September 2016

The annual 24-hour Giving Challenge has become our Chapter’s largest fundraiser. From noon 9/20 to noon 9/21.  Be the One to Support Healthy Hearing! 

                                 It’s easy to participate!

1.    Log on to
2.    From noon 9-21 to noon 9-22
3.    Search or type in “Hearing Loss Association”
4.    Click on the “Donate Now” button

The Community Foundation will match gifts of $25 to $100! ($100=$200)

AND--If you did not donate last year, your donation will be double matched! ($100=$300)

Your generosity enables the Sarasota/Manatee Chapter to make improvements to better serve you, including an Assistive Listening Device demo table to appear at every chapter meeting to keep you current on all advancements and to offer members the opportunity to try selected devices for a month. 

Join us as we kick-off The Giving Challenge month with a fun way to meet others with hearing loss at Clasico Cafe!

Hearing Loss Happy Hour
                      Friday, Sept 16th
                      5:00pm to 7:00pm
                      Clasico Café Bar
               1341 Main Street, Sarasota

There is also a “Happy Hearing” Party the night before the Giving Challenge.  The free event will be held at Art to Walk On, a store filled with beautiful hanging rugs that will help absorb sounds. The store will also have a hearing loop system installed for the occasion! 

             Hearing Loss Happy Hour
                      Monday, Sept 19th
                      5:30pm to 7:00pm
                         Art to Walk On
               16 South Palm Ave., Sarasota

             Open Wine and Appetizer Bar!!

Bring a family member or friend and meet with audiologists or explore the latest advancements in hearing technology.


 President's Message


It's that time of the year where we have an amazing opportunity to bring awareness to the over 145,000 people with hearing loss in Sarasota/Manatee counties. The annual Giving Challenge event has become our chapter’s largest fundraiser and from noon to noon on September 20 to 21; all donations will be matched from $25 to $100 by the Community Foundation. The Chapter is hoping to gain the funds to make many major improvements to better serve you. One project is to build our Assistive Listening Device demo table to appear at every chapter meeting to keep you up to speed on all the advancements and to offer members the opportunity to try selected devices for a month.

We will be holding a Hearing Loss Happy Hour Kick-Off on Friday, September 16th from 5-7PM at Clasico Restaurant, 1341 Main Street, Sarasota. 

There is also a Happy Hearing Party on Monday, September 19th from 5:30-7:00PM at Art To Walk On, 16 South Palm Ave, downtown Sarasota. This free, fun soiree promises to be most entertaining with an open wine and appetizer bar. At this gorgeous downtown store we will display some of the latest devices for people with hearing loss and there will be a gathering of HLAA board members in attendance to answer your questions. The beautiful hanging rugs will not only add a splendor to the occasion, but will dampen some of the crowd’s sounds so you will be able to hear and chat with others. This is a great event to bring any family member or friend who needs to do more about their hearing. 

We are collaborating with the Ear Research Foundation and HearCare Connection, two local nonprofit organizations dedicated to advocating for hearing loss in our community.  

The Giving Challenge will bring an enormous amount of community awareness to our organizations as well as increased visibility regarding hearing loss   Although hearing loss is called the “invisible condition”, we refuse to be invisible in our determination to raise awareness regarding our mission of education, information, advocacy and support for people with hearing loss in our community. Working together, our organizations can Be The One to Promote Happier Hearing and YOU can make a significant community impact through YOUR involvement with The Giving Challenge. 




Our Chapter’s CART Provider # 1
At the Awards Luncheon at the National Court Reporters Association meeting in Chicago, our CART provider, Dee Boenau came in First Place.

She last won the top prize in 2010, also in Chicago! She has been in the top 4 for the past 16 years. She and her husband, Jack, who also covers our meetings, operate a company, AmeriCaption, which provides TV captions as well as CART and transcripts at Conventions and reporting throughout the country.  


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.

Hearing Health and Technology Matters” recently posted an article entitled “Audiology and Skin Cancer”. The writer was from Tucson but we have the same Sol here on the Florida west coast.  The point that is made that although Audiologists are not Dermatologists, they can go the extra step as professionals in recommending referrals. The article courtesy of “Hearing Health and Technology Matters” follows. 

“Tucson is the world center for Melanoma and skin cancer, which is nothing to boast about.  That dubious title gives those of us in health care in Tucson an extra burden of care when working with patients.  


Our Chapter been offered a large flat screen TV on which the sound does not work.  The picture is excellent HD. If any member relies solely on captions, we will pass it on to you.

Contact HLAA Sarasota/Manatee Chapter at if interested.

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 are
FREE thanks to an anonymous grant.

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!


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, September 24th 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.


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.
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.






The Chapter meeting will include presentations from members who attended the 2016 HLAA Convention in Washington.  The latest information on the PCAST report, FCC captioning, loop initiatives, the state of the art technologies, advocacy strategies, assistive technology communication successes and more will be discussed.

The venue is the North Sarasota Library, 2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota.

July and August Chapter Meeting Recap

The Chapter had a good turnout for summer--over 30 at each session. There were lots of good questions, many regarding cochlear implants at the July “Rap Session”.

In July, Derek Hart of Connect Hearing spoke of some of "new" innovations in Hearing aids.  Next generation of Oticon is due out soon, within 3-6 months.  Also, new hearing aids with re-chargeable batteries are coming to market.  Big news since batteries get expensive after a while and it seems like you always need to buy more.

He also emphasized that once you get the C.I.'s, there is NO going back.  So, while it is the only option for many, if hearing aids still provide some measure of improvement, it may be a good idea to keep using them.

In August, Ashley Cambin-Toole of Adept Hearing spoke about hearing aid issues and this brought about many technical questions from the active Chapter participants with subjects ranging from best brands with cochlear implants to solving communication issues.

Program Chair Kathy Combs ably assisted the discussions this summer.

Ashley and Kathy

The next “After Hours” will be September 13 at 6:00 PM. 

Click on Event Calendar for Upcoming Events READ MORE!



Our Chapter will be participating in the Walk4Hearing on November 12.
Vinell Lacy will lead our team, the “Dream Team”.  The more walkers we have the broader our reach will be in raising awareness for hearing loss. Your participation will help make this a successful walk. If you can’t make it, please contribute.

Participating in an event that raises money for HLAA might touch your life in some way. Think about the ways that hearing loss has impacted you and those around you. The money we raise goes to HLAA both at the national and local levels to fund outreach and awareness programs. Let's step up to eradicate the stigma associated with hearing loss and make hearing loss an issue of national concern.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you at the Walk4Hearing!
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Metropolitan Park
Jacksonville, FL
Dream team link--

If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:


 Some of the HLAA Florida members gathered for lunch and a picture

The September meeting will review the topics covered at the Convention.  Here is the The Hearing Journal’s take of the opening session held at the Washington Hilton:

“The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) kicked off its 2016 National Convention in Washington, DC with a plenary session on recent groundbreaking reports issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the Academies) and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Policy (PCAST).
More than 1,200 people attended the convention, which was also a joint event with The International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH). Leading the plenary session was the Academies' Committee Chairperson Dr. Dan G. Blazer, who gave a comprehensive account of their findings and recommendations on hearing health care affordability and accessibility.

‘Our goal was to say, 'People who are purchasing services, including purchases for hearing aid, need to know what they're paying for,' and that's the bottom line,’ said Dr. Blazer on the recommendation to unbundle audiologist and hearing aid charges.

‘What we love about this report is that the person with hearing loss is front and center, and it really makes hearing loss a primary health concern – and that's what we've been talking about for a long time,’

‘Our convention goers are people who want to learn about technology. They want to use amplification. They are motivated. They want to stay in the hearing world and they will do anything to help themselves hear well,’ explained Director Kelley. ‘We want to educate everybody and we hope to be able to take the lead in seeing that these recommendations be implemented.’”



The HLAA Convention in Washington featured a “Research Symposium” and one of the speakers was Hinrich Staecker, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of otolaryngology at the University of Kansas.
Dr. Staecker focuses his research on developing treatment for hearing loss. He is involved in clinical studies on cochlear implants and a totally implanted hearing aid. Currently, the main effort of his research lab is focused on developing gene therapies for hearing loss. He spoke about the progress in drug delivery to the inner ear focusing on gene therapy approaches to restore inner ear function.

He stated that the KU clinical trial rely on a gene called Atoh1, which is known to cause hair cells to generate in mammals while they are still embryos in the womb. Once enough hair cells develop, the gene is switched off, never to become active again.

“We artificially direct it to be on again,” he said. “The idea is to kick-start the process that turns a supporting cell into a hair cell and then stop.”
The Atoh1 genes are packaged into a harmless version of a cold virus that can slip into the supporting cells to deliver the genes. Once inside, the genes order the supporting cells to start the process of growing into hair cells.

To get this therapy into a patient’s inner ear, Staecker makes an incision to open the eardrum and then uses a laser to drill a tiny hole into a bone that presses against the inner ear. Through that opening, he injects a tiny droplet, less than two-thousandths of an ounce, into the inner ear



The HLAA National office recently filed comments with the FAA for airport accommodations.
The formal response was to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in response to their draft Advisory Circular (AC), Access to Airports by Individuals with Disabilities
The FAA offered the AC for public review and comments in June 2016. The AC provides guidance and recommendations for operators of airports to ensure access to airports by individuals with disabilities. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDI) both signed on to the HLAA comments.


HLAA’s comments included recommendations that the FAA provide information about:
  • CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) 
  • Videophones and video communication
  • Captioned phones
  • Hearing induction loops and assistive listening systems
  • Captioning on televisions
HLAA also urged inclusion of a section of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which would alert airport operators to allow the use of hearing devices during required hearing acuity testing when hiring.  HLAA advised the FAA that they would be available to airport operators should they need additional information. Comments link below--  




FREE Real-time Captioning App for smartphone!

InnoCaption is revolutionizing how those with hearing loss communicate by making it possible to use the smartphone (Android & iPhone) as it was intended – accessible, convenient, and mobile. Through the use of patented technology in conjunction with live stenographers, they provide the fastest, easiest, and most accurate captioning for those who may need assistance hearing the other party.
InnoCaption App has created a streamlined process that users are directly connected to communication assistants with no need to login. It allows users to make and receive any mobile call the same (functionally equivalent) as any hearing person. And, you never have to miss a phone call again with InnoCaption’s Voicemail with captioned messages!

Also, the App provides a lot convenient features, such as Caller ID, contact list synced with existing contact list, Speed dial, Favorite contact, Alternative voice line selection, and supports interactive voice response systems as well as 911 calls with caption.
Your phone fees at work for you!  InnoCaption is a
free service funded by FCC
InnoCaption is a free mobile caption service for those with hearing loss within the United States.  Paid for pursuant to a program through the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund.
To find out more, go to


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)   

You and Your Hearing Loss are Leaving on a Jet Plane
Traveling by air is challenging – standing in long lines at security, worrying we might miss the flight, dealing with unhappy fellow travelers, discovering oversold flights, accepting limited food service and experiencing minimal leg room leading to cramps.
For folks with hearing loss, airplane travel can be particularly stressful and challenging. Because I do not always – well, almost never - understand the announcements, I do not know if my gate has changed, if my flight is delayed and, of course, I do not understand the in-flight communications.

If I travel with hearing husband, family members or friends, I feel much more relaxed because I know they will tell me what the announcers are saying. However, if I travel alone, panic can set in. What did he/she just say? Many times, I have sat on the edge of my seat desperately trying to read the lips of the announcer, who invariably has a microphone covering the mouth.
Frequently I have walked up to the gate attendant and ‘confessed’ to having a hearing loss and would he/she please tell me what the announcer just said. Needless to say, there have been mixed reactions. ‘Oh, you are disabled. Do you need a wheelchair’ (sigh!). Or, “how about safety directions in braille?’
Aaah! I wish I was making this stuff up.


[Editor’s note—Seat accommodation is the law, 14 CFR Part 382, .

You can sit upfront in economy at no additional cost, read on] 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:

This month’s Webinar is entitled- The Patient’s Guide to Tinnitus: 2016 

Dr. Beck is among the most prolific authors in audiology with 152 published articles and more than 1000 abstracts, interviews and op-eds written for the Academy (2008-2015) and Audiology Online (1999-2005) addressing a wide variety of audiology and professional topics. More information, a free copy of The Handbook of Intraoperative Monitoring and numerous PDFs are available at

Date & Time: 
Sep 21 2016 - 8:00pm - 9:00pm


Audiologists and other health professionals evaluate and manage tinnitus daily and can provide effective and useful management for up to 90% of all tinnitus patients. Taming tinnitus begins with a complete history and audiologic evaluation, and may involve multiple health care professionals – depending on the findings. In this webinar, we’ll detail the types of tests which are useful to diagnose and manage the tinnitus patients (audiometric tests as well as questionnaires, medical consultations, radiographic studies and more), tinnitus classifications (subjective versus objective findings), treatments (medical, audiologic, psychological and more) and the vast multitude of wallet-biopsies, scams, snake-oil and “take the money and run” approaches found in newspapers, airline magazines, food stores and pharmacies. 

There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the presentation.

The HLAA finds many new topics from its Convention speakers—and the June presentations were outstanding.  The schedule of Webinars will be posted as Webinars are scheduled. If you are new to the world HLAA opens up, take a look back at the archived Webinar to find a topic that will benefit your.



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,

Elaine Kamerick                     Sarasota
Dr. David Munro                    Sarasota
James Selph                             Arcadia
Herbert Greene                       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



If you want to keep current with hearing loss issues, our 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.
To access our page:
OR  (find the link on the lower right corner of the website home 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 Returns October 25th
The Movie Club generally meets the Fourth 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.  The exact time and movie will be announced to Private Eyes Members (membership is free)—signup with the Club at or on Facebook.

All AMC cinemas offer the CaptiView captioning system and Sony Access Glasses are available at all Regal cinemas nationwide. 

Our friends at Captionfish, list all theatres in North America that offer closed captions. 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 opens September 27th.


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.  

The Curtain Time kickoff show is at 7:30.


September 27, 2016

“Everything’s Coming Up Roses” with this 1959 classic musical about the ultimate stage mother! Loosely based on the memoirs of famous strip-tease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, this piece is often referred to as “The Greatest American Musical”.
The entire season is loaded with great Broadway shows.



Between The Covers Book Club (Members Only) 

“Between the Covers” – November 14th at 5:30 PM at 1350 Main Street, Sarasota.

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--

Someone’s in the Kitchen with Tinnitus
Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
Someone’s in the kitchen I know (oh-oh-oh)
Someone’s in the kitchen with Dine-AHH
Making lots of noisenoise, noise!
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that “excessive noise seriously harms human health and interferes with people’s daily activities at school, at work, at home and during leisure time. It can disturb sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects [disturbances in mental health], reduce performance and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behavior.

And that’s just the effect on people with good hearing, who have no inner noise issues!
But for people like me, sound doesn’t have to be excessive in order to be crazy-making. Like millions of other people, I have tinnitus. Also, a form of hyperacusis. Plus, (I suspect), muscles in my middle ear that have become bored and gone rogue, nutso, off the wall.  



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