between May 17 and Oct. 15, 2010, but the IRS has no record that they filed the required returns for any of the past three years. (Note: if your chapter is new to HLAA since January 2010 or if you were not covered under our 501c3 last year, your chapter’s name is not on this list.)

Form 990 is an annual information return required to be filed with the IRS by most organizations exempt from income tax under section 501(a). It is a series of questions that are straightforward. To complete the online application click here.

Newsletter Help from HLAA
Need articles for your newsletter? Borrow freely from HLAA! Listed below are the resources from which you may export material. Please attribute HLAA and/or Hearing Loss Magazine as the source of the information.
• Hearing Loss Magazine HLAA’s award-winning, bi-monthly publication
• “This Month in Bethesda,” HLAA Executive Director Brenda Battat’s enewsletter sent to all members and chapter leaders via email
• eNews, HLAA’s primary enewsletter sent bi-weekly, free (to sign up, click here)
• This Chapter and State Development Blog sent by email to all state and
chapter leaders
Hearingloss.org (http://www.hearingloss.org), HLAA’s website

How to Use Walk4Hearing™ Funds
Staff have received several phone calls about how HLAA Chapters should use the monies they raised at the Walk4Hearing™. We have one response: OUTREACH. Plow the proceeds right back into educating others in the community about the effects of hearing loss and strategies for living a fuller life as people with hearing loss. Implement the steps outlined in “Invisible No More,” a program developed by North Carolina State President Michael Eury, or host Marcia Finisdore’s six-week or day-long “Hearing Loss 101” program for the community. To view them click here.

Keep building on the momentum and public recognition you achieved from the Walk4Hearing to educate and support people with hearing loss and their colleagues, friends and family in your community. In the process you will likely gain new members and leaders for your chapter. Resist the temptation to use those funds to cover routine administrative costs or a social event for chapter members. Reinvest in your community!

Here are some acceptable ways to use Walk proceeds.
Hearing Loss 101 program (outreach)
* nationally-recognized speaker for outreach meeting(s)
* scholarship/stipend for chapter leaders (delegates) to attend the HLAA Convention
* scholarships for young adults for college and/or HLAA Convention
* HLAA Founder's Day [November]
* Chapter website development and maintenance
* CART for chapter meetings

Fundraising Idea

Want to increase donations and make people feel good at the same time? Consider signing up your chapter(s) for iGive. Get more information about listing your chapter(s) by clicking here. (Hint: your chapter does not have to have a 501c3 in order to participate!) HLAA already participates; see www.hearingloss.org for details. (Submitted by a blog reader.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Convention 2010 Workshops A Success; Call for Convention 2011 Volunteers, Free Equipment

Chapter Workshops at Convention 2010 a Hit!
The results are in: the Workshops for current and potential chapter coordinators and leaders were a success. On average 25 or more people attended each session and participated in the discussion. “I expected to learn new things at the workshops and I was surprised that I had the opportunity to share my ideas with the group,” one coordinator commented. We are delighted that well more than the 50 attendees who registered as Chapter Delegates or State Leaders actually attended one workshop or more.

Participants posed intriguing questions to HLAA staff such as a request to clarify what companies local/state Walk4Hearing™ chairs can and should approach for sponsorship (they should be local or statewide companies and not national manufacturers); whether state associations and local chapters can collect monies for operating expenses and call such fees “dues” (they can); whether the dues-sharing arrangement with new chapters has proven successful (the HLAA Board of Trustees’ membership committee is still studying this); and whether chapter members must be national HLAA members. Staff is seeking answers for the remaining questions.

The theme for the workshops was set early in the day on June 17th when one leader opined, “Captions are the only thing that make our disability visible.” Participants encouraged one another to shift their focus to younger generations including twenty- and thirty-year-olds and parents with young children. Several chapters are using Facebook, Twitter, and/or MySpace to connect with younger generations, to ensure the longevity of their organizations. Another leader encouraged others to “set the bar high” for goals that will increase membership.

Thank you for those that attended. If you participated in any state or chapter workshop but did not fill out a program evaluation, please do so now by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page.

For those of you that were unable to come, we missed you! We are collecting the presentations and placing them on the Leaders Wiki. Please click here to view the files we have received to date. Others will follow, so check the site periodically.

Chapters Near Washington, D.C.: We Need Your Help for 2011 Convention
Whether or not your state association or local chapter is in the Washington, D.C. region, we need you! HLAA expects over 1,000 people to attend next year’s convention, so we need volunteers to help direct visitors to registration, workshops, exhibits, etc. and to fill myriad other roles such as distributing and collecting handouts and evaluation forms. If your organization is interested in helping, please contact Nancy Macklin, HLAA’s director of events and marketing, by phone at 301-657-2248, extension 106, or by email her by clicking here.

Consider Sponsoring a 2011 Convention Scholarship
As you begin planning meetings and fundraisers for the coming year, begin talking with your leaders and members about your chapter/state association providing a scholarship for someone to attend the 2011 Convention. Eight chapters/state associations sponsored scholarships to the 2010 Convention, and we know that there will be even more scholarships for 2011. The scholarship monies must come to the HLAA office directly in order for HLAA to recognize your organization at the awards breakfast. For more information, please contact HLAA’s Nancy Macklin, HLAA’s director of events and marketing, by phone at 301-657-2248, extension 106, or by email her by clicking here.

Free Equipment
HLAA staff recently received an offer too good to refuse. Scott Adler of Telephonics writes that he has three (3) large-button, amplifier-equipped telephone instruments and a Cap-Tel instrument. In addition he has an easy-to-install loop amplifier. He would like to make these available (donation) to an individual or organization that can use them rather than just dispose of them. All are in perfect working condition with instruction book available.

If you are interested for someone in your organization, please contact Scott Adler in Rockville, Maryland, by phone at 301-493-5173 or at email address telephonics@hotmail.com.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 15 Deadlines for IRS 990, HLAA Convention Delegate Registration

1. IRS Form 990 Due By May 15
2. Register NOW - Chapter Delegation Rate Extended to May15
3. Chapters and States Convention Schedule Set
4. Chapter Award Recipients Chosen
5. May/June Hearing Loss Magazine -- It Is All About YOU
6. Membership Brochures Are On Their Way to You
7. Post-Secondary Scholarship Information Request

1. IRS Form 990 Due By May 15

The New York Times, nonprofit blogs and many other sources have been reporting on a tax regulation that threatens to impact small nonprofits. Initially announced in 2006, the legislation requires all nonprofits to file 990 tax forms, and enforcement will begin this year if forms aren't filed by May 15. This regulation mostly impacts small nonprofits with budgets under $25,000 — they now must file a 990 form — previously they were not required to do so.

2007 federal legislation required most tax exempt organizations with annual revenues under $25,000 to begin filing a brief form of the IRS 990 annual return - known as the 990N or the "e-postcard'. Previously these groups had been exempted from annual filing requirements.

The law also provided that groups failing to begin filing within three years were subject to automatic revocation of their tax exempt status. The first three year deadline, for groups whose last fiscal year ended December 31, 2009, is May 15, 2010.

Compliance is relatively easy - the filing is done electronically and links to more information, an explanation of the requirement, the form itself, and frequently asked questions, are on the IRS website (www.irs.gov).

The information required is limited to eight items:
1. Employer identification number (EIN), also known as a Taxpayer
Identification Number (TIN)).
2. Tax year
3. Legal name and mailing address
4. Any other names the organization uses
5. Name and address of a principal officer
6. Web site address if the organization has one
7. Confirmation that the organization's annual gross receipts are normally
$25,000 or less
8. If applicable, a statement that the organization has terminated or is
terminating (going out of business)

2. Register NOW - Chapter Delegation Rate Extended to May 15

Due to the recent staff transitions at HLAA National, we have extended the Delegate Registration deadline to May 7. We pushed back the original deadline of May 1 to help get more designated chapter representatives to register. Don’t delay in making travel plans.

Each chapter decides whether they will be sending a delegate. One reduced fee registration per chapter is offered to send an officer to the convention. Please note that if a chapter officer/member registers for the convention at the early bird rate or the regular rate and then is chosen to be a delegate, please note we will not be making any adjustments or refunds if someone has registered and then is chosen as a delegate.

Some chapters are sending their president/leader at the association’s expense as a perk for the long hours that they contribute to the organization.

The registration cost for chapter delegates is $119. To access this special rate enter promotional code HLACD when asked during the online registration process. To register online click on the link below.

Registration does not include the banquet or special events. Those can be added as an extra. Select the "Special" Registration.

Come, join us. We would love to have you.

3. States and Chapters Convention 2010 Schedule Set

It’s finally here! The schedule of workshops is ambitious and we hope you can stay for all of it. Special events include a session by Michael Eury of the HLA – North Carolina in which he outlines presenting the new “Invisible No More” program developed by their chapter. Another guest speaker is Marcia Finisdore presenting an overview of a one-day or weekly-series workshop designed to educate the public and their loved ones about hearing loss. This year we have added a brainstorming session for Chapter newsletter editors. Also new this year is a text describing who the main invitees are for each time block. Seating for is others is limited, so come early if you plan to participate.
For the complete schedule go to http://www.hearingloss.org/convention/2010Convention/2010chapters.asp

4. Chapter and State Award Recipients Chosen

The judges have spoken! We are pleased to announce the names of people and organizations that will receive the awards at the upcoming convention in Milwaukee. The competition in many categories proved fierce; personally, I am glad that I did not have to choose from among the many, excellent candidates. In my mind, everyone that submitted an application is a winner: you are the ones that are committed to excellence in all you do.

2010 HLAA Chapter and State Award Recipients

Chapter Newsletter Award
HLAA Bucks County (PA), Debra Cannon, Editor

Chapter Website Award
HLAA - Diablo Valley Chapter (CA), Debbie Sharp, Editor

Chapter/State Advocacy Award
Bea Lyons (TN)
Stephen O. Frazier (NM)

Community Service Award
Debbie Sharp (CA)
Ann Thomas (CA)

Family Involvement Award
Danny Tubbs (CA)

Professional Advisor Support Award
Carol Clifford (NM)

Spirit of HLAA Award
Molly Corum (FL)
Raegene Castle (CA)

State Newsletter Award
Hearing Loss Association of Florida

State Organization Award

Hearing Loss Association of New Jersey

State Website Award

Hearing Loss Association of Georgia

The "Nancy Wessner" Outstanding State Chapter Coordinator Award
Ginny Clark-Wright, Arizona

5. May/June 2010 Hearing Loss Magazine -- It Is All About YOU

Have you read the latest edition of the magazine? From cover to cover, the content is all about YOU, our chapters. Starting with Brenda Battat’s column Our Grassroots Organization through o the article about Lois Johnson surviving Hurricane Ike and rising through the ranks of volunteer leadership first from the chapters, to profiles of HLA-NC’s Mary Eury and finally Debra Cannon of HLAA Bucks County, you, our chapters shine. We are proud to be affiliated with you.

6. Membership Brochures Are On Their Way to You

As promised in my last Blog posting, our office is sending 25 copies of the new HLAA membership brochure to each chapter. The first packets left the office today. Watch your mailbox for your chapter’s bundle coming soon.

7. Post-Secondary Scholarship Information Request

Does your chapter offer scholarships for students heading to college or technical schools? If so, please send the information about the scholarship(s) to Marcia Finisdore at babbaf@comcast.net. She would like to post this information on the parents' WIKI found at this same address. Thank you in advance for your input.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Welcome From the New National Chapters and States Coordinator - March 2010

In This Issue:
• Hello From New National Chapters and States Coordinator
• New HLAA/Chapter Membership Brochure Available
• Awards Nominations Deadline Extended to April 10
• Chapter Delegate Convention Registration Due May 1

Hello, Chapters and States!

First, I want to say “thank you” to all of you that have sent me greetings and best wishes. I am delighted to serve in this newly-created capacity at HLAA headquarters. I understand that we – you and I – have a lot of work ahead of us. I am looking forward to getting to know each of you and learning how we can work together best for the benefit of people with hearing loss.

As I explained to several of you that have emailed me already, thanks for your patience as I get acquainted with the organization. I have worked with Chapters in the past 20 years that I have been in association management and find it is one of the most rewarding aspects of my career. You are the ones that people see and turn to for support, camaraderie and friendship. The national office provides support for the work that you do. I view our partnership as a body: the national association provides an overall framework that acts as a sort of spine, if you will. You are in the field representing the national organization, providing the limbs, feet, hands, and eyes that the national office could never do. You will hear much more about that partnership in the coming weeks and months as I work with you to strengthen the bond between all of our organizations.

I feel blessed to be counted in your number, having experienced hearing loss in my forties. My father became deaf at about the same age as did his father. My dad now wears two, in-the-ear hearing aids and I (perhaps the vain one in the family!) wear the behind-the-ear style hearing aids. My hearing loss became an issue when I was unable to hear what my toddler was saying from the back seat of the car and so I sought the advice of my physician who referred me to an audiologist. I am amazed at how well I hear now, and what I had been missing for several years. I am only now beginning to appreciate what all of you know so well, that adapting to hearing loss is an on-going process.

Enough about me. I want to learn about you. I plan to contact all of you over the course of the next month or two to get your ideas for services that we/I can offer to support you and help your organization thrive. I will also, of course, attend all of the Chapter and State functions at the upcoming convention and look forward to meeting many of you then.

Speaking of convention, we want –and need – your input for the Awards. (We’ve even extended the deadline to next Saturday, April 10.) We also need to know whom you have chosen as a delegate to represent your Chapter at convention. Please see more about these two, important items below.

I am also continuing our drive to get all Chapters covered under our national IRS tax exemption and for each Chapter to get their own Employer Identification Number (EIN) and registration with their state IRS for tax exemption. For more information about what’s required please click on this link. http://www.hlaaleaderswiki.org and select "Does your chapter need Group Exemption? Click here....."

Hot off the press – in response to your request, we have a brand-new membership brochure with more space to promote your chapter. Please click http://www.hearingloss.org/chapters/images/MemberBrochureFold.jpg to see a copy of the brochure. We plan to mail a packet of 25 copies to each Chapter president. The brochure is also available unfolded (flat) for Chapters that want to use a printer to imprint their chapter information. They are also available for order; we ask that your chapter pay for shipping and handling. Please discard any old HLAA membership brochures you have.

Lastly, I want to thank my colleagues here at the HLAA for their encouragement, particularly Brenda Battat, Toni Barrient, Barbara Kelley and Nancy Macklin. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the hearing loss community in this role and look forward to getting to know you. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to call me (301-657-2248) or send me an email me at elebarron@hearingloss.org. I look forward to working with you.


Elizabeth LeBarron
National Coordinator
for States and Chapters


Award Nominations – Deadline April 10 (ahead a week for your convenience!)
Find the Awards nomination information on the Wiki home page. Please nominate those individuals who have worked so hard to make their Chapter and community a better place!

Chapter Delegate Registration – Deadline May 1
Find the information you need about qualifications and how to register on the Wiki in the National Convention Section:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Last Chapter News from Toni and Important Reminders

Last Chapter News from Toni

It was bound to happen. Things needed to change and indeed they have. Because of the layoffs in 2002, the national office staff has been kept very, very lean. While many of you have been aware that I wear many hats at the national office I also know many of you have not been aware of the situation. In addition to chapters, my job has been to oversee membership, the computer network, database management, and to supervise volunteers and variety of other projects and tasks. Many of you got replies to your emails at night and on weekends because I was trying to cover all the bases. So you can see that my work with chapters was only part of what I did. This really needed to change. Then Elizabeth came to us to fill a temporary assignment and when we discovered that she has experience in many areas that were valuable to HLAA, we put on our thinking caps and started thinking of restructuring the workloads in the National office. We were able to restructure the workload so that we could bring Elizabeth in to work with States and Chapters full time without increasing the number of staff members. Last week you should have received the News Release about Elizabeth LeBarron, who is now the new National Chapter and State Coordinator.

The timing could not have been more perfect. I am thrilled and personally feel that these changes are a win-win situation for all of us. You get a full-time, dedicated States and Chapter Coordinator and I get my nights and weekends back. I have loved working with all of you through the ups and downs, ins and outs and of course most of you all remember the name change. :) While I will miss working with you on a day to day basis, I will still be in the national office and look forward to seeing you in Milwaukee in June and future conventions.

Don’t hesitate to contact me regarding any issues or questions you may have about membership(s). Please contact Elizabeth for anything related to States or Chapters. Elizabeth’s email is elebarron@hearingloss.org

Important Reminders:

Deadline for Award Nominations is April 5
Find the Awards nomination information on the Wiki home page


Chapter Delegate Registration – Deadline May 1
Find the information you need about qualifications and how to register on the Wiki in the National Convention Section


Chapter taxes Webinar
The chapter Webinar by Sean Smith is available for playback.

March 1, 2010 Webinar Playback: http://bit.ly/bGlf21

Download the transcript 3-1-2010-GroupExemption- Taxes.rtf

Warmest regards to each and every one you.


Toni Barrient | Director of Member Services
Hearing Loss Association of America
7910 Woodmont Ave Ste 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814

Friday, March 19, 2010

HLAA Hires National Coordinator for States and Chapters


Contact:Brenda Battat, MA,
Executive Director
Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)

The Hearing Loss Association of America Hires
National Coordinator for States and Chapters

The Hearing Loss Association of America® (HLAA) is pleased to announce that they have created and filled a full-time staff position solely charged with supporting and developing the network of HLAA affiliates throughout the United States. HLAA selected Elizabeth LeBarron to fill the position of HLAA chapter and state coordinator.

HLAA created the position after the Board of Trustees named states and chapter organizations as one of their key strategic priorities. Board members emphasized support for the existing state and chapter organizations as the grassroots network to reach people with hearing loss on a personal level.

Executive Director Brenda Battat commented, “Chapters are the grassroots of HLAA, where self-help thrives. We are delighted to have Elizabeth on board to focus on supporting our chapters and state organizations. She brings a wealth of experience in working with chapters and will bring a fresh look at how we can all work together as one organization to further our mission.”

Ms. LeBarron brings a depth of experience in strengthening local organizations. From 1990 – 2001, she worked with 20-plus state chapters as membership manager at the National Glass Association in McLean, Virginia. During her tenure there she transformed the national-chapter relationship from adversarial to a partnership of mutual respect and cooperation.

From there Ms. LeBarron moved to the Association for Conflict Resolution in Washington, D.C., where she served for over a year as director of membership and development. Since then she has worked for the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Gastroenterological Association in the membership and education fields, respectively.
“I am delighted to be working with HLAA staff and volunteers to reestablish the close ties between the national office and the local affiliates. I am looking forward to continuing Founder Rocky Stone’s legacy in working with states and chapters. I appreciate the opportunity learning how our organizations can support each other as we help people with hearing loss.”

Ms. LeBarron experienced hearing loss herself as a toddler when doctors discovered impacted wax in her ear canals. The surgery left her left eardrum loose and her hearing continued to decline when, in her mid-forties, she sought help from her primary care physician who referred her to an audiologist. Citing vanity and denial as the main reasons for not pursuing treatment previously, she was amazed how much she had not been hearing.

“When I could not understand what my toddler was saying to me from the back seat of the car, I decided to seek help. Right after getting my hearing aids, I could hear the turn signal tone in my car for the first time since buying the car months earlier.” Ms. LeBarron then learned that her own father had sustained a hearing loss at the same point in his life. (At age 80 he wears two, in-the canal hearing aids, while Ms. LeBarron wears two, behind-the-ear hearing aids.)

HLAA’s Toni Barrient, who previously served as chapter coordinator, will continue in her capacity as director of member services. In addition Ms. Barrient is also the national office’s business manager to oversee its expanding technology and information systems operations. Lise Hamlin, who previously coordinated states, will continue to serve in her capacity as HLAA public policy director and advise states on advocacy issues.

Ms. LeBarron’s first opportunity to meet with state and chapter leaders will be during the HLAA annual convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin June 17 – 20, 2010. Ms. LeBarron will oversee the chapter development tract and will conduct the chapter delegate meeting on Saturday, June 19 at 9a.m. She can be reached at Elebarron@hearingloss.org.

About Hearing Loss Association of America
The Hearing Loss Association of America® (HLAA), founded in 1979, opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy and support. HLAA publishes the bimonthly Hearing Loss Magazine, holds annual conventions, produces the national Walk4Hearing™, hosts online learning with the Hearing Loss Academy, holds monthly webinars, and advocates for the rights of people with hearing loss. HLAA has more than 200 chapters and 14 state organizations. The national headquarters is located at 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200, Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone: 301.657.2248 or visit www.hearingloss.org.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chapter Webinar Reminder- Finances and IRS Tax Returns for Chapter and State Offices

  • Webinar reminder - Monday, March 1, 2010
  • Group Exemption Letters

Webinar reminder

Topic: Finances and IRS Tax Returns for your Chapter or State Organization

All chapter Treasurers and Officers should plan to attend this webinar. Please send a copy of this email to your treasurer today.

When: March 1, 2010

5pm Alaska || 6pm Pacific || 7pm Mountain || 8pm Central || 9pm Eastern

A high speed Internet connection is needed to view and participate in the Webinar.

To join the meeting:


The doors to the training will open at 9:00 p.m. EST.

Plan to listen through your computer speakers and read the captions.

If you have never attended a Connect Pro meeting before:
Test your connection: http://hearinglossassociation.acrobat.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

Get a quick overview: http://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview

Group Exemption Letters

New group exemption letters have been mailed to all chapters who have successfully completed the group exemption renewal process. They were mailed yesterday to Presidents or chapter contacts of the chapters. Please be sure to read the documents sent and every treasurer should have a copy and understand about group exemption. The webinar on group exemption is still available to playback or you can read the transcripts.

February 1, 2010 Webinar Playback http://bitly.net/cGyfY0
Download the transcript 2-1-2010_Group_ExemptionWebinar.pdf

This information is also on the Leadership support Wiki in the Chapter Webinar section.


Toni Barrient |Chapter Development
Hearing Loss Association of America
7910 Woodmont Ave Suite 1200
Bethesda, MD 20895

Leadership support website (Wiki)

Chapter News Blog
Subscribe to the Chapter Development news.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


  • Rocky Stone Endowment Scholarships available. Deadline for application is March 1.
  • Convention registration for Chapter Delegates.
  • Changes to the 2010 Awards - Nominations deadline April 5, 2010.
Rocky Stone Endowment Scholarships available. Deadline for application is March 1.

We are excited to offer two scholarships from the Rocky Stone Endowment Fund to help fund an HLAA member who has never been to an HLAA Convention in the past. In addition, we are actively seeking private funds in order to offer additional scholarships.

Please see the guidelines for more details about the scholarship and nomination deadline. Kindly direct any questions to Nancy Macklin, Director of Events at convention@hearingloss.org.

Submit nomination form by March 1st of each year. E-mail to convention@hearingloss.org

Hearing Loss Association of America
ATTN: Nancy Macklin, Director of Events
7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814

Convention registration for Chapter Delegates

Has your chapter selected a “Chapter Delegate” for the Milwaukee Convention?
Registration is open until May 1st for Chapter Delegates. Take advantage of this special low rate to send one Chapter Delegate to the Convention. Certain rules apply. See the frequently asked questions document that addresses the rules and questions that have arisen for the Chapter Delegate registration. See the FAQ and registrations instructions here. http://hlaaleaderswiki.wikispaces.com/National+Conventions

Activities are planned for Chapter Delegates and Chapter Members.

Delegates will be recognized and welcomed at the Convention Opening Session on Thursday. Each delegate will have a special ribbon/sticker for their badge identifying them as a Chapter Delegate. There will be a special meeting of the Chapter Delegates on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. in the Chapter Development Room.

Chapter Development Room Schedule and Activities

Friday – June 18, 2010
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Bring copies of your newsletters, brochures, flyers and displays to show
off in the Chapter Development Room. We will have tables for the items you wish to share.

2:00 p.m. Starting an HLAA Chapter
Starting a chapter – New start-up requirements.

3:30 p.m. Publicity for Chapters
The “How To” and tips to get publicity for your Chapter.

Saturday – June 19, 2010

8:30 a.m. Delegates come for coffee

9:00 a.m. Chapter Delegates Meeting
Special Guest speaker –

10:30 a.m. Advantages of Shared Leadership
Chapters operating by Steering Committee instead of by elected officers.

1:00 p.m. Grassroots advocacy for Chapters
Ideas and ”How To” for advocacy projects.

2:30 p.m. Keeping a chapter going

Chapter attendance is dropping and volunteer help is needed - What to do, steps you can take to get back on track.

4:00 p.m. The Peer Connection
Chapter Development Panel: Bring your questions to successful/experienced Chapter Leaders.

5:00 p.m. Chapter Development Room is closed.
Pick up any chapter displays from the Chapter Development Room at this time.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

9:00 a.m. Awards Ceremony (breakfast is served)
Celebrate Excellence in Chapters and Leadership

Changes to the 2010 Awards - Nominations deadline April 5, 2010
Summary of Changes

The presentation of annual HLAA Awards at National Conventions has become an increasingly popular event. If you were in Nashville, you know the Convention Awards Breakfast was so packed that there was standing room only! This is truly a testimony of a thriving organization of active members who are making a difference and the recognition they well deserve from their peers.

That said – the nominations for 2010 Awards are now open! The application may be accessed either via the HLAA website Leaders Support page or directly using this address – http://www.hlaaleaderswiki.org/ – and clicking National Convention. Please note that the deadline to receive nominations is April 5, 2010. In keeping with organizational development, there are exciting new award categories and some changes to previous awards. They are a reflection of activities Chapters and States have been involved with.

A Summary of New Awards

Community Service Award: This will be presented to HLAA organizations that have undertaken projects that serve the community by teaching others about hearing loss and the communication obstacles that it can create followed by instruction in sensitivity training.

HLAA Service Award:
This will be awarded to individual members, State or Chapter organizations that have completed a service that directly benefits Hearing Loss Association of America®, its members and its National presence as well as HLAA State and Chapter affiliates.

State Organization Award: This will be awarded either to an HLAA State Office or State Association in recognition of their progress and activities beneficial to people with hearing loss.

HLAA Walk4Hearing™ Award: This will be presented to the local organization that has used their proceeds from the Walk in a way that is of greatest benefit to the most people with hearing loss within the last two years.

Finally, please note that there have been revisions to the popular Spirit of HLAA Award.

See and download the nominations application here: http://hlaaleaderswiki.wikispaces.com/Chapter+Awards

Hotel and Airline Information as well as a listing of all the other exciting workshops and events at the Milwaukee Convention are listed on the HLAA website: www.hearingloss.org/convention. Watch for Convention updates and find extra tid bits on the HLAA Convention Blog http://hlaaconvention.blogspot.com/ .

Looking forward to seeing you all in Milwaukee!


Toni Barrient
Director of Membership and Chapter Development
Hearing Loss Association of America
7910 Woodmont Ave Suite 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chapter News You Can Use - February 13, 2010

A Look Behind the Scenes

There are some Chapter members who are National members and stay abreast of news from and about what HLAA National is doing. There are other National members who do not really keep up with National activity. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who are local members only - and they don’t know or understand what HLAA is all about.

Please consider the unfairness of this situation. It leaves people with hearing loss in the dark! If these people were informed it’s fair to say they would be reaching out by sharing new information with their families, professionals, and other people they associate with.

Also, as you all know, a large part of National activity is advocacy related. Before we were founded, hard of hearing people were not recognized because we were not united. Over the years as we grew in numbers and joined special issue coalitions we became a force to be reckoned with.

And, over the years all hard of hearing people – members or not – are benefitting from amazing advances in hearing technology and telecommunications compatibility, and in laws that both protect us and enable us to stay in the mainstream of live. The list is long and impressive and it advances fast.

What is the point of all this? We urge all leaders to make National information and news a priority – first by taking at least five minutes at the beginning of meetings to share exciting news from the National front, and second to include National news and information in newsletters and on websites. This is only being fair to your members, to potential members and to HLAA National. Let’s let everyone have a look behind the scenes.

PS In addition to Hearing Loss Magazine, the HLAA Website is a prime source of current information that makes it easy to stay up to date. And now the e-News of January 26 announced a new resource in the form of staff blogs; the executive director’s news, a convention blog and a public policy and advocacy blog. And don’t overlook the Chapter and State development blog.

Consider too, livening up meetings and/or newsletters by sharing excerpts from the Collection of Memories about our Founder Rocky Stone or his book The Invisible Condition. These jewels are easy to find by clicking the blue box on the right side of the HLAA home page.


Toni Barrient |Chapter Development
Hearing Loss Association of America

Leadership support website (Wiki)

Chapter News Blog
Subscribe to the Chapter Development news.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Group Exemption Webinar Playback and Transcript

A big thank you to everyone who emailed me and provided feedback on our first webinar held last Monday. This is an exciting new method to offer trainings and the overall response was very positive.

If you missed the webinar (Seminar on the web) or if you were there and want to view it again, you may playback the entire event. This webinar was all about Group Exemption and how to apply.

Click this link to playback: http://bitly.net/cGyfY0
If you prefer a transcript, you can download the transcript from the home page on the Leadership support Wiki.

Mark your calendars and tell your treasurers about the next Chapter Development webinar scheduled for March 1, 2010. Our guest presenter will be Sean Smith, the HLAA accountant who will do a little presentation and answer your questions about filing tax returns or any other financial issues you may have concerning Chapters, State Associations or State Offices.

Meeting Name: Finances and IRS Tax filings
Summary: this room is used for leadership trainings
Invited By: Toni Barrient (tbarrient@hearingloss.org)
When: March 1, 2010
5pm Alaska || 6pm Pacific || 7pm Mountain || 8pm Central || 9pm Eastern

To join the meeting:
The doors to the training will open at 9:00 p.m. EST.
Plan to listen through your computer speakers .
If you have never attended a Connect Pro meeting before:
Test your connection: http://hearinglossassociation.acrobat.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

Get a quick overview: http://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview


Toni Barrient |Chapter Development
Hearing Loss Association of America
Toll free Fax: (888) 566-8219

Leadership support website (Wiki)

Chapter News Blog
Subscribe to the Chapter Development news.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chapter News You Can Use - January 28, 2010

Please share this email with your chapter leaders and treasurers.
Please read the entire email before you email me with questions.

  • New Online Chapter Leaders Training- replaces Chapter chats

Did you miss Dr. Gene Bratt’s Webinar last week?

If you did, you can see and hear the replay. You will experience the web broadcast as if you were online when it happened.

Please visit this web page http://www.hearingloss.org/Community/transcripts.asp . You can download the transcript but more importantly see and hear the playback as if you were watching live. You will see that the entire event was captioned as well.

I am very excited about being able to have these types of broadcasts over the Internet for members but I am even more excited that I can use this method of communication to give support to Chapters. These broadcasts will replace Chapter chats from now on.

The first broadcast will be Monday, February 1, 2010
5pm Alaska || 6pm Pacific || 7pm Mountain || 8pm Central || 9pm Eastern

Session will be one hour.

I will be doing a presentation on Chapter nonprofit and financial matters and answering these frequently asked questions:

How does the Chapter establish nonprofit Federal tax exempt status?

What is an EIN (Tax ID number)?
How does the Chapter get an EIN?
Why it is important to have an EIN for the Chapter?

When somebody asks for your Chapter's Tax ID number what do you give them?

Why must every chapter have bylaws or chapter rules and regulations?

What is Group Exemption?
What chapters need Group Exemption?
Why it is Group Exemption important for Chapters?
Why your chapter needs this and how to get it?

What does the Chapter need to take to the bank to open a Chapter bank account?

Is your chapter obligated to the state?

These questions and more will be addresses during the webcast.

Who needs to attend this webcast?

Treasurers, officers and chapter leaders from
1. Chapters that do not have and EIN or have questions about the EIN.
2. Chapters that do not have bylaws or chapter rules and regulations
3. Chapters that do not have group exemption or do not have their own 501c3 status.
4. Chapters that need help getting their chapter paperwork in order.
5. Any chapter leader or officer that is confused about any issues on the agenda.
6. Any chapter who will participate in the Walk4hearing and needs group exemption.

After my presentation, I will open the floor and answer your questions. Bring your questions to the webcast.

The entire broadcast will be recorded and available for playback if you cannot make it to the session live. A transcript will also be available. The entire hour session will be captioned.

I will plan to have a session each month. Topics will include:

How to get volunteers to help with your chapter.
How to get new members
How to keep your chapter going.

Please send me your ideas and suggestions for future broadcasts.

Meeting Name: Leadership training
Summary: this room is used for leadership trainings
Invited By: Toni Barrient (tbarrient@hearingloss.org)
When: Monday 1 February
5pm Alaska || 6pm Pacific || 7pm Mountain || 8pm Central || 9pm Eastern

To join the meeting:

The doors to the training will open at 9:00 p.m. EST.

Plan to listen through your computer speakers and see me live on camera.

If you have never attended a Connect Pro meeting before:

Test your connection: http://hearinglossassociation.acrobat.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

Get a quick overview: http://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview

Look forward to seeing you online Monday evening.

Toni Barrient

Director of Member Services and Chapter Development
Hearing Loss Association of America
7910 Woodmont Ave Ste 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814

Leadership support website (Wiki)

Chapter Development News

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quick Note from Toni - January 20, 2010

Dear Leaders,

Please don’t miss tonight’s exciting Guest Web Chat on the Internet. This web chat is in a new format and a new technology for HLAA.

Our Guest speaker will be Dr. Gene Bratt from the Veterans Administration speaking on hearing aid benefits for veterans.

1. See Dr. Bratt on webcam
2. See and hear Dr. Bratt presenting over the Internet.
3. The event is closed captioned.

After a brief presentation there will be a Q & A period.

The Web chat will be recorded live and a link will be posted to watch the session at a later date or time.

5pm Alaska || 6pm Pacific || 7pm Mountain || 8pm Central || 9pm Eastern

To join the meeting:

If you have never attended a Connect Pro meeting before:
Test your connection: https://admin.acrobat.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm
Get a quick overview: http://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview
Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat and Acrobat Connect are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

See you tonight.

Director of Member Services and Chapter Development
Hearing Loss Association of America