June 2016

Some seasonal members have headed back “up north” and the sun doesn’t set until 8:26 so we are combining the day Chapter meeting with the After Hours meeting on Tuesday, June 14.
The meeting is scheduled from 6 PM to 7:30 PM so everyone can attend and enjoy a pre-summer evening.
The meeting will be held at the Center for Arts and Humanity, 1226 N. Tamiami Trail. 
The location is just north of Van Wezel on the other (east) side of N. Tamiami Trail.
The topic is “Why don't hearing aids work?”

The presenter is Ashley Camblin-Toole, a Licensed Hearing Aid Specialist; Ashley has been in the hearing industry for 12 years and has been a lifelong hearing aid user.

Three decades of wearing hearing aids has provided her with invaluable experience and the ability to help many people with their hearing issues. She began her career as a means of improving her own profound hearing loss.  She quickly realized a passion for using her own struggles to understand and improve the situations of others.
As always, there is social time before and after the presentation with hors d'oeuvres and wine.


 President's Message

 Top Ten Reasons to Attend the HLAA 2016 Washington D.C. Convention
Washington D.C. is one of my favorite cities in the world to visit. Where else do you have the possibility of running into the President of the United States, see the Declaration of Independence, and eat any cuisine in the world. You will be proud to be an American. Washington, D.C. is a city where history happens!
Perfect timing in this presidential election year to visit The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building or Capitol Hill, is the seat of the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government.
Our incredible Flo Innes Welcome Party -- the tradition continues for this special welcome to the HLAA National Convention in DC ia don’t miss get re-acquainted/re-connected gathering!
Head over to the National Mall to tour the monuments and Smithsonian museums. The best thing about them? Admission is FREE!  To be honest, you really don’t even need to be big into history to appreciate everything that’s going on inside.  
All New for Convention 2016: The Experience Room. Stocked with products offered by exhibitors, the Experience Room is the place to come to try out the latest technology for people with hearing loss in an environment much like your family room – comfy furniture, TV, card/game table, and more.
Special Events planned! Scavenger Hunt in DuPont Circle on Friday evening or see the Monuments by Night. Get your picture taken at the Jefferson Memorial. It faces the Washington Monument and the White House.
Sat, June 25th. Research Symposium: Novel Approaches toward Addressing Hearing Loss – Ideas on the Cutting Edge. The symposium will be a mix of research in the basic science/hair cell area as well as novel ideas in the area of service delivery.
Georgetown in itself is a reason to visit D.C.! The small university town is like a breath of fresh air outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, with views of the Potomac River and more shops to stroll in and out of than you can shake a stick at.
Attend the incredible Educational Chapter Workshops divided into four tracks - Advocacy; Assistive Technology & Large Area Systems; Hearing Aids & Cochlear Implants; and Living Your Life 
State/Chapter Development Workshop Schedule - EVERYTHING you need to know on how to build a successful HLAA chapter!
And last but not least!  Connecting with old HLAA friends and making news ones from across the country!
The City of Magnificent Intentions (first coined by Charles Dickens) because the city reflected the desires of its creators with symbols of liberty, and innovation etched and represented by the monuments of fallen heroes.
Enjoy the HLAA Washington D.C. Convention!  See you there!



Our Professional Partners:

The HLAA highlights hearing products and local hearing aid providers --

The HLAA policy is to not recommend any specific product or any specific ENT, Audiologist or hearing aid dispenser.
The Chapter follows this policy but has identified professionals who endorse our 501 (c) (3)’s mission to help other through education, advocacy and support.  They are listed on our webpage at .  Members are encouraged to review this list of professionals when considering professional services.

Our Professional Partners continue to give back to the community.

This month, we are sending our professional partners back to the classroom and ask them to listen to our concerns.  Gael Hannan (featured in “Between the Covers book club) wrote this tutorial, The World’s Shortest Audiology Class” a year ago to communicate from our side of the hearing booth:

“Hearing care professionals believe they know what people need in order to hear better.  After all, they’ve gone to school to learn this"
People with hearing loss (PWHL) know they want to hear better, but believe they don’t always get what they need from the professionals.  And after all, they’re the ones struggling to hear.
Is the process too complicated, too divisive?  Maybe the professional and the PWHL should hold hands for a little while when they come together and see where that takes them.
Robert Fulghum’s iconic book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, he drills down centuries of philosophy on achieving life happiness and success into credos such as play fair, clean up your own mess, and take naps. Reading them, you realize that simple statements can provide answers to the big questions, especially when they are presented together, in the Big Picture. ‘Yeah, problems really do get solved when we hold hands and stick together!’  


Good news!  Remote Conference Captioning (RCC), also referred to as Relay Conference Captioning, is currently available through Sprint Relay to Florida residents.  It uses human real-time caption writers and not speech recognition software. 

FTRI is Florida's State Relay Administrator and the link for setting up a conference call to anywhere is

It does not matter where the conference call participants live nor in what state the conference call dial-in is located.  All that matters is that the person requesting the call is a Florida resident with hearing loss and that the person uses a land line with a Florida phone number, because the Florida relay service is paid for by a tax on monthly landline bills in Florida. When the person requests the service, they will input their landline phone number as a part of their identifying information.

The words are read online in a closed link that only the participants share.
If you are hard of hearing and need to “meet” with others for business or a group you belong to—or even a telephonic family get together, you can have CART “free”!


Lip-reading classes at ACE (Adult Continuing Education) will be held at the Technical School on Proctor and Beneva in Sarasota.  They will begin on October 5th and end on December 7th with no class the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  The classes begin at 10 am and end by 12 in room 205.  All students must register at the ACE office either by phone, e mail, or in person.  Contact the ACE office at 941-361-6590.




Listen Up recommends our Helpful Links/Resource Page for relevant information regarding hearing loss READ MORE!



Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market -
Saturday, June 25th 7:00 - 1:00 

Chapter’s Outreach Program
The Chapter’s outreach program covers over 100 events a year and Chapter members regularly offer assistance at the table at community events, health fairs, Chamber events as well as the Farmers Market.

Next Farmers Market -- Saturday, June 25, 2016   7 AM to 1 PM
Our monthly information and support booth at the Sarasota Farmer’s Marker offers an opportunity for people to learn how to address their hearing loss. The Chapter has a permanently assigned site, 1920 State Street between Lemon and Pineapple.  

Please contact Dave Donnelly to “pay it forward” and join our Outreach volunteers. We informally offer education, advocacy and support to members of our community.   “On the job” training is available at any Farmers Market day or special event. Let Dave Donnelly know if you can help HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee by contacting .







The combined Chapter Meeting and After Hours meeting will be held at the Center for Arts and Humanity, 1226 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, June 14.
The location is just north of Van Wezel on the other (east) side of N. Tamiami Trail.
The topic is “Why don't hearing aids work?”
Our presenter, Ashley Camblin-Toole, says-- "One of the most common questions people ask me is, ‘Why don't hearing aids work?’”

If you've been asking yourself this question or want to avoid being one of the many dissatisfied hearing aid users, come learn exactly WHY hearing aids don't work!
As always, social time before and after the presentation--products of Napa and Sonoma served.


May Chapter Meeting Recap

Beth Reckord a Speech-Language Pathologist presented “It Takes Two to Tango! Or does it when it comes to Listening?”

Beth discussed strategies and exercises to improve listening ability. She suggested working with a practice partner as the best way to improve skills. She also recommended a number of apps as well as use of audio books.  The presentation was interactive and well received by the 40 members in attendance.

Click on Event Calendar for Upcoming Events READ MORE!



HLAA National Convention

JoAnne DeVries, Anne Taylor, Joan Haber, Flo Innes, Judy and Richard Williams, Pat Lakey and Valerie Mallis-Stafford from our Chapter will be attending the HLAA Convention. 
If you are unable to go, please check over the schedule of presentations at:
 If there are one or two presentations that you would like information on, let our President know at and one of the attendees will collect information and take notes for you.
Members will report on what is new in the hearing loss community at the September Chapter meeting.
HLAA is providing an opportunity to test new products.  HLAA says: “Stocked with products offered by our exhibitors, the Experience Room is the place to come to try out the latest technology for people with hearing loss in an environment much like your family room – comfy furniture, TV, card/game table, and more.
The Room will be staffed by Au.D. students from the University of Maryland and Gallaudet University, giving them greater exposure to technology and you, the person they will eventually treat in their practices”.

Stay in the loop wherever you go.  There are now two great websites that will let you know about looped locations wherever you go.  The newest one, LOOPFINDER, is partnered by HLAA and can hone in on sites by category or location. the app is available for iPhones.

The website is:

In addition to assistance in finding looped locations, Loopfinder has a FAQ section about looping. 

Also, Assistive Listening Device Locater  is equally helpful.

Remember our Mission includes advocacy—a “thank you” goes a long way in reinforcing the looping of the community. Make a point to “thank” a team member at any facility where you use the loop.


The FAA has announced the availability of the draft “Access to Airports by Individuals with Disabilities”, for public review.
The draft primarily addresses visual impairment BUT we can bombard them with comments for looping for those with hearing loss.  [Note –Grand Rapids airport is looped—it can be done economically]

The FAA is interested in public input and comments which are accepted through June 6
HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee members and friends--
Bombard away—
or never complain again if you can't hear boarding announcements!
Links to make comments below--!documentDetail;D=FAA-2016-4796-0001




Confirming what we have learned from previous Johns Hopkins studies, a newly published study in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry by, researchers at Columbia University found that older adults who use hearing aids performed significantly better on cognitive tests than those who did not–despite having poorer hearing than those who did not wear hearing aids.

The study adds further evidence to a growing body of research that has found possible links between cognition and hearing loss, and the potential for improved cognitive benefit from using hearing aids.

Dr. Anil Lalwani, Professor of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at Columbia, and one of the researchers in the study, was quoted in a news release: 

“We know that hearing aids can keep older adults with hearing loss more socially engaged by providing an important bridge to the outside world. In this study, we wanted to determine if they could also slow the effects of aging on cognitive function.”

 Study Results 

Out of 100 adults included in the study between the ages of 80 and 99, a total of 34 were regular hearing aid users. The participants all had hearing tests conducted, along with evaluations of cognitive function using the Mini-State Mental Examination (MMSE) and executive function using the Trail Making Test Part B (TMT-B), which does not include a verbal or auditory component like the MMSE test. 

Participants who used hearing aids performed significantly better on the MMSE test than those who did not use hearing aids. Higher levels of hearing loss were correlated with lower MMSE scores, among non-users. 

While hearing aid users did score better on the TMT-B test, the improvement was not found to be statistically significant.

According to the authors of the study, better performance on cognitive tests with auditory stimuli (MMSE), but not visual stimuli (TMT-B), suggests that hearing loss is associated with “sensory-specific” cognitive decline, rather than global cognitive impairment. Due to the high prevalence of hearing loss among adults over 80 years of age, hearing aids should therefore be “strongly recommended to minimize cognitive impairment in the elderly”.



Deanna Power, Director of Community Outreach for Social Security Disability Help was impressed by our Chapter’s work and has offered the important information below:
Hearing Loss and Disability Benefits
If you or a loved one experiences hearing loss, there could be financial assistance available. Children and adults who are deaf can potentially receive disability benefits. Individuals of any age who experience severe hearing loss may also qualify for benefits through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) disability programs. Benefits can help pay for speech therapy and other special services as well as everyday living expenses, medical bills, and even food and housing costs.
Disability Programs
Social Security Disability Insurances  (SSDI) is the benefit program with which most people are familiar. This program provides benefits to qualified, disabled workers and requires you paid Social Security taxes over the course of your employment history.
Benefits however may also be available through Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program is need-based and offers monthly cash benefits to disabled adults and children who meet medical and financial eligibility rules. 
Medically Qualifying for SSD
Whether you’re applying for benefits for yourself or on behalf of a child, you should understand that the SSA only considers hearing loss a severe disability under certain circumstances.
A child or adult must have hearing deficiencies that:
  • Are measured through specific hearing tests AND
Which show hearing loss or deafness meets a particular threshold.




Chapter’s Vice President’s Monthly Column in The Venice Gondolier

[Anne Taylor is a Bilateral Cochlear Implant user, a Gallaudet Certified Peer Mentor for the Hard of Hearing, Vice President of the local Hearing Loss of America)   

Closed Caption Glasses Make Movies Accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Have you stopped going to the movie theater because you cannot understand what is being said?

Now is the time to start enjoying the movies on the big screen again - with help from Sony closed caption glasses. These glasses are totally awesome. They ensure that you will not miss a word.
A few years ago, it was such a thrill for me to be able to take my grandchildren to the movies for the first time. We went to see Planes (an animated movie about a crop dusting plane with a fear of heights lives its dream of competing in a famous around-the-world aerial race). As you know, it is very challenging trying to read lips on animated characters – err, in this case the lips of planes!
What was usually just noise for me became actual words by wearing the Closed Caption glasses.
As far as I understand, all Regal movie theaters in the country carry them. After purchasing your ticket, go to the service desk and ask for the closed caption glasses. They are free with your ticket and are programmed to the movie you wish to see. Bright green captioning appears to float on the screen when your chosen movie begins – so, no need to be concerned that they are not working during the previews. There are three adjustable positions at the side of the glasses for the captioning position to best suit your preference.
The glasses are oversized and can be worn over regular eyeglasses or over your eyes. For 3-D movies an extra pair of glasses is not necessary as a clip-on lens can be added. The closed caption viewing uses Sony’s unique holographic technology, which transmits closed caption data from a media server wirelessly to the glasses’ receiver box, and can be programmed to display subtitles in a choice of six languages.  


Calling all Volunteers!
Did you know that our HLAA chapter is run completely by volunteers?  

As always, there is a continuing opportunity for your not-for-profit volunteer time.  Please take a look at the list of volunteer interests  and see if there might be something you would like to do. 

Most do not require a long commitment of time or energy and provide the added benefit of making you feel more a part of the local chapter.  And don't worry; you'll have someone to provide guidance and support.

We hope you would be willing to share your time and talents.  And it's a great way to meet new people. 


HLAA conducts educational webinars for its members and constituents.  There is no cost to attend webinars. All webinars are captioned and archived for access at the HLAA website. 

Most past Webinars can be accessed at:
Current Webinars that may be scheduled—often with short notice can be found at:

This month’s Webinar features our own Joan Haber conducting an orientation for HLAA members from around the nation attending the HLAA Convention.
Date & Time: 
Jun 15 2016 - 8:00pm - 9:00pm

Joan will review the HLAA Convention 2016 Program and Exhibit Guide and highlight cool Convention events. Don’t miss this opportunity to ask questions of this avid convention attendee.


HLAA Membership Notes

Our memberships are dual memberships in both the HLAA and the HLAA Sarasota/Manatee Chapter.

Veterans are free for the first year! 
Join now and get the HLAA “Hearing Loss Magazine”.  Keep up with the technology!
The cost is $35 for an Individual membership, $45 for a Couple.   .
Among the many functions of HLAA National is the lobbying for people with hearing loss to have equal access in public venues. Note—your renewal notices will come from HLAA in Bethesda--if you do not get one, please let us know.                

By the way, the free Players Theatre tickets (looped so you hear and understand every word) and the $10 Van Wezel tickets (one or two events in a looped theater) are worth the membership fee.  Also, members receive 20% off the assistive and communication products sold by Harris Communications—

If you have any questions on Membership please feel free to contact Anne Taylor at .   Membership applications can be found at the Chapter website,

Sherrill Munro, Bradenton

Listen Up recommends four Websites that have relevant information regarding hearing loss: 
HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Chapter Website:
Check it out!  Listen Up links to:
Also, don’t forget four websites that have up to date information regarding hearing loss:

The national HLAA website is:
The Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (the Governor appoints two HLAA-FL members to the Council by statute) website has been moved to the Department of Health.  It is:
The HLAA-Florida Association website is:

 The Center for Hearing & Communication (CHC) website is:



1000 Friends is a significant Facebook milestone AND at the time of Listen Up publication, we had 1005 Friends.  

The Chapter’s Facebook Page is a valuable resource for anything and everything related to hearing loss. 
Announcements, photos, industry information, medical advancements and much more are posted daily. 

Pictures and notices of HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee activities will be posted on Facebook.   Find HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee on Facebook. Just tap on "LIKE"
OR  (find the link on the lower right corner of the website home page)




Private Eyes Movie Club (Members Only)

The Private Eyes Movie Club is taking the summer off
BUT the caption glasses will always be available in participating theaters in Sarasota and Manatee counties throughout the country at participating theatres.
Our friends at Captionfish,, can list the theatres with closed captions for you anywhere in North America.  As an example, here are the theaters with closed captioning within 30 miles of downtown Sarasota:

Burns Court Cinema (1 and 3)
506 Burns Lane
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 955-3456

Regal Hollywood 20-Sarasota
1993 Main Street
Sarasota, FL 34230
(941) 365-2000

Parkway 8 
6300 North Lockwood Ridge
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941) 379-6684

AMC Sarasota 12 
8201 S Tamiami Trl
Sarasota, FL 34238

Regal Oakmont 8 
4801 Cortez Road W
Bradenton, FL 34210

Regal Town Center Stadium 16 - Port Charlotte 
1441 Tamiami Trail Unit 701
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
(941) 623-0114



Curtain Time Theater Club (Members Only)



The 86th season of The Players Theatre at 838 N. Tamiami Trail completed a successful season last month.

The Players provides the Chapter with 20 to 25 FREE tickets. This is another “Members Only” perk, a great benefit of our nominal membership dues. The shows are, of course, looped!

The 87th Season is still being put together but the Summer Sizzler series ($18) has been announced and the selections promise to be fun—give the Players your support!
by Louis Nowra
June 15 – 26, 2016
Young theatre director Lewis has just landed his first job straight out of school, staging a production of Mozart’s comic opera Cosi fan Tutte. The catch? The cast are patients from a mental institution, none of whom can speak Italian…or sing! Can this unlikely group, including an obsessive-compulsive, a manic-depressive and a junkie, pull it off? …or will a patient with a penchant for pyromania spoil all the fun?
by Jeremy Desmon
July 13 – 24, 2016
Cyrano is king of the local burger shack, but he can’t seem to win the love of his best friend, Roxanne. When Roxanne confesses her crush on the new burger flipper, Christian, Cyrano decides that playing Cupid is better than sitting out of the game. An updated, modern-day version of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, this rollicking musical features hit contemporary pop songs that will have audiences cheering.
by John Van Druten
August 10 – 21, 2016
Gillian Holroyd is a modern-day witch living in New York City’s Greenwich Village. When she encounters charming publisher Shepherd Henderson, she decides to make him hers by casting a love spell. Gillian takes added pleasure in doing so because Henderson is engaged to her old college rival. However, Gillian finds herself actually falling for Shepherd, which poses a problem: She will lose her powers if she falls in love.



Between The Covers Book Club (Members Only) 

“Between the Covers” – Fall 2016

The book is “The Way I Hear It” by Gael Hannan.
Whether you plan to attend or not, please read it!
This is an outstanding book on everything you need to know about hearing loss that will have you laughing out loud in every chapter.  Everyone with hearing loss or hearing aids will identify with the situations addressed in the book.

From time to time, we will republish Gael’s article in “Hearing Health and Technology Matters” with permission of the editor. Here is last month’s article--
I recently read an article about a woman who was suffering from some sort of chronic problem. On the scale of horrific issues with “10” being a fatal disease and “1” being ugly (but functional) feet, this woman’s problem ranked around a 3, in my opinion.
“I ask myself, why me?” she says in the article. “It’s hard to accept that I’ll be struggling with this for the rest of my life.” 

I dunno, maybe it was the emotionally manipulative picture of the woman looking off to some faraway point, holding flowers in her hand, that set me off.

“Oh c’mon, REALLY?” I shouted at the article. “You are going to obsess over THAT?  How about a trade?  


Copyright ©
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 48643
Sarasota, FL 34230

Email - Info@hlas@org
Listen Up HLAA-S monthly newsletter offers Education, Advocacy and Support for the 145,000 people with hearing loss in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. For more information visit or call 941-706-4312.  For comments or suggestions, contact editor Richard N. Williams at  Opinions expressed in “Listen Up” are those of the Editor or Author.  Mention of goods and services in articles or advertisements does not mean the Hearing Loss Association of America or the Hearing Loss Association of America-Sarasota Chapter endorses same nor should exclusion suggest disapprovaal