December 2016

HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee and the Ear Research Foundation will jointly host its annual Comedy Club fundraiser on December 7 at 7:00 PM. The venue is McCurdy’s Comedy Club at 1923 Ringling Blvd in Sarasota.
Ticket price is $15.00 and can be ordered online at:



The two not-for-profits are both dedicated to assisting those with hearing loss. Join us for a special evening that will make you laugh and help make a difference that can be heard!                   
 The Comedy Club will be looped and we will have CART!

President's Message


When you or a family member has questions about hearing loss, where do you turn?  If you’re like many of the people with hearing loss in our

community, you reach out to the Hearing Loss Association of America-Sarasota/Manatee chapter. Why? Because you know you will receive the

information you need to answer any hearing loss questions you may have. 

Please consider sending a donation today. Your gift is extremely important because it offers resources that are directed to our mission to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy.

Or consider giving a gift of membership. This is the holiday bargain of the year!  Membership applications can be found at the chapter website, and a gift of HLAA membership at

HLAA-S/M gives back all year —


·        Provides timely and reliable information about hearing loss through HLAA’s website, Hearing Loss Magazine, HLAA e-News,                 the Hearing Loss Support Specialist Training, message boards/chat forums and the HLAA Convention

·         Advocacy at the national level to affect legislation that impacts people with hearing loss, whether it’s funding for hearing aids,           cochlear implants, communication access in public places or other important issues

·         A nationwide network of chapters and state organizations providing peer support

·         Support for parents of children with hearing loss at

·         Outreach to veterans returning with hearing loss

·         Our chapter and its volunteers give back every month

·            Captioning and hearing assistive technology at HLAA chapter meetings to make them accessible

·         Scholarships to the National HLAA Convention

·         Free membership and programs for Veterans

·         Installation of loops in public places, such as theatres, community rooms, Publix and public libraries

·         Seminars on coping with hearing loss for yourself and families


Every Sarasota/Manatee board member joins me in thanking you for your generous support. Your donation is helping to make hearing loss visible in our community.


Happy Holidays!





Trustee Vinell Lacy led the Chapter’s “Dream Team” in Jacksonville on November 12.   She reports:

“I proudly accepted the award for the Dream Team as the TOP TEAM, meaning we collected the most money as a team.  THANKS AGAIN.  I was also awarded as the #2 Walker”.  

Vinell amassed $990 and the team totaled $1979 of over $23,000 raised by the Jacksonville Walk—and still counting.

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) 
Walk4Hearing is the largest walk for hearing loss awareness in the country. Every spring and fall thousands of walkers - children and their families, young adults, young at heart, and everyone in between - form teams and walk in their communities to increase public awareness about hearing loss, help eradicate the stigma associated with it and raise funds for programs and services. HLAA depends on generous volunteers to raise funds, generate enthusiasm and awareness at each of the Walk4Hearing sites.

Donations are still being accepted.
The Dream Team link  -    

Click on one of our Captain’s and then the DONATE link on the screen.

Election fatigue?  This one is easy.  The HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Bylaws require alternating two-year terms for our Trustees.  The election is required to be held at the December Chapter meeting.

The nominations are closed and the nominees are returning Trustees:
Kathy Combs
Maria Anderson

Lindsey Nalu
Vinell Lacy
Mark Selis
and new Trustees,
Beth Record
Shelly Zelizer

Our Professional Partners:

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

Additional information is also available on HLAA’s National website. The site features a searchable hearing health care directory that enables you to look for hearing products and local hearing aid providers.
To access, click on:






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


Calling all Volunteers!
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  to see if there might be something you would like to do.



Most assignments 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

Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market -
Saturday, December 10th 7:00 - 1:00 

[NOTE - Second Saturday this month back to third saturday thereafter]

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.


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 .

There will be free hearing screening each month by one of HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee’s Pro Partners. If you have a friend who needs hearing help and cannot make one of our meetings, please suggest they visit us here.

These screenings are very popular and changed the date this month to accommodate screening.  If you, a friend, or neighbor needs to check your hearing, it is
free!  Come visit us.
It’s a fun place to go on a Saturday morning—if you have folks from the north, a great place to go—and if it’s a third Saturday, stop by and say hello to Dave and our volunteers.






Join us for our annual HLAA Chapter Holiday Party!
Connie Bulawaka and Julie Dadekian have prepared popular holiday songs for our entertainment.
Lots of food and song — see you there?

North Sarasota Library Meeting Room
2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota

November Chapter Meeting Recap

Kris Adams, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Operations Manager in charge of the Professional Development section (911 Training), addressed the Chapter at our November meeting.
She manages, supervises and coordinates new recruit training, cross training, continuing education, public education and quality assurance for the 911 center.


Kris took us through the duties of a dispatcher, and those in attendance agreed they could not last a week with the stress of the 12-hour shifts. Kris advised they handle 261,000 emergency calls and 340,000 non-emergency calls each year.
She talked about the fallacy of cell phone location. It is not GPS, its cell tower, so it’s important to advise of your location when calling 911. Kris also mentioned all the calls they get from New York, California and elsewhere as VOIP (voice over internet) phones transmit the customer’s input address rather than a location. She demonstrated the new 911 text system, including the sometime delays that will occur.
The meeting was very informative and a learning experience for all.

The 2017 “After Hours” schedule will be announced in the January ListenUp. The evening chapter meeting meets at the Center for Arts and Humanities, 1226 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
The Center for Arts and Humanities is just north of and across from the Van Wezel entrance.

Click on Event Calendar for Upcoming Events READ MORE!



MEDICAL - Hearing Health Care Recommendations

“History never looks like history when you’re living through it”
HLAA Executive Director, Barbara Kelley, recently reported on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine study. She stated:
“The sentiment about history was expressed by John Gardner and I know what he meant. I’ve been with HLAA for 28 years and what seemed to me over the years – doing the work of the day – was actually history in the making.

What Now?

HLAA is the only consumer-group sponsor for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study on Hearing Health Care for Adults:
Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability.
HLAA will work to make the recommendations important to you a reality.

In brief, here are the recommendations. [To read in full -- ]

  • Improve Population-Based Information on Hearing Loss and Hearing Health Care
  • Develop and Promote Measures to Assess and Improve Quality of Hearing Health Care Services
  • Remove the Food and Drug Administration’s Regulation for Medical Evaluation or Waiver to purchase a Hearing Aid
  • Empower Consumers and Patients in Their Use of Hearing Health Care
  • Improve Access to Hearing Health Care for Underserved and Vulnerable Populations
  • Promote Hearing Health Care in Wellness and Medical Visits
  • Implement a New FDA Device Category for Over-the-Counter Wearable Hearing Devices
  • Improve the Compatibility and Interoperability of Hearing Technologies with Communications Systems and the Transparency of Hearing Aid Programming
  • Improve Affordability of Hearing Health Care (includes Medicare coverage for hearing aids)
  • Evaluate and Implement Innovative Models of Hearing Health Care to Improve Access, Quality, and Affordability
  • Improve Publicly Available Information on Hearing Health
  • Promote Individual, Employer, Private Sector, and Community-Based Actions to Support and Manage Hearing Health and Effective Communication


LEGAL – OTC Hearing Aids Act of 2016

The Bipartisan Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016, sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), will be introduced during the 2016 “Lame Duck” session of Congress. It would allow certain hearing aids to be sold over the counter and would eliminate the “burdensome requirement” that consumers get a medical evaluation or sign a medical waiver before purchasing OTC hearing aids. The Act would also require the FDA to issue regulations containing safety and labeling requirements for OTC hearing aids and to update its draft guidance on Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs). 

HLAA participated in the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) that presented this recommendation last October. The finding was that direct to consumer sale of hearing aids would make hearing aids more affordable and transparent by unbundling the existing sales model. 

Chapter members are among the 30% of 48 million Americans who are addressing their hearing loss. Some of the other 70 percent do not. The passage of this legislation would economically open the door to assistance to many. On other hand, without the assistance of a licensed hearing aid dispenser or audiologist, the result may not be successful.

The ideal solution would be for this Bill to be also introduced in the House and combined with the HEAR Act (HR 1653) to lift the Medicare bar on coverage for hearing aids.

TECH TALK - TV Sound Box

At the November chapter meeting, Flo Innes demonstrated the “TV Soundbox”.
This device is for the hard of hearing and hearing as well. The transmitter plugs into the audio port of any TV or other device. Placing it near you avoids the strain to hear the TV.
The lightweight “box” can be carried up to 100 feet from the TV and the TV sound can be off so as not to disturb others. No headset is required. The device has a handle for easy transport and an optional headset so the TV sound can be off.

The Soundbox can be ordered from Harris Communications at for $149.95 and for HLAA members, a 15% discount is offered. An ad for the TV Soundbox is on page 25 of the current Hearing Loss Magazine.


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)   

Can Hearing Loss Be Cured?

Umm, no not at the moment.
Those of us with hearing loss have been told for decades that sensorineural hearing loss cannot be cured. Only by wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants can it be helped. Most people with hearing loss are exhausted at the end of the day by simply trying to hear and would welcome a cure.

How About a Pill?

While the hearing field has come a long way over the last few decades in understanding the biology of the inner ear and the causes of hearing loss, there are still no approved drugs to treat deafness.

‘However, new research being conducted into nutraceuticals by a research team at Henry Ford Hospital in the US offers hope for soldiers returning from war zones with hearing problems. It has been found that some nutraceuticals may prevent and even reverse certain hearing losses in soldiers. Antioxidants such as acetyl-l-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid and resveratrol - a substance found in common food and drink sources such as red grapes and red wine.

The research team is said to be the first to identify how acoustic trauma from machinery and explosive devices damages the inner ear cells, breaks down and stops cell growth. According to Dr. Seidman, who leads the research team, a pill could soon be developed that could possibly prevent hearing trauma in military forces. The research has been successful on animal subjects, and will soon be tested with humans.

If the new research works well in humans, then the quality of life of returning soldiers, and, of course, civilians, would be much improved, as noise-induced hearing loss impacts not only on hearing ability, but also balance, quality of sleep, ability to communicate and participate normally in everyday life. The stresses of living with a hearing loss can also affect blood pressure and lipid and blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes’.

Hidden Hearing posted on November 12th 2012.
According to National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), there are 48 million Americans with some level of hearing loss who struggle with imperfect devices in order to hear. Hearing loss is the nation’s third biggest health issue behind heart disease and arthritis. This number is expected to grow as our soldiers return with hearing loss, among other injuries. READ MORE!




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:



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! 

Our Chapter recognized that a national membership and a separate chapter membership were a little cumbersome, so we ran a pilot program with one combined membership.  This was so successful that HLAA in Bethesda is now rolling out the “Unified Membership Program” for more and more chapters. 

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.   .

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,


Lynn Farrow            Sarasota
Annahita Forghan  Bradenton
Edward Hurley        Sarasota


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:
Also, if you want to know if a theatre or meeting place is looped—anywhere in North America, check out—
Assistive Listening Device Locater


Over 1000 HAVE “LIKED” THE CHAPTER’S FACEBOOK PAGE - 1058 and counting!

1058 “likes” and counting—but slowly.
If you know anyone with hearing loss—advise them to” LIKE” this site—lots of new information daily.
The Chapter’s Facebook Page is a valuable resource for anything and everything related to hearing loss.

If you want to keep current with HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee activities or hearing loss issues, click on the HLAA Sarasota/Manatee Chapter Facebook page. Announcements, photos, industry information, medical advancements and much more are posted daily. 

Find Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota on Facebook and tap on "LIKE".

To access our page:

(find the link on the lower right corner of the website home page)

Then … just tap on "LIKE"!



Private Eyes Movie Club (Members Only)

The Private Eyes Movie Club Tuesday, December 27th

The Movie Club generally meets the last Tuesday of each month through “the season”.  
“Private Eyes”
free membership is limited to HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee members. First time “Private Eye” members are entitled to a free movie ticket at their first movie. 

Signup with the Club at or on Facebook.

The "Club" met November 22 to see "Arrival" and discussed it at Sol's Deli afterward

Anne Taylor will meet you by the inside customer service area around 4:00 PM.

The exact time and movie will be announced to Private Eyes Members. Anne Taylor will meet you by the inside customer service area around 4:00 PM. The movie will not be “A Christmas Story” - we stick to first runs.


More and more theaters are providing caption glasses as the Justice Department, HLAA and other organizations have some timing agreements in place for ADA caption compliance with the National Association of Theatre Owners.  We meet at Regal, as they were the pioneers in captioning when they didn’t have to do it.

Our friends at Captionfish - - report on all theatres and screens in North America that offer closed captions. A website test found that the link “Sarasota” brought up 13 theatres within 60 miles and 212 movies that are captioned.

Check it out!


Curtain Time Theater Club (Members Only)




The 87th season of The Players Theatre, now The Players Centre for Performing Arts, at 838 N. Tamiami Trail has a great season scheduled.

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!  Contact  for tickets.   

Chapter members dined at Caragiulas prior to “Young Frankenstein”

Reserve now for December’s show “Legally Blonde” on December 6


Legally Blonde: The Musical
December 6, 2016

Legally Blonde is a musical critics praised as being “Fun and upbeat”, “High Energy” and a “hymn to the glories of girlishness”. Based on the novel “Legally Blonde” and the award winning film of the same name, it follows the story of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner. No one seems to have faith in the “pretty in pink” Woods and her dog, but in the end, she manages to surprise her contemporaries and stay true to herself.


Between The Covers Book Club (Members Only) 

The Club’s meetings are over for 2016, however, the book discussed in November is a great holiday gift for anyone you know that is hard of hearing. The book club attendees loved it!
The Way I Hear It 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.

May we also suggest a membership to HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Chapter as another unique holiday gift.





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