October 2015

HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee expresses its gratitude and appreciation for your incredible support.  Your generosity and willingness to dive in and support us during The Giving Challenge campaign was impressive.  Thank you so very much.  
 Read More!

President's Message

Kicking off The Giving Partner we came together and formed a Hearing Loss Dream Team of the Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota/Manatee and Ear Research Foundation!! 
We shared the common objective of furthering the education of persons of all ages with hearing loss about the latest devices, technology & services available, so individuals can continue to thrive, as well as reaching out and motivating those who have yet to seek treatment to seek help.  Not only were we able to educate the community on programs, services and our mission we increased our hearing loss visibility to a wider audience.  Discussions are underway on planning additional joint events and seminars to bring our educational and advocacy messages about hearing loss to the community.

We also had a fantastic evening at our McCurdy's event. It was a full house and even our headlining comedian got into it by having some fun with our CART Services provider, Dee Boneau (who is an aspiring comedian, I think!) For the FIRST time LOOP & CART services were provided for those with hearing loss!! Thanks for joining us everyone.  We hope this will be an annual event!
I was so overwhelmed by the generosity of our board, membership and the community. Thank you to all of you who supported our efforts through The Giving Challenge!
The 2015 Giving Challenge was made possible by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation with support from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group. 
A HUGE thank you to all of the amazing people in these organizations who worked so diligently, and especially for their generosity. We live in a generous community!



McCurdy’s Comedy Club Fundraiser
A sellout crowd enjoyed a night out for a fundraiser for HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee and the Ear Research Foundation on September 1.
Monies will be used to support the common missions by conducting outreach and educational programs. 

The headliner was Helen Keaney.  Helen is a morning host on the Home Shopping Network Monday - Thursday 6 AM-9 AM. 

The room was LOOPED and CART was provided. The CART services were the hit of the show.  Our own Dee Boneau amazed Helen with her flawless real time captioning, even with long difficult words and Spanish phrases! 
Hearing attendees enjoyed the CART as words in a loud theater are often difficult to pick up. 
Pictures from the fun night follow—Read more!

Leanne Browning, our 2014 intern reports she has been “crazy busy”. She is an FSU graduate and attending James Madison University in Virginia for her Au. D.
She met her first patient in September and has her "white coat" ceremony soon. The ceremony marks the student's transition from the study of preclinical to clinical health sciences. Leanne expects to receive a 6 week placement next year outside of the university and may be placed in the Sarasota/Tampa area.  We are keeping our fingers crossed!   She keeps up with HLAA and the Chapter through Facebook.

Renee Eicher, our 2015 intern has been studying for the Graduate Records Exam to begin the graduate school application process to attain her Au. D. degree.  She will be applying to the University of Florida and the University of South Florida by the end of this year for Fall admittance. Renee is still is helping the Chapter getting the last of the Publix packets delivered and hopes to do some follow-up with the managers shortly after that.


It is time again to seek members for the HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Board of Trustees. The term is for 2 years-- 2016-2017. The deadline is Oct 16, 2015. Elections will be at the December general meeting. The job description and the application are posted on the HLAA-Sarasota website under the bullet points on the right hand side: 
If you have an interest in our Mission, ”Enable people with hearing loss and their families to meet the challenge of hearing loss and to participate in the mainstream of an enlightened society through information, education, advocacy and support”, we want your contribution.
Please contact the Chapter Nominations Committee Chair, Dr. Susan Fulton at for additional information if needed.   Dr. Fulton states that: “We are looking for individuals with a love of the association and who are interested in getting involved and making a difference”.


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


Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market -
Saturday, October 24th 7:00 - 1:00 

Outreach Events Keep the Chapter Busy 

If you are in the Venice area, stop by our booth at the Venice Chamber Expo in the Venice Community Center on October 2 and 3.
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.




October Chapter Meeting - October 14th

1:30 PM
North Sarasota Library Meeting Room
2801 Newtown Blvd. Sarasota

Our speaker’s topic is “Ototoxic Effects of OTC and Prescription Drugs”
Ototoxicity remains a clinical concern due to its reported association with many medications. Symptom severity is varied among patients, but in severe cases can result in permanent hearing impairment. Dr. Ryan Wargo will review the possible signs, symptoms, outcomes and issues related to ototoxicity. Focus will be primarily on common OTC and prescription drugs that are known to be associated with this complication. While ototoxicity can be a detrimental adverse effect, its impact can be minimized by following simple precautionary standards and these will be reviewed as well.
After completion of this presentation, Chapter members and guests will be able to complete the following objectives:
1.       List common medications known to cause ototoxicity
2.       Recognize possible signs, symptoms and issues related to ototoxicity
3.       Identify key precautions that can be taken to minimize the risk of ototoxicity
Dr. Wargo assures us there will not be a quiz but questions will be entertained.

The venue is the same as the chapter meetings, the North Sarasota Library, 2801 Newtown Blvd. 
Our peer mentors lead the discussions and our professional partners sit in as time permits. 

September Chapter Meeting Recap


A special meeting for members and friends from the Venice area was held on August 26.  The venue was the Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. A full house was on hand to hear Blair Post of Contemporary Hearing speak about living well with hearing loss.


The next meeting of “After Hours” will be a presentation on tinnitus by Dr. Jack Wazen.  He will discuss the latest research on possible causes and the most efficient treatment options.    The meeting will be at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, November 10th.
Dr. Jack Wazen is an ENT-otolaryngologist in Sarasota, Florida.  He also is on the Board of Directors of HLAA in Bethesda, Md.

He left Sarasota in 1983 to build a successful Ear, Nose & Throat specialty practice in New York and spent 23 years as a researcher, professor and practitioner with Columbia University and the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

Recognized repeatedly as one of New York’s and America’s “Best Doctors,” Dr. Wazen is one of the nation’s leading authorities on hearing and balance disorders, pioneering new research that expanded treatments for people with single-sided deafness and complex cases of hearing loss. He also is author of the seminal book, “Dizzy”, providing new treatment options and hope for people affected by balance and hearing disorders.

A “can’t miss” meeting for anyone with balance, vertigo or dizziness issues.

“After Hours” meets at the Center for Arts and Cultural Alliance at 1226 Tamiami Trail, just north of Van Wezel on the east side of 41.

Click on Event Calendar for Upcoming Events Read More!




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. To learn more, view the Walk4Hearing movie.
Saturday, November 7, 2015

Metropolitan Park
1410 Gator Bowl Blvd. 
Jacksonville, FL 

9am - Registration/Check-in
10am - Walk begins 
Distance: 5K (3.1 miles)
Here is the link to make a donation to members of the Sarasota Dream Team:



Join us in a yearlong celebration of Rocky Stone, HLAA’s Founder.

To celebrate Rocky and the 35th birthday of the Hearing Loss Association of America, our Chapter will be remembering Rocky and getting to know his legacy. Here is a quote from the May/June Hearing Loss magazine in 1992.
“Where am I on the scale of happiness?  What am I doing with my life?  Whatever pain hearing loss causes an individual, being a member of HLAA brings increased hope.  Without hope, little is left with which to answer the questions above.  Happiness is reached through a combination of circumstance, and physical and mental attributes.  (Believe it or not, money won’t do it.)  HLAA helps by giving you options, by showing how you can improve your life with a hearing loss, and, very importantly, by bringing you into contact with role models and others with hearing loss.

Rocky Stone
May/June 1992

For more on the founder, click here.   In his book, “An Invisible Condition, The Human Side of Hearing Loss”, Rocky wrote: “the most pervasive physical handicap in America today is an invisible condition – hearing loss”.   The entire book is available free by clicking here.


Can Cochlear Implants Improve Hearing and Memory
It has been found in past studies that that brief exposure to loud sounds can cause not only loss of hearing but also an effect on memory. Research is now being conducted to determine if brain stimulation can reverse this effect and improve both hearing and memory. Future studies will involve use of electric impulses from a cochlear implant to improve hearing and memory. Below is a summary of the study from Science Daily.

“Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have found how even brief exposure to sudden sounds or mild trauma can form permanent, long-term brain connections, or memories, in a specific region of the brain. Moreover, the research team, working with rats, says it was able to chemically stimulate those biological pathways in the locus coeruleus -- the area of the brain best known for releasing the "fight or flight" hormone noradrenaline -- to heighten and improve the animals' hearing.  Read More!



New Survey of User Needs (SUN) for Wireless Technology Launched -- Please Participate!

HLAA has been working with the wireless phone associations. In September, the Wireless RERC's research team announced the launch of the 2015 Survey of User Needs (SUN) for Wireless Technologies. The SUN is their cornerstone survey of wireless technology use and usability by people with all types of disabilities. The survey mainly focuses on cell phones, but also includes questions about other types of devices like tablet computers such as an Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle
Fire, Microsoft Surface, Samsung Galaxy Tab and other similar devices.

More than 6,000 people with disabilities have completed the SUN (survey), and more than half have joined their national Consumer Advisory Network (CAN).

Please consider participating in the Survey of User Needs. The results may assist in identifying ADA accommodations needed for the hard of hearing.

On the Web, please go to the following addresses for the questionnaire --


Self-Advocacy—Report Loop issues
We hear that loops are not “on” or working properly from time to time.  It is up to each of us to address this concern with the venue if it is encountered.  If you are having difficulty with your issue with a theatre, church or other location, please contact our President, JoAnne DeVries at . The Chapter will contact the loop installer if there is a technical problem 

Hearing Loops Featured in The Wall Street Journal

David Myers is an HLAA advocate and a psychology professor at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He is the author of "A Quiet World: Living with Hearing Loss”.  Mr. Myers is recognized as a champion of hearing loops and he recently wrote an article featured in The Wall Street Journal about his efforts to spread hearing loop technology in the United States. 

The story is an excellent way to address looping to friends and businesses that are not familiar with looping. Advocates are using the article as a reference to explain looping to corporations such as Starbucks to understand its use in business. 
The WSJ link is limited to subscribers so the story has been linked to the Chapter’s website and is found below in “read more”.

A Technological Godsend to Counter Hearing Loss
The ‘hearing loop’ is a remarkable advance, but all too hard to find in the U.S.

WSJ     Aug. 27, 2015

Read More!

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.  HLAA and loop installers are partnering to make this website and app as complete and up to date as possible:   

As an example, Loopfinder has 16 categories of looped locations.  If you choose “Library”, it advises there are 13 looped libraries in Florida, by resizing Loopfinder’s MapQuest map to the Sarasota/Manatee area, we find two, Selby and North Sarasota.  This works for audiologist offices, theatres, governments and so on—anywhere in the country.

Read More!

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

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)   

CDC Study Ignores People with Hearing Loss
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the results of a study entitled Prevalence of Disability and Disability Type among Adults, US.2013 (
According to this study, more than 53 million Americans – about 1 in 5 adults – live with a disability. The CDC studied vision loss, cognition, limited mobility (such as difficulty walking or climbing stairs), self-care and independent living. But, the CDC ignored 48 million Americans with hearing loss.
In the CDC’s own words, “Understanding the prevalence of disability is important for public health programs to be able to address the needs of persons with disabilities”.

Hearing loss is a disability – albeit invisible. Hearing loss affects quality of life, ability to work, progress in school and participation in society. Hearing loss is a major public health issue – third most common behind arthritis and heart disease.
Arlene Romoff, the author of Hear Again and Listen Closely, past president of HLAA/New Jersey, called the CDC to ask why people with hearing loss were excluded from the study. She was told, ‘We would have loved to include data on people with hearing loss. The report is a telephone survey that does not reach people with hearing loss”.

Interesting! Many of us people with hearing problems do use a captioned telephone or/and telecoils to clarify voices on the phone. Read More!

Volunteer Opportunities

Calling all Volunteers!
Did you know that our HLAA chapter is run completely by volunteers? 
We could use your help.  There are many opportunities to help HLAA become more visible to the community and by doing so; enable others with hearing loss to find the resources that that are available. 

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.
Volunteering can make a positive impact in the lives of others with your time, experience and passion.


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. 

The October Webinar has not been posted but there was a very useful Webinar on September 16.
Those Webinars and all past Webinars can be accessed at:

Read More for a list of the past year's Webinars which may address a concern you have.

HLAA Membership Notes

Our Memberships are dual memberships in both the HLAA and the HLAA Sarasota/Manatee Chapter. Veterans are free!

Join now and get the HLAA “Hearing Loss Magazine”--members have reported that the July/August edition contains the most valuable advice ever!  Of note, “Best Practices in Hearing Enhancement” is a “must read” before your next visit with your audiologist.

The cost is $35 for an Individual Membership, $45 for a Couple.   .
Among the many functions of HLAA National is 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 $5 Van Wezel tickets (one or two events in a looped theater) are worth the membership fee for a volunteer organization that does so much for persons with hearing loss in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

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



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 Manatee
Facebook Page

Reaching for 1000 -- Invite Your “Friends” To Like This Page 

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

The Chapter now has over 760 users.  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 October 20 (necessary schedule change due to Players Theatre conflict))
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 Appleby’s next door to the theatre.    


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 2015! 

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.


Curtain Time Theater Club (Members Only)


The 86th season of The Players Theatre at 838 N. Tamiami Trail begins!

The Players provides the Chapter with 20 to 25 FREE tickets, a great benefit of our nominal membership dues. The shows are, of course, looped! 

Our show date is always the pre-opening show, the night prior to Opening Night.   Contact Betsy Roberts at for tickets. Tickets are distributed to Members only.
The next offering will be “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” on Tuesday, October 27.

Click here to see the complete list of shows!

Everyone’s favorite flying care comes to life in the musical adaptation of the beloved family film. Take a fantastic musical adventure as this out-of-this-world car flies through the air and sails the seas. Featuring an unforgettable score by the Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins), this is a family-friendly blockbuster that audiences will find “Truly Scrumptious!”

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


Between The Covers Book Club (Members Only) 

“Between the Covers” Will Meet on Monday, October 19, 2015
“Between the Covers” meeting will be at the function room at 1350 Main Street at 6:00 PM on Monday, October 19. The book selection is “Rebuilt: My Journey Back to the Hearing World” by Michael Chorost.

From a Science Blog review:
Those without personal experience with cochlear implants should not feel at a loss, or that this book is not for them – Chorost writes clearly and provides enough detail to make the implant, the speech processing, and his problems and adjustments plain enough for anyone to understand... Chorost clearly makes a distinction between himself, whom he calls a cyborg, and other humans, and at the beginning of the book tries very hard to set himself apart from others (deaf or not) with both his hearing loss and his implantation. He then discusses the adjustment period and difficulties he had with the implant, and concludes the book with some thoughts about how human-like the cyborg had become. Chorost’s writing style includes the extensive use of personal stories, similes, and correlations with literature and culture in order to help provide a better understanding of his experience


   engine on

FTRI is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that administers the specialized telecommunication equipment distribution program to qualified Florida residents with a hearing or speech loss at no cost.  The program is funded through a monthly 12 cents surcharge on all telephone landlines.  FTRI’s application is available by downloading a copy from or call 800-222-3448.

Read more!




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