Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Labor of Love, and We Appreciate It

Message From HLAA Executive Director Anna Gilmore Hall

Labor Day, celebrated next Monday, September 1, is an annual celebration of workers and their achievements. I want to take this occasion to salute each of you for your work and dedication to HLAA. Without volunteers across the country who labor on behalf of the organization we all care about, HLAA would not be approaching our 35th anniversary this November. From the Board of Trustees, the national office staff, and people with hearing loss everywhere…thank you!
I know many of you have already planned robust fall chapter and state programs. I hope you will enjoy this little bit of history and enjoy your Labor Day weekend.

Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th Century and became a federal holiday in 1894.  

The holiday originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as five or six toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterpart’s wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.

As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. Many of these events turned violent during this period, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, in which several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.
The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it. Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives.
On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. More than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day has yet to be identified.
Many credit Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday. Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Chapter Building Workshop Attracts New England Leaders

New England Leaders photo
 16 chapter leaders from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont
joined HLAA Board of Trustee member Nancy Sonnabend and Ed Ogiba
The first HLAA Chapter Building Workshop was held in Boston on August 9 drawing 16 chapter leaders from chapters across New England. The HLAA Boston chapter hosted the event at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. The all-day workshop is one of the new support vehicles that HLAA offers chapter leaders. A survey that chapter leaders submit beforehand guides a custom designed agenda to focus each session at the individual chapter's biggest issues, needs and opportunities.

This workshop’s extensive agenda covered:   
Workshop logo

• How to build chapter attendance and membership
• Chapter leaders’ role & priorities 
• How to reach the four primary segments within a chapter that drive attendance, membership and volunteer bases  
• How to provide an effective support program, the key to attracting new members  
• How to design an effective education program, the draw to attendance building  
• How to develop a social program to attaract long term membership and volunteers 
• How to recruit and nurture more leaders and volunteers
• Awareness building within the community
• Building a foundation for fundraising success
• Collaboration opportunities with nearby chapters
A special thanks to HLAA Boston head, Peggy Ellertsen for organizing this workshop.

The upcoming Chapter Building Workshops include:
August 23 – HLAA Colorado Chapters – Denver – Debbie Mohney   
September 6 -HLAA Michigan Chapters - Lansing – Elizabeth Kobylak  
October 18 - HLAA Florida Chapters - Sarasota - JoAnne DeVries
November 1 – HLAA New York Chapters – Elmsford - Toni Iacolucci
November 15 – HLAA Kentucky Chapters - Louisville - Ron Haynes
State coordinators or chapter leaders interested in learning more about  Chapter Building Workshops or one of the other new training and support vehicles for chapter leaders, should contact Ed Ogiba.                  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

All the News that Fits...Please Print!

Hi Friends, Leaders, Webmasters and Newsletter Editors,

Just a friendly reminder that you can find news for your communiques 24/7 in various places:

  • HLAA e-News. It's free and is chockfull of information to pass along. If you don't get it, sign up here. An issue was published yesterday (August 13). If you sign up now, you will receive it. 
  • This blog, of course. I posted this month's news here.
  • Lists. The news from HLAA national is posted on the Leaders List and the Newsletter Editor's List. If you aren't part of those Yahoo lists, email Judy Martin, Florida Chapter Coordinator (North), and she will send you an official invitation. The news is provided in a Word doc so you can cut and paste it into your newsletters.

This, Just In, from National
The HLAA Public Policy and Advocacy Agenda with its ten key goals and outcomes is now published. This is to guide for all of us -- chapters, states and national -- as we work as one organization to make hearing loss an issue of national (and local) concern. Spread the word, print it on your websites and in your newsletters, and talk about it at meetings. It's exciting! 

For More News at the National Legislative Level
Pull the latest news from the Advocacy News section on This is most up-to-date place to find this kind of important news.  

You all work hard getting the word out, no matter what medium you use. You live on deadlines, work late into the night and endure some stress, but you are providing news for folks who might not find it anywhere else. Thank you!

Have a great week!
Barbara Kelley
Deputy Executive Director
Editor-in-Chief, Hearing Loss Magazine

Monday, August 11, 2014

New Simplified IRS Tax-Exempt Process for Disqualified Chapters

Form 1023 EZ Revised June 2014
Easy form for less than $50K in gross receipts
Any HLAA chapter whose tax-exempt status has been recently disqualified can now use a new streamlined process with form 1023-EZ, which will save a lot of time and hassle. This can be especially helpful for any HLAA chapter that has lost their tax-exempt status due to failure to file their 990-N.  Rather than filing the extremely complicated Form 1023, qualifying smaller organizations can now file the new Form 1023-EZ to reapply for tax-exempt status.

In June, the IRS established a simplified procedure for applying for tax-exempt status. Certain smaller organizations (generally, organizations with less than 50K in gross receipts for the year and less than 250K in total assets) can use the new simplified process to apply for tax-exempt status.
1023 EZ Form
The paperless 1023-EZ must be filed online 

The new 1023-EZ form and instructions can be found at  The new Form 1023-EZ must be filed electronically (no paper version), and there may be a related electronic filing fee as well as the required application fee.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Need Some News? News for Newsletters, Websites and Meetings

Hi Friends:

On a deadline? Need some news for that first fall newsletter or meeting? Need to update your website with some hard news? Check out the news from HLAA national, all in a Word doc so you can easily cut and paste it into your formats.

The news from HLAA national is posted on the Leaders List and the Newsletter Editor's List. If you don't have access to those sites, please send me an email here and request the Word doc.

Where Else Can I Find News?
You probably noticed I often post single news items on this site. Grab news from this blog any time. Check the homepage of for trending news and subscribe to the free, online HLAA e-News . We give you the news -- 24/7!

Happy August 1st!
Barbara Kelley
Deputy Executive Director
Editor-in-Chief, Hearing Loss Magazine