Friday, February 28, 2014

News from HLAA for Chapters and States to Use

Here is news you can cut and paste for your local and state newsletters, websites or read at meetings. It might interest people to know that your work in the chapters and states has the backing of a national organization we are all part of. We are all here for the same reasons -- create awareness about hearing loss, reduce the stigma, and help people live well with their hearing loss.

I've also posted this news on the Leaders List and the Newsletter Editor's List. If you would like camera-ready artwork for HLAA Convention 2015, please email me. If you would like a photo to use of the 2014 Walk4Hearing Ambassador, the adorable eight-year-old Katherine Pawlowski, please email me. If you would like this in Word format, please email me. 

Thanks for all your work on behalf of people with hearing loss. 

Bethesda, MD
March 1, 2014

Your national Board met February 28 and March 1, 2014, in Bethesda, Maryland, for their first Board meeting of 2014. The Board meets three times a year – first weekend in March, at the HLAA Convention, and in November. For a complete description of how the Board works and what it does, read Chairperson Diana Bender’s column in the March/April 2014 Hearing Loss Magazine (page 10). The Board meetings are open to all members. If you are ever in the area and are interested in attending one of the meetings, email Nancy Macklin, director of marketing and events, so she can reserve you a seat. If you will attend HLAA Convention 2014 in Austin, TX, the Board of Trustees and Annual Business Meeting is on Thursday, June 26, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Please just show up and have a seat.

HLAA is always seeking people interested in Board service. Follow in the steps of many before you who have served. If you are interested in being a member of the HLAA national Board of Trustees, please visit the “Become a Board Member” on (It is located in the “About Us” tab.)

The March/April Hearing Loss Magazine is in the mail and should reach HLAA members by mid-March. HLAA members can also preview the issue online here on Those who aren’t members can preview a sample and see if they might like to receive the magazine on a regular basis. When you join HLAA, you not only join the leading organization for people with hearing loss who advocates on your behalf, you get a subscription to Hearing Loss Magazine.

In the March/April Hearing Loss Magazine:
·         HLAA Convention 2014 information and registration materials
·         Tinnitus is Big Business by Katherine Bouton
·         Grandma Doesn’t Know What We’re Talking About by Joyce Hagerman (A personal story.)
·         Be the Messenger by Lise Perhacs (An audiologist gives tips for encouraging your loved ones to get their hearing checked.)
·         I Might Not Hear Everything, but I’m Still Listening by S.R. Archer (After thinking hearing loss was only for seniors, an attorney deals with her gradual hearing loss.)
·         Hearing Lost, Inspiration Found by John Threlfal (The author writes about acoustic guitarist Randy Rutherford who says he would have never found his success if it hadn’t been for his hearing loss.)
·         And more

Your national office, located in the metro Washington, D.C., area, is geographically positioned to advocate on behalf of the rights and interests of people with hearing loss. Lise Hamlin, HLAA director of public policy, spends a lot of time on Capitol Hill working on issues of the day. In fact, she spends so much time at the FCC on captioning, phone, and other communication concerns of people with hearing loss that the staff in the HLAA office suggested she get a cot in a storeroom at the FCC. All kidding aside, if it weren’t for Lise and HLAA, people with hearing loss who use their residual hearing and technology, would not be represented in discussions about policy and laws that affect you. You can email Lise Hamlin for more information.

HLAA Joins FCC Panel Discussion on Improved IP-Based Relay Services
HLAA is invited to contribute to a panel discussing the future of IP-based Relay Services, by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The workshop was convened to gather information on the kinds of research that is needed to improve TRS. The FCC is partnering with the National Institute on Aging for this grant.
HLAA’s director of public policy, Lise Hamlin, was joined by Andrew Phillips of National Association of the Deaf, Dr. Christian Vogler of Gallaudet University’s RERC on Telecommunications Access, and Dr. Karen Cruickshanks, professor at the University of Wisconsin.
The FCC characterized this workshop as the beginning of their process to develop an open platform for the delivery of IP-based relay services to consumers. Having Relay services that could provide video, audio, and text that could be changed by all the participants in the call were discussed. The FCC emphasized that consumer input would be integral to the process. We look forward to working with the FCC to see greater access through IP-based relay services.
HLAA Applauds FCC Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners and FCC Staff for Moving to Upgrade Closed Captioning Quality
Almost 10 years after consumer groups filed a petition with the FCC requesting standards for caption quality, the FCC has acted. On February 20, in Washington, D.C., at their Open Meeting the FCC voted unanimously to upgrade TV closed captioning quality.
HLAA, along with other consumer groups, have provided input at every stage of the process. We applaud Chairman Tom Wheeler for setting his sight on the goal of inclusion for people with disabilities as among his first priorities after taking the helm November 4, 2013. We also thank the Commissioners and staff at the FCC who put in endless hours of work on this item.
HLAA members, as well as many others with hearing loss, packed the Commission meeting room to show their support for caption quality standards. Claude Stout, executive director of TDI, provided comments at the meeting, as did 14 year old Tai Jensen, who was born in China and credits captioned television to helping her not only learn English, but fit in with other schoolmates who want to chat all about her favorite teen program, Lab Rats.
The Order adopts quality standards for accuracy, synchronicity (timing), program completeness, and placement of closed captions. The Order distinguishes between pre-recorded, live and near live programming. Best practices for video programmers and captioning vendors are included in the Order.
The Commission also adopted measures to ensure that greater access will be provided in local communities by requiring broadcasters who are permitted to convert teleprompter script to captions to pre-script more of their news programming, including sports, weather and breaking news.
In addition to the Report and Order, the FCC issued a Declaratory Ruling clarifying existing rules and defining requirements for “on demand” programming and other issues.  The Commission also included a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on reapportioning some of the captioning responsibilities
HLAA looks forward to working with the Commission and with the television industry to see truly good quality captions become a reality.
HLAA Filed Comments with the FDA Regarding their 2013 Draft Guidance on PSAPs

On February 5, 2014, HLAA filed comments with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding their draft guidance titled: "Regulatory Requirements for Hearing Aid Devices and Personal Sound Amplification Products.''

This draft guidance is intended to clarify the distinction between hearing aids and personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), as well as the regulatory controls that apply to each. This draft guidance is not final nor is it in effect at this time.
In our comments, HLAA raises concerns with the draft guidance, and urged the FDA to seek input from a broad range of stakeholders to work together to craft a document that is helpful to industry, providers and consumers alike as well as provide for greater education of consumers.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance (DHHA)
HLAA is part of a coalition of organizations all working on issues concerning people with hearing loss. The February 2014 meeting was held at the HLAA office in Bethesda, chaired by Lise Hamlin, HLAA director of public policy. Action items for the year include working on legislation related to the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and EHDI (Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act). Another important task is supporting legislation to fund programs to train more captioners and work on regulatory issues regarding captioning quality and relay services. For more information about the DHHA, go here

Austin, TX, June 26-29
To stay up to date on Convention and other HLAA news, be sure to:
·         “Like” our Facebook page
·         Follow @HLAA and @nmacklin on Twitter (Nancy Macklin, director of events and marketing, uses #HLAA2014 for Convention-related tweets)
·         Check for updates; the workshop schedule is posted.

Southwest Airlines®—Our Convention Airline
HLAA Convention 2014 attendees will receive a discount off airfares from Southwest Airlines through our SWABIZ® account. Southwest Airlines is offering a 10% discount off Anytime and Business Select® fares and a 5% discount off select Wanna Get Away® fares for travel to and from the Convention in Austin, Texas. Book your travel between February 15 and June 8, 2014 to take advantage of the discounted rates and receive a 25% bonus Rapid Reward points. Discounts are available for travel June 22 through July 3. See the Hotel/Travel page for more details.

Renaissance Austin -There is a new link to the reservation system at the Renaissance Austin our convention hotel –

The HLAA Walk4Hearing kicks off its 2014 season with eight-year-old Katherine Pawlowski as the ambassador sending her message across the country about why she walks. She will be featured on www.Walk4Hearing in a video and will attend some kick-off and Walks. The Walk4Hearing is in 21 cities this year and, with thousands of walkers, raises awareness about hearing loss and raises money for programs to benefit people with hearing loss. If there is a Walk4Hearing near you, consider getting involved or seeing if someone you know is walking.

Find a Walk at It’s a fun website – full of color, photos and more user friendly than in years past.

Coloring Book for Kids
This year a new coloring book for kids debuts with the theme of “Why I Walk in the Walk4Hearing.” HLAA had a contest for children to submit their drawings to be featured in the book. Look for more information about the book and the children’s drawings on

The Hearing Loss Association of America was one of the sponsors of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) workshop, "Hearing Loss and Healthy Aging,” held January 13-14, 2014, in Washington, D.C. The IOM is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision maker and the public. There will be a report from the Forum in fall 2014.

On February 27, 2014, HLAA Executive Director Anna Gilmore Hall attended IOM’s Forum on Aging, Disability and Independence  meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C. Gilmore Hall and Frank Lin, Ph.D., M.D., Johns Hopkins University Medicine, presented their reflections of the January 13-13 “Hearing Loss and Healthy Aging Workshop.” An overall theme of the meeting was that technology is a key tool to help people with disabilities live well. The idea was summed up in a recurring phrase: “moving from a policy of disability to enabling people to perform.”

HLAA e-News for the latest news and updates - Go to and subscribe to the free online HLAA e-News. To subscribe go to, click on “Online Community,” then, “E-News Sign-Up.

Sign up for RSS Feeds from the home page – – Find this iconSubscribe to HLAA Newsroom Feed under Current News and HLAA Updates. When you subscribe to RSS feeds, you will be alerted each time news is posted. No login required.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

California Chapters Welcome Spring and HLAA Executive Director

Do you live in California? If you are in the area, mark your calendars for two events in April. Anna Gilmore Hall, executive director of HLAA, will speak on "HLAA -- The Tipping Point" at two HLAA Chapter events. The presentations will be captioned and have hearing loops. Everyone is welcome!

HLAA Diablo Valley Chapter 
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
7 p.m.
Walnut Creek United Methodist Church
1543 Sunnyvale Avenue
Walnut Creek, CA 94597

For more information:

HLAA Peninsula Chapter
Thursday, April 3, 2014
1 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Building
1455 Madison Avenue
Redwood City, CA 94062

For more information:

Friday, February 21, 2014

HLAA Sarasota, Florida, Chapter Sponsors the 3rd Annual Hearing Loss Expo

HLAA Sarasota Chapter Sponsors the 
3rd Annual Hearing Loss Expo
Florida’s Largest Hearing Loss Expo! Free Seminars and Screenings
Saturday, March 8, 2014
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Manatee Technical Institute Cantrell Hall
6305 State Road 70
Bradenton, FL 34203 (Half mile west of Exit 217(B), off I-75

For more information email or call 941.706.4312


Talk with all three cochlear implant manufacturers; three out of the four of Florida’s loop providers; and, the top four programs for free or financially-supported hearing aids. 

Hearing Assistive Technology: Harris Communications will show all their latest assistive listening devices under Flo Innes's direction and Dr. Brad Ingrao, a HAT faculty member and Hearing Loss Magazine columnist, will give a talk on Assistive Listening Devices (12:30 p.m. in the auditorium). Silent Call is also demonstrating their ALD line-up.

Want to go to the movies again? Regal Cinemas and Sony Caption Glasses will be both demonstrate this marvelous new movie captioning system as well as giving a seminar (9:30 a.m. in the auditorium). In addition, you can learn about the new HLAA-Regal Cinemas joint education program to help your HLAA Chapter educate your members and build a movie club.

Phones and more: CaptionCall will demo their phones and Florida Relay will be on hand for questions. The Fire Department will tell you how to get a free smokeless alarm. Ten hearing support groups will have information.

Meet and greet: Diana Bender, the chairperson of the HLAA Board of Trustees will host the HLAA table. HLAA Board Member Valerie Stafford-Mallis will also be there to answer questions. This is an opportunity to connect with national Board of Trustee members and learn what’s happening with your organization at the national level.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Alice Paktigian, Gen X Chapter, in Starring Role

Alice Paktigian, Gen X Delaware Valley (PA) Chapter is featured on Click on the website and see her smile in our scrolling hero spot (the fourth slide).

Read what Alice says about HLAA Chapters. If you hold your cursor over her photo, the slide will pause.

Every day at the HLAA office we refer people to chapters. Folks are looking for more than a piece of paper or a friendly response from us. People need to meet others like themselves who are learning to live with hearing loss. 

To find a chapter near you, click here. If the chapter you are with isn't listed or has incorrect contact information, please send an email here with the right information. We use this list to make sure people get to you.

Thank you, Alice, for sharing your thoughts. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Webinar for HLAA State Coordinators, March 5, 2014

State Coordinators:

Mark your calenders for a webinar with a discussion led by Executive Anna Gilmore Hall. 
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
1 p.m.-2 p.m. EST

We realize not everyone can make this time slot but this is only the beginning of many discussions. We want to hear from you  -- what you do, what support you need, ideas exchange.

What do you need to attend?
There is no login required, go directly to this link and click on the "Webinar" button. I'ts nice if you have a camera but if you don't, that's okay.

At the very least, you should have a microphone. If you don't have one they are about $20 or less at Best Buy or Radio Shack. It plugs into your laptop or CPU. IF you have a mic you can talk instead of typing your comments and questions. The webinar is captioned.

Please join us if you can. I'll be there too, but you and Anna are the participants.

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

Captioned Webinar Tonight -- Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Webinar Tonight, February 19, 2014
8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
With Juliƫtte Sterkens, Au.D.

It’s Easy! Just go to and click on the Join Webinar button. LOGIN TO THE HLAA ONLINE PORTAL IS NOT REQUIRED

Monday, February 17, 2014

Let's Celebrate President's Day

Today, Monday, February 17 is President's Day. It's a federal holiday and originally was the day to celebrate George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's February birthdays. Over the years, it has become known as a day we honor all our United States presidents. 

Of course, it's also a day for great sales -- cars, appliances, clothing, you name it. 

I figure if the retail world can expand President's Day to mean great shopping, I can make it a day we remember and thank all of our HLAA Chapter and State presidents.

Today's your day! On behalf of the national office staff, the HLAA Board of Trustees, and HLAA members everywhere...Happy President's Day.

Hope you enjoy your day. 
Barbara Kelley
Deputy Executive Director
Editor-in-Chief, Hearing Loss Magazine

Click here to read more about President's Day in the United States. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

New York Upstate Coordinator Appointed

Susan L. Miller of the Rochester, New York, Chapter was appointed as the New York Upstate Chapter Coordinator on February 13, 2014. She joins Toni Iacolucci, New York Downstate Chapter Coordinator, to develop, strengthen and support our chapters in the large state of New York. 

What is an HLAA State Chapter Coordinator?
State Chapter Coordinators are ambassadors for the organization to HLAA Chapters in their states. They work closely with the national office to build and strengthen HLAA in cites and town across the country. Chapters are an important part of the whole organization. It's where peer support happens, and where advocacy projects work to make your communities more hearing friendly. HLAA Chapters are well-respected doers in communities across the country. 

Our goal here at the headquarters office is to provide state chapter coordinators with more resources and support to do your work. We are all one organization working together. It's a big job so the coordinators are often the "first line of defense" (as they say) for chapters to go for information and assistance. Chapter coordinators might not have all the answers at their fingertips but they know where to go to get them. 

To learn more about Chapter Coordinators, click here. 

Other Appointments
This is not breaking news, but it is recent enough that you might not know about it.

Don Senger was appointed the Northern California State Chapter Coordinator. He joins Nanci Linke-Ellis in her role as Southern California State Chapter Coordinator. Don was the first coordinator in California and he is "filling in" until another coordinator can be found for Northern California. He admits he can't travel around to chapters anymore due to a demanding schedule with his grandchildren, but he is top notch in his communications to chapter leaders in his region. We are happy to have him until another person surfaces who wants to do the job. 

As with all coordinators, the national office only appoints them with your input. You have the reach into communities and can spot potential people for this role. 

Karen Utter of Washington state is reprising her role as State Chapter Coordinator.

Thank You
We don't say it enough, but thank you to coordinators and people working in chapters. I would love to hear from chapter coordinators. Please drop me and note and let me know you are out there and if you have any concerns, news, or just to say hello. As you know, I am filling in for some of the chapter duties while we search for a national coordinator for chapters and states at the national office. Our goal is to provide everyone with more resources, more communication, and more appreciation moving forward. All ideas welcome here.

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

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Today's News from HLAA

Hi Folks: 
Two times a month the HLAA e-News is published. Today's edition is chock full of news you can use for your newsletters and to pass along.

Encourage people to sign up for this free online newsletter. The sign up is on our website. Click here for the link. If you sign up you will receive today's issue when you do. 

For those of you not living in the tropics, stay warm!
Barbara Kelley
Deputy Executive Director
Editor-in-Chief, Hearing Loss Magazine

Let it Pittsburgh!

Executive Director Anna Gilmore Hall will not make a wintertime appearance at the Pittsburgh Chapter meeting this Saturday. The chapter, along with many others across the country, have cancelled their Saturday meetings due to snow, ice and freezing temps. Anna will visit Pittsburgh in April

Pat McGeever, leader of the forming Central Philly Chapter reports their meeting is cancelled this Saturday.

Jeff Bonnell, Georgia HLAA State Office director, reports that Atlanta is shut down due to ice.

Kathy Borzell of the Brevard, North Carolina, Chapter has been posting snow photos on her Facebook page.

So, stay in, stay warm, put something in the oven to heat things up and watch the Winter Olympics. The Hearing Loss Association meetings will return soon. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Coming to a Place Near You -- HLAA's Executive Director

Mark Your Calendars...

Anna Gilmore Hall, executive director of HLAA, has been visiting chapters across the country. 

Her most recent visit on February 1 was to the Virginia Beach Chapter. President and Virginia State Coordinator Don Doherty and members had a lively session with questions and answers and information sharing. Last week Don reports he is "resurrecting the chapter's newsletter." Don knows one of the best ways to keep in touch with people when the chapter is not meeting is through a newsletter. Good work Virginia Beach! As Don, retired Marine, would say, Semper Fi

It seems we have lots of HLAA folks across the country who are "always faithful" when it comes to HLAA and working on behalf of people with hearing loss. Thank you!

Saturday, February 15, 2014, 10:30 a.m.
Pittsburgh, PA
DePaul School for Hearing and Speech
6202 Alder Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15206-5240

Anna Gilmore Hall will speak at the Pittsburgh Chapter's meeting. Stop by if you are in the area. 

March and April take Anna to California and Michigan. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

HLAA Comments on PSAPs and Hearing Aids

Of Interest to Chapter Members Coast to Coast
HLAA Comments on PSAPs and Hearing Aids

The Hearing Loss Association of America filed comments with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding their draft guidance titled  "Regulatory Requirements for Hearing Aid Devices and Personal Sound Amplification Products.''

This draft guidance is intended to clarify the distinction between hearing aids and personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), as well as the regulatory controls that apply to each. This draft guidance is not final nor is it in effect at this time.

In our comments, HLAA raises concerns with the draft guidance, and urged the FDA to seek input from a broad range of stakeholders to work together to craft a document that is helpful to industry, providers and consumers alike as well as provide for greater education of consumers.

To read the comments, click here.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Big Blue Meets HLAA in Kentucky

Big Blue (University of Kentucky) Meets HLAA
Thursday, February 13, 2014
6:30 p.m.
Lexington Hearing and Speech Center
350 Henry Clay Blvd.
Lexington, KY 40502

One of the benefits of living in a college town besides watching basketball teams like the University of Kentucky Wildcats win, is the access to a top-notch audiology program.

Leader Jean Haynes (Lexington, KY, HLAA Chapter forming) says:

“We need a good attendance for our first meeting after the winter break because we have a wonderful opportunity to work with Anne Olson, Ph.D., audiologist and associate professor at the University of Kentucky. She will bring her students to our meeting to pick our brains and gather knowledge about life with hearing loss. 

“The students will take that knowledge and use it in their careers to help our peers, children or maybe even our grandchildren learn to cope with hearing loss. This is your opportunity to contribute your life experiences with hearing loss to help those who will follow you.”

Dr. Olson asks people to prepare before coming to the meeting.
  • Write down how hearing loss has affected you and your significant other. (Write down as many as possible - up to 10.)
  • Write down how technology has helped or hindered your communication?
  • What do you do when there is a communication breakdown? Write down communication strategies that you use when you don’t understand something. 
  • What are some strategies your communication partner uses to improve communication?
  • What sort of stigma is there associated with hearing loss? Can you give an example?
  • Based on your life experiences, what advice would you give students who are embarking in a career in communication disorders to remember about working with either adults or children with hearing loss?  
For more information, email Jean Haynes.

Boston-Area Folks, Build Your Resiliency to Stress on February 8

Build Your Resiliency to Stress: Introduction to the Relaxation Response
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 2 p.m.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Meltzer Auditorium, 3rd Floor
243 Charles Street, Boston 02114
(On the MBTA Red Line -- Charles Street/MGH -- outbound. MEE parking lot vouchers available.)

The Boston Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America offers an important exploration with social worker Laura Malloy, LCSW, on the management of stress reactions that can accompany listening with hearing loss.

This program will allow you to engage in a dialogue about stressors that are unique to living with hearing loss. Learn about the Relaxation Response, the antidote to the stress response. We'll discuss and practice simple, evidence-based strategies to help build your resiliency and stress hardiness.

Laura Malloy is co-director of the Education Initiative and director of Yoga at the Benson Henry Institute for Mind Boston Medicine at Mass General Hospital. She teaches various forms of relaxation and stress reduction in educational, clinical and community settings.

Live captioning (CART) is offered at all HLAA Boston Speaker/Workshop Series events.