Friday, January 31, 2014

Once Upon a Time...A Story about a Chapter in Georgia

We received this message from Winnie Hargis, former HLAA Board of Trustees member and leader in Georgia. I am happy to post it to see if we can drum up interest in re-establishing the Gainesville/Lanier, Georgia, HLAA Chapter -- Barbara Kelley, Deputy Executive Director, Editor-in-Chief, Hearing Loss Magazine.

Once upon a time there was a Gainesville/Lanier (GA) Chapter of the Self Help for Hard of Hearing People organization (sometimes known as SHHH) in the 80s and 90s that held evening meetings in the old library.  For some unknown reason, the chapter became inactive.  Had the invisible disability of hearing loss been cured?  No --- in fact, now there are many more individuals who have lost their hearing (48 million in the U.S.). It happens through noise pollution, from top volume entertainment devices/events, from continuous use of loud machinery, and from those ear-shattering IEDs of Iraq and Afghanistan, and many other reasons.  Once thought to be only an “old person's condition," that is not true, now more than ever. 
What’s Happening Now
Fast forward to the present and learn in 2005 the SHHH name was changed to the Hearing Loss Association of America (sometimes called HLAA). Learn of many new and wonderful advances which have been introduced to the hearing loss population, such as cochlear implants, hearing aids that can provide marvelous improvements to the ability to hear better, and loads of assistive devices as well.  There really is a need to share all this information with those who want to know more. If you have a hearing loss or are a friend or family member, it is important to learn more.  

Therefore, come join a group of people who are getting together to “re-establish” the former Gainesville/Lanier Chapter.  If this is something that is of interest to you, please contact Winnie Hargis through the Disability Resource Center.  You can also send her an email at  You can also check out the HLAA website at to learn more.
Where is Gainesville, Georgia?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Have You Checked Out Your Organization Lately?

New! Expanded HLAA Chapter and State Section on

You will find:
Leader Support -- everything from how to start a chapter to publicity/promotion -- soup to nuts

Chapter Locations -- find a chapter near you where you'll meet people like yourself where it's okay not to hear well. Learn about hearing assistive technology, get peer support, get resources and have some fun! Tell your friends and family about this link.

HLAA Chapter News Sources

HLAA e-News - Sign up for the free online newsletter here

You can get to the Facebook and Twitter account quickly from the homepage of In the upper right-hand corner it says: "Connect" and shows icons for the various social media.

Subscribe to RSS News feeds from HLAA --Subscribe to HLAA Newsroom Feed every time a news item is posted to our homepage, you will get a notice in your email. Go to and there is a little orange box that looks like this Subscribe to HLAA Newsroom Feed in the left corner under the headlines under "Current News" and HLAA Updates." Use your Firefox or Internet Explorer for this. (Google Chrome will allow you to have RSS feeds, but there is something else required. If you are an RSS- news-feed-kind-of-person then you will know. )

Leaders List - Join this group to share ideas with other leaders. Just posted today is a recap of the HLAA State Chapter Coordinators webinar, held on November 23, 2014. You'll also find the new logos for the chapters for download. 

Are you a newsletter editor for an HLAA Chapter or State Organization? If so, join the Newsletter Editor's Listserv. If you need news, check all the news outlets I'm talking about today. Don't let an empty space go unfilled. Give readers something to sink their teeth into. 

Hard news -- A recent survey showed that residents in a retirement community were less interested in news like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. They wanted news they could act on, places to go -- resources, information about the new landscaping, newly-paved walkways to make walking easier and safer, etc. 

No matter the age group or their interest, people want information pertinent to them and how to make their lives better. In our case, the topic is hearing loss and we are all interested in it. 

What's happening in the chapter, in the community? There is also a lot happening at the national level in public policy that has an impact on people with hearing loss across the country. For example, have you read the latest on Consumer Rights and Access to Captioned Phones? If you don't report on it, they might not know about it. 

Let people know they are part of something nationwide that has also has an importance place in your community.

Who is writing today's blog?
Hi, I'm Barbara Kelley from your headquarters office in Bethesda. I know a lot of you personally and I am pleased to be filling in until we find a new national state and chapter coordinator. I found this organization through the Northern Virginia Chapter (then called Self Help for Hard of Hearing People.) I couldn't believe my eyes when I went to that first chapter meeting -- lots of people, all ages, people who just came from work, older folks, in a hearing-friendly place where everyone could understand the speaker that night (Sam Trychin, Ph.D.). 

I'll be providing news to chapters and leaders from your national office. Feel free to contact me or anyone on staff. I look forward to finding some interesting things to share. 

Barbara Kelley
Editor-in-Chief, Hearing Loss Magazine
Deputy Executive Director

Not a member of HLAA? Join today and be part of the organization that represents 48 million people with hearing loss and has chapters and state organizations across the country.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Position Opening at HLAA for National State and Chapter Coordinator

A message from Executive Director Anna Gilmore Hall went to state and chapter leaders earlier today. Please note that Elizabeth LeBarron is no longer on the staff of the HLAA national office. Therefore, HLAA  is searching for a leader who is visionary, dynamic, diplomatic, highly competent, organized, warm, collaborative and who has excellent people skills. The successful candidate will possess in-depth knowledge of issues related to hearing loss and must be strongly committed to improving the lives of people with hearing loss. View job opening. Interested persons should send a cover and resume to Teri Canniff, business manager, at

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Teleconference or Skype for leader meetings?

Does the state organization or you help lead ever met by teleconference or Skype? Post your information to help others learn of these electronic alternatives to face-to-face meetings.