April 2016


“ENROLL” at USF-Sarasota-Manatee for FREE
Four April classes on Wednesdays at 6 PM

HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Trustee, Dr. Susan Fulton has announced that USFSM Communication Sciences and Disorders students will be offering a 4 week long series of courses about hearing loss. The students will be making the presentations and it will be part of their grade in the course.

4/6/2016,   6:00 PM, Room A214
Basic Ear Anatomy/ Audiograms (what they are and how to read them)/ Types of hearing loss

4/13/2016, 6:00 PM, Room A214
Hearing conservation/ Effects of hearing loss on your brain (cognitive decline)/ Auditory training exercises (online and apps)

4/20/2016, 6:00 PM, Room A214
Introduction to hearing aids/ Assistive listening devices/ Speech reading

4/27/2016, 6:00 PM, Room A214
Assertiveness/ Communication strategies/ Your rights as an individual with hearing loss

SPACE IS LIMITED!    Please RSVP to Dr. Susan Fulton at or 941-359-4283.


 President's Message

The HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee chapter is committed to help consumers advocate and educate for their hearing loss. Our recent Hearing Loss Expo was our opportunity to share with the community the many advances in technology regarding hearing loss.  The Expo was a great, free opportunity to test-drive some devices that could bring relief to family, friends and coworkers. 
Through events such as the Expo, the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Sarasota/Manatee Chapter strengthens its commitment to its mission of empowering people with hearing loss to lead more active lives in the community by promoting education/information, hearing loss advocacy and support. 
We hope you will permit HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Chapter to continue to be a part of your hearing journey. Our monthly chapter meetings offer tips and techniques for living with hearing loss, emotional support and technical information about hearing assistance devices. Don't miss our  April 13th meeting on Loops/T-Coils  “How and Why They Work and Why They Sometimes Don’t.” a review of the basics of Looping, proper Loop installations and a discussion about the challenges various venues present to using the Loop effectively.

An enormous THANK YOU to our exhibitors, attendees, Board of Trustee's and wonderful volunteers who made the Expo so successful! 




HLAA National Convention


HLAA volunteers, some great vendors and seminar speakers and panelists made the March 5th event another example of the mission of the Chapter, Education, Advocacy and Support. As always, the Seminars and  Flo Innes’ demonstrations were a hit.
Thanks to JoAnne DeVries and Dave Donnelly for the contribution of time to make this happen.



On March 2, the Ear Research Foundation and our HLAA Chapter had a “Celebrity Bartending” event at the Polo Grill in Lakewood Ranch.
Dr. Herb Silverstein and his jazz group, “Doc and the Ear-iginals” played nearly nonstop and the music was enjoyed by all.
Thank you to Celebrity Bartenders JoAnne DeVries, Dr. Seth Rosenberg, Sarasota Vice-Mayor Suzanne Atwell, Dr. J.P. Gniady, Bob Tufts, Jennifer Moss and others.



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.

The Chapter was pleased to have many of the Professionals participating in the 5th Annual Hearing Loss Expo last month.
The exhibitors included:
Adept Audiology
Aud Bling

All Ears Hearing
Complete Hearing Solutions
Ear Research Foundation
Hear Care Connection
Indoor Wireless Solutions
Manatee Hearing and Speech.  



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



Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market -
Saturday, April 23rd 7:00 - 1:00 

Outreach Events Keep the Chapter Busy 

The Chapter’s outreach program covers over 100 events a year.

Please contact Dave Donnelly to “pay it forward” by attending events manning our table. 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


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.       

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.

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 fourth Saturday, stop by and say hello to Dave and our volunteers.




April 13th, Chapter Meeting 

Hearing Loops:  "How and why they work and why they sometimes don’t."  This presentation will be a review of the basics of Looping, proper Loop installations and a discussion about the challenges various venues present to using the Loop effectively.  

Owner of Complete Hearing Solutions, Jim Scott, has a background as a Florida Licensed Hearing Aid Specialist.  After reading about Loops in a trade publication, he discovered there were no Hearing Loop providers in Florida.  Understanding the great benefit Loops would be to the hearing loss community of Florida, in early 2010 he started the first Hearing Loop installation company in Florida and donated and installed the first Loop in Sarasota.  Complete Hearing Solutions continues to be one of the few companies nationwide that exclusively and on a full-time basis install and service Hearing Loops.  

North Sarasota Library Meeting Room
2801 Newtown Blvd, Sarasota

March Chapter Meeting Recap

The March meeting was a presentation by Katie Figueroa of Cochlear Americas, “The Cochlear Implant and Baha Experience.”

Katie reviewed the types of hearing loss and with slides explained the pros and cons of cochlear implants.  Most members in attendance were cochlear implant users or interested in learning more about the implant. Katie’s patient manner of presenting the issue gave answers to many. She explained the process (below) in detail.

After Hours is a Chapter Meeting designed for members and guests that cannot make a daytime meeting—and, of course, all members are encouraged to attend.
Refreshments’ and wine are provided. In addition to a guest speaker, there is always a question and answer session with mentors and experts to cover most concerns.

he March After Hours presentation on "Truth in Hearing Aid Advertising" was an informative and fun presentation.  Mark Selis of All Ears Hearing Services did "show and tell" with the four page ads, the wrap around ads and the ads extolling the solutions to all hearing problems.  He said that when you see a hearing aid company advertisement be aware if there are qualifiers i.e. "up to 40dB loss" in small print because those numbers are disqualifier's that allow the advertising company to say your loss doesn't fit this aid and you will be introduced to a much more expensive aid.
If you see an ad that has a sale and special price and you don't see a product name and model and real identifier for the technology level... Be careful because you don't know who made the product or what technology they are actually selling... 
Last, if an advertiser has multiple full page ads or any full page ad some several per week, keep in mind that is expensive and generally that cost is passed to guess who ...  Remember to "read between the lines."

Click on Event Calendar for Upcoming Events READ MORE!



HLAA National Convention

This has been a huge year for consumers with hearing loss. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) issued a landmark (and highly controversial) on the state of the hearing healthcare industry, with a focus on access to care, and hearing aid affordability.

The Institute of Medicine (IoM) also held a four part “Committee on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care and Adults” FDA’s regulation of affordable hearing aid alternatives was a hot topic of discussion at the IoM, and PCAST called for the deregulation of over-the-counter basic hearing aids.

Meanwhile, the FCC is in the process of revising its Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) rules for mobile phones. Tech giant Apple has even become involved, asking the FCC to remove the telecoil requirement. Here’s a lineup of the relevant events at this years upcoming HLAA Convention.

The IOM Report Explained

Dan Blazer, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults, will present the IOM report and recommendations on ways to improve quality, access and affordability of hearing technologies..

The PCAST Report Explained

Susan L. Graham, Ph.D., member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Policy (PCAST), will present the PCAST report and its implications for people with hearing loss.

PCAST is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who directly advise the president and the executive office of the President.

Latest from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Accessible Communications

Gregory Hlibok, Chief of the Disability Rights Office and Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Chief, both of the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, will provide updates on the Commission’s various actions to enhance access to communications for people with hearing loss. Topics will include new hearing aid requirements for wireless phones, strengthened closed captioning quality requirements, and updated rules on IP captioned telephone service.


SUPPORT--HAT (Hearing Assistive Technology)
In the months to come, Listen Up will feature HAT devices and your reviews and feedback are essential to give support to all Chapter members. If you have tried a new device, send your comments to:

HLAA-SARASOTA National Convention Scholarship Awarded
The Hearing Loss Association of America, Sarasota/Manatee Chapter awards an HLAA National Convention Scholarship to an individual who demonstrates, in writing, a sincere educational interest in and commitment to sharing the mission of the Hearing Loss Association with others affected by hearing loss.  
The scholarship entitles the winner to a registration to the Hearing Loss Association of America convention in Washington D.C. from June 23-26, 2016.  The scholarship will also include a room at the convention hotel for three nights.
The Scholarship Committee has selected Patricia (Pat) Lakey as the recipient of our chapter scholarship to the Washington DC convention this year.  Pat is employed full time as the Disability Coordinator for State College of Florida and a member of HLAA.   If you have stopped by  the Farmers Market, the Expo and our Social Hours, you may recognize Pat.



A number of members are no longer able to drive and would appreciate a lift to and from Chapter meetings.  Please contact the editor at  if you need a ride or can offer a ride.
Right now, there is a request for HLAA-“Uber” service from the Honore/Clark area.


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 -- AND NOW, THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT!

The website is:
In addition to assistance in finding looped locations, Loopfinder has a FAQ section about looping. Here is the visual explanation of 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.



As we HLAA members are aware, the longer hearing loss goes untreated, the more difficult it is for the brain to relearn to hear.  The majority of people with mild or mild to moderate hearing loss are untreated.  Only one third of family physicians test for hearing loss even though studies show that untreated hearing loss can lead to dementia.
The FDA has approved a new product to allow family physicians and others to test for hearing loss at a nominal cost.

According to the press release, the “iHearTest” is a hearing screener for profiling hearing ability based on the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, targeting adults who suspect they have hearing loss, or those reluctant to seek professional evaluation for a basic hearing assessment.

The iHearTest and other hearing solutions developed by iHear Medical seem to be in-line with PCAST recommendations, calling for more affordable and accessible services with age-related, progressive, mild-to-moderate hearing loss.

“The iHearTest is a disruptive new technology and cost saving method that can expand hearing care significantly”.  The iHear Medical press release goes on to say that the FDA approval of the iHearTest was based on extensive technological development and clinical research to demonstrate safety and efficacy, as an Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved clinical study was conducted on 96 subjects with iHearTest results compared to WHO grading of hearing impairment using standard practice audiometry.

The clinical study results showed 96.4% agreement with the WHO method using standard practice audiometry for the assessment of disabling hearing impairment. For the ordinal assessment of hearing ability, the iHearTest showed 85.9% level-by-level agreement and 100% agreement within ±1 level with respect to WHO grading using standard practice instruments.  READ MORE!


An opportunity to advocate from your living room

 Florida’s primary elections are over but the ads will continue through Election Day.
Regardless or party or candidate preference, the Chapter members can create an awareness for captioning with the candidates and their ad agencies.  Advertisers have an exemption from the television broadcast captioning requirements of the FCC and some will not spend the comparatively minute’ percentage of the cost of an ad to save a few dollars—apparently unaware that 3,000,000 Floridians are hard of hearing and 145,000 of us in the two county area have difficulty hearing television sound.

Find the “contact us” or any media email section of the candidate or PAC (Political Action Committee) on their website and fire off a letter.  Here is a response from the “Club for Growth”, a huge PAC that runs negative ads against candidates of both parties.

Thanks for your message and suggestion.  It’s a good one and we’ll talk with our ad guys about what’s involved in them doing this in the future.

Again, thanks.
Chuck PikeExecutive Vice PresidentClub for Growth
2001 L St., NW, Ste. 600, Washington, DC 20036


The 2010 21st Century Communication Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) set a calendar of deadlines by law and by delegation, FCC rules for media producers and distributers to follow for captioning and some requirements became effective January 1, 2016. The 2016 requirement requires that all video clips must be captioned when broadcast.
This is in addition to the rolling compliance dates for most TV programming over the past five years. Such requirements include a requirement that the captions cannot be garbled as we have experienced in the past. That rule that captions must be readable is summarized below:
  • Accuracy: Captions must reflect the dialogue, sound effects, and music in the audio track to the greatest extent possible based on the type of the programming and must include speaker identification.
  • Synchronicity: Captions must coincide with their corresponding dialogue, sound effects, and lyrics to the greatest extent possible based on the type of the programming, as well as appearing at a speed that is readable by viewers.
  • Program Completeness: Captions must run from the beginning to the end of the program, to the greatest extent possible, based on the type of the programming.
  • Placement: Captions may not cover up other important on-screen information, such as featured text, graphics, or other information critical to the comprehension of the program's content.
There are, of course, some exemptions to captioning. They are:

If you see video programming and video clips that are not captioned, please file an FCC Complaint.  The procedure is not onerous and is explained in READ MORE!

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)   


Misconceptions about Hearing Loss/Deafness

No one knows we have a hearing loss

People notice when we are not hearing by our communication behavior. We turn the television/radio up loud; we repeatedly ask for repeats; we may misunderstand what is said and react oddly.

We may be the last ones to know we have a hearing loss.

Hearing Aids are covered by insurance

 No, they are not. Very few insurance companies cover hearing aids. However, cochlear implants  are covered.

The sound we hear on the phone is the same as face to face.

 That is not true. The frequency range of telephone transmission is limited. Even people with normal   hearing have difficulty hearing on the phone sometimes.  People who are hearing impaired are highly challenged when trying to understand on the phone, because we cannot observe facial clues and lip movement.


Nerve deafness can’t be cured or treated

Nerve deafness (sensorineural hearing loss) cannot be cured, but many of us with hearing loss may be helped to communicate by using   hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive listening technology, lip-reading, communication strategies and support services.

Hearing Aids are like glasses – they restore hearing to ‘20/20’

It would be nice if this were true. Most hearing aids amplify sound. Frequent visits to the audiologist are needed to tweak the hearing aid/cochlear implant to the comfort of its user. Even at their best, hearing aids/cochlear implants do not provide ‘20/20’ hearing. 


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:

Last month’s Webinar on March 16 featured Michael A. Harvey, Ph.D.  He provides training and consultation on mental health issues having to do with hearing loss, including consultation and training for audiologists regarding motivational interviewing and the psychological aspects of patient care. As a clinical psychologist, he has a private practice in Framingham, Massachusetts and was a consultant faculty at Salus University, where he taught online courses relating to the psychosocial aspects of hearing loss.

This presentation described several psychosocial challenges with hearing loss and methods of nurturing one’s resilience. These include managing traumatic influences, helplessness, anxiety and fear, anger and rage, self-esteem, and reconciling one's group identity. Methods of overcoming "internalized handicaps" were explained. “Persons with hearing loss too frequently accept a wide array of self-depreciatory beliefs as self-evident truths which are beyond scrutiny”.

As with all Product/Service Showcase webinars, products and/or services presented are in no way to be construed as an endorsement by HLAA.

The Chapter’s CART Provider’s Radio Show with Realtime Captioning

 “Tess Talk!” – a live radio show - will make its debut on Saturday April 2, 2016 on WTIS-AM 1110 at 11 AM.   Tess Crowder covers our Chapter Meeting CART captioning when Jack and Dee Boenau have schedule conflicts.  She is a past President of HLAA-Florida State Association.

You can listen to the program on the radio, AM 1110, or through the internet, or read the live realtime captioning at www.streamtext,net/text.aspx?event=TessTalk

Each show will feature inspirational and uplifting stories which will warm your heart, motivate you, and inspire you to reach your full potential in your personal and professional life.  She will also interview guests who are doing great things in our community and all around the nation.  Each week she will feature a non-profit, charitable organization to help spread awareness in our community about their programs and services and create support for their cause.

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.
               Well worth the nominal membership fee—selected Van Wezel (looped) events at $10.

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,

Maureen Breen, Venice
George Cooper, Venice
John Prill, Sarasota
Elmer Berkel, Sarasota
Kimberly Fox, Englewood
Martin Herring, Sarasota
Jeanette Paladino, Sarasota
Avis Stuck, Englewood
Lawrence Tobias, Venice
Dr. Noel Crosby, Englewood
Dr.Victoria Moore, 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:


"LIKE" The HLAA-Sarasota ManateeFacebook Page

850 FRIENDS!  Pushing for 1000 
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"  Click here!

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 meets on Last Tuesdays (except when they don’t!)
The next “meeting” will be April 26th.

Some Chapter members volunteering at the Expo were shocked to hear that folks with hearing aids were unaware of the ease of captioning at the movies in the 21st Century. If you are one of those “folks”, come with us to a great eye opener—Take Back YOUR Life!
The Club “meets” around 4:30 PM at the Hollywood 20 on Main St. in Sarasota.  Caption glasses are in good supply to make movies enjoyable again. A roundtable review--and other conversation-- follows at the Mediterraneo Restaurant across from the Hollywood 20.

The exact time and movie will be announced to Private Eyes Members (membership is free)—signup with at or by e-mail or Facebook.
Of note, Hollywood 20 now offers CaptiView as well as Sony Caption Glasses. CaptiView is much improved, so the very few people who did not like the glasses now have an alternative. 
“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. To receive the notice of the movie selected, which goes out the weekend before the movie date, contact Anne Taylor. Anne uses the following email address for Private Eyes –
Finding Captions at the Movies in 2016!
Since 2009, the search engine CaptionFish, has been providing information about captioned movie theaters to persons with hearing loss. Check it out for any theatre in North America. The information can be accessed by zip code.

 Curtain Time Theater Club (Members Only)


The 86th season of The Players Theatre at 838 N. Tamiami Trail is in the middle of a great season with an amazing wealth of experience of the actors and directors.

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! 

There is an option for a pre-theatre dinner around 5:15. 
The show date is always the pre-opening show, the night prior to Opening Night.   Contact the Theatre Club at
Tickets are distributed to Members only.             
The next offering will be "The Smell of the Kill" on April 26th

Celebrating: Wit! Devotion! Dark Humor!
Take three delicious, malicious wives, add three miserable, unloving husbands and chill. That’s the recipe of Michele Lowe’s tantalizing new comedy that had Broadway audiences cheering. This black comedy is a guilty pleasure that according to Variety Magazine “boasts lines and scenes that has everyone laughing as uproariously as The Producers.” 
CLICK HERE! to see the complete list of shows!

If you use the box office in person, thank them for the loop!! 


Between The Covers Book Club (Members Only) 

“Between the Covers” – will be rescheduled to the Fall. 
The book for our Spring meeting is, “The Way I Hear It” by Gael Hannon. 
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.

Each month, we will republish Gael’s article in “Hearing Health and Technology Matters” with permission of the editor.

The Outdoor Cure for Hearing Loss

How’s this for a salad bar of communication strategies?

Hearing aids. Cochlear implants. Speechreading skills. Assistive listening devices. Telecoils and looping. Bluetooth. Captioning on TV, at the movies, on our smartphones. Assertiveness in having our needs met. Manipulating our listening environment with lighting, good sight lines, and low-or-no background noise.

People with hearing loss pick and choose the ones they need, want, or can afford in order to communicate to their best ability. And with the right attitude, it usually works. But what about those days when attitude turns sour, when coping with hearing loss becomes a grind? At times like this, what are you gonna do?



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