May 2016

In our “Between the Covers” Book Club article this month, we have Gael Hannan’s eight tips for those of us with hearing loss to deal with the good folks at the airlines.  Useful information to help us get to the right destination on time—here are two of them—


In our “Between the Covers” Book Club article this month, we have Gael Hannan’s eight tips for those of us with hearing loss to deal with the good folks at the airlines.. Useful information to help us get to the right destination on time—here are two of them—
  • PA announcements are Public Enemy #3, right behind “Background Noise” and “People Who Don’t Face Us” when they speak. While the majority of us hear that an announcement is being made, we have no idea what you’re actually saying. But because we’re paranoid, we suspect the announcement may have something to do with us—so we come up and ask, once again, what you just said.  Better signage in the airport (and all terminals) would keep us informed and less stressed.
  • Some airline online checking procedures allow us to indicate our hearing loss. But if I check this off, I expect the information to show up somewhere in your system when I get to the airport, rather than me relaying it to every employee along the route. When I check in, this should show up on your computer, “Passenger has hearing loss.” Then, all you do is look up, face me, and speak. (Please don’t look nervous, I speak your language.)


 President's Message

Each May, Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM) provides an opportunity to raise public awareness about hearing loss.  The HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee chapter mission is to continue to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy.
Better Hearing and Speech Month is a time to raise awareness and our local chapter can help you to continue to improve your hearing with the information and support you need. We encourage you to continue your journey to better hearing by attending our monthly chapter meetings and becoming a member of HLAA. We share communication options that can improve the quality of life for those who experience hearing loss. 

Hearing loss is sometimes referred to as an "invisible disability," because it's not always obvious when people have hearing loss, and it's not often talked about.  Studies show that only 1 in 5 people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one, and on average, people with hearing loss wait almost 10 years before they do something about it.  Helen Keller once noted that of all her impairments, she was perhaps troubled most by her lack of speech and hearing.  She elaborated that while blindness separated her from things, her lack of speech and hearing separated her from people -- the human connection of communication.  
Join us in raising public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of hearing loss.




HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Outreach
Chapter’s Outreach heads to Expo in Brandon
The Chapter’s outreach program covers over 100 events a year.
 The Chapter’s Outreach volunteers will be up in Brandon on May 7.
If you were out of town for the Fifth Annual Hearing Health Expo in March, The Healthy Hearing Expo in Brandon is similar but will be the first integrated consumer health fair of its kind in Hillsborough County.
The Expo will offer people with hearing loss an opportunity to explore a wide range of practitioners, new technologies and support groups to improve their hearing. The all day, open house health fair will feature a hall full of exhibitors plus educational seminars. In addition, the new Technology Solution Center will offer attendees an unparalleled environment to both try and compare cutting-edge technologies to enhance their understanding of speech in the toughest situations.
The exhibitors will represent a broad range of practitioners such as audiologists, hearing instrument specialists and providers of hearing aid accessory devices, captioned phones, cochlear implants, assistive listening devices, loop systems, CART (captions). Importantly, there will also be wide array of support groups offering complimentary services and guidance for the hard-of-hearing and deaf communities.
The Healthy Hearing Expo will take place on Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Maudlin Hall in the First Presbyterian Church of Brandon, located at 121 Carver Ave. in Brandon. It is an open house affair with free admission.  Plan your visit around a seminar.
Seminar information--



Our Professional Partners:

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

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

Our Professional Partners continue to give back to the community.

Dr. Mary Thorpe and her staff at Hear Care Audiology Center hosted a “Wine & Stein Fundraiser” on Thursday, April 21.

Dr. Thorpe

The event was held at the beautiful Gold Coast Eagle Distribution facility in Lakewood Ranch and was a fun filled evening. There were appetizers and Silent Auction Items along with Gold Eagle’s beverages.
Dr. Thorpe has formed a local 501-(c)-(3) not for profit organization, “Hear Care Connection”, to create a nonprofit hearing clinic in Sarasota County. The purpose of the fundraiser was to help launch a reduced-fee, sliding-scale nonprofit hearing clinic in Sarasota County.
HearCare Connection has served nationally for over four years reaching more than 500 people with the Gift of Hearing. Over 220 generous community members attended to help “build the self worth of individuals by restoring their hearing potential and providing them with opportunities to engage with their communities through service to others”. 



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



Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market -
Saturday, May 28th 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.




Wednesday May 11th, Chapter Meeting 

Beth Reckord will be presenting “It Takes Two to Tango! Or does it when it comes to Listening?”

Beth (Catherine) Reckord is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS), Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist. She has over twenty-five years’ experience working with children and adults with special needs. Currently, she works part-time at Silverstein Institute with adults with hearing loss (primarily those who have received cochlear implants) and full-time with children with hearing loss and other disabilities and their families at All Children’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine in Sarasota. 

Beth holds a Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders from Pennsylvania State University. She is certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a member of both the A G Bell Association for the Deaf and HLAA.


North Sarasota Library Meeting Room
2801 Newtown Blvd, Sarasota

April Chapter Meeting Recap

The April meeting was a presentation about hearing loops by Jim Scott of Complete Hearing. The topic was “Hearing Loops -- How and why they work and why they sometimes don’t”.

Jim’s presentation included the issue of how our hearing is affected by background noise and why the hearing loop is superior to other assistive devices such as FM and infrared sound transmission.  He talked about how simple the loop installation is—an amplifier to take any electronic sound (microphone, TV, stereo, etc.) through a wire that is laid about the perimeter, usually in an array, to the receiver—which you already have, your telecoil.

Our Chapter members were most attentive and had many questions. The concept of a personal loop system at home or a car chair pad loop system was new to some and our group was intrigued by these ideas.
The elimination of background noise and reverberation by use of the telecoil as the receiver of sound from a looped system is a great enhancement to quality of life and one new member was amazed by using the loop system for the first time at the library’s meeting room.

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.

The next After Hours meeting will be held at the Center for Arts and Humanity,
1226 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, June 14.
The topic is “Why don't hearing aids work?”
Our presenter, Ashley Camblin-Toole, says “one of the most common questions people ask me is, ‘Why don’t hearing aids work?’”

If you've been asking yourself this question or want to avoid being one of the many dissatisfied hearing aid users, come learn exactly WHY hearing aids don't work!

Click on Event Calendar for Upcoming Events READ MORE!



Barbara Kelley is Named Executive Director of
the Hearing Loss Association of America

The HLAA Board announced the appointment of Barbara Kelley as the new executive director of HLAA.  Dr. Margaret Wallhagen, the chairperson of the Board, commented, "Barbara’s commitment to HLAA is unquestionable. Her 28 years of dedicated service to the organization in various roles is exemplary. She has not only shown great leadership and fortitude in stepping into the acting executive director role this past January but also expresses a vision for the future that exemplifies an understanding of the needs of persons with hearing loss. We have every confidence she will transition smoothly into the official executive director role."
Hired by Founder Rocky Stone in 1988, Barbara has been a part of the organization’s growth, beginning with editing the first issues of the SHHH Journal until most recently the award-winning Hearing Loss Magazine. She has also helped manage the office team and worked on many of the HLAA programs. 
Barbara said, "It has been my life’s work to contribute to the mission of the organization through a range of activities. I look forward to using my history and knowledge of the organization to ensure that HLAA remains the valued consumer voice for people with hearing loss in both shaping public policy and helping people live well with hearing loss. I’m energized by our members and supporters whose dedication to HLAA is unwavering”.

HLAA National Convention

This year’s Convention is in Washington DC and even if you don’t attend the seminars and festivities, come on by. 
If you summer in the Northeast (or even nearby Midwest), stop by the Washington Hilton June 23-25 when the Exhibit Hall is open and entry to the Exhibit Hall is FREE. The tech people love to gage market reaction by using this Convention to introduce new hearing assistive products.
Break up the summer with an outing to DC and be amazed.  More exhibitors are being added weekly—here is who is signed up at this time:



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

The website is:

Here is an example of a Loopfinder search. Once the loop area is shown, the area can be magnified like MapQuest and each loop location will be identified—

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.


The Burns Court Cinema is undergoing a renovation which is an appropriate time to install a hearing loop.
In 2012, an attempt to install a hearing loop without tearing up the floor led to difficulties in balancing the sound.
The Sarasota Film Society is a 501 (3) (c) not for profit and is the owner of the Burns Court Cinema and the Lakewood Ranch Cinema.  “The goal of the film society is community enrichment and educational programming”

What could better enrich the community but the ability to hear the film, an ability that is not quite there for 145,000 hard of hearing citizens of the two county area.
What can you do?
Chapter members can thank Managing Director Nick Caras for considering looping the theatres.  Unfortunately the cost of properly looping the theatres is $9,935 which is not within the budget of the Film Society.
HLAA leadership has been working with foundations and individuals to receive a 50/50 grant and to raise other funds.
Please, by email, relate your experience with the hearing loop at other venues and how the hearing loop at a film presentation would enhance your experience and bring you back to the movies.  Nick Caras is the Managing Director of thpresident@hlas.orge Society and his email is: . For HLAA records and use in presentations, please cc
You could also contact a sponsor. There are 28 local Film Society sponsors who help to support the Society.  You may know key people at one or some of them.  Make a contact and alert them to the need in the community.



The New York Times recently reviewed the state of the Medicare gap for hearing aid coverage.
HLAA has been active with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (“PCAST”). The findings PCAST will be highlighted at the HLAA national Convention including a presentation by the foremost authority on the relationship of aging and hearing loss, Dr. Frank Lin. Dr. Lin of Johns Hopkins is featured in the New York Times story. The NYT advised that the report recommended federal actions to “decrease the cost of hearing aids, spur technology innovation and increase consumer choice options.”
The Council suggested, for example, that the FDA permit a “basic” hearing aid, for mild to moderate age related hearing loss to be sold over the counter — something every state prohibits.
The hearing aid itself represents only about a third of what audiologists charge. (Medicare does cover testing with a physician’s referral.)



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)   


Mom says "Turn that down before you go deaf!"

Do you love to listen to music? All day, every day?

Do your ears sometimes ring?

Do you sometimes not hear so well after listening to music?

I notice that many people, even with normal hearing, like to listen to loud music. Does loud sound better? I honestly do not know. Maybe it’s a habit.

I see people every day who habitually listen to music during the morning commute, at the desk and while working out.

Frequent exposure to loud noise – from music, machinery, a jet plane taking off, firecrackers, lawn mowers, chainsaw, jackhammer – can cause temporary and also permanent hearing loss. Temporary hearing loss and/ or ringing in the ears (tinnitus) can occur after people have been exposed to loud noise for several hours – as in a rock concert. Frequently, hearing restores to normal the next day. But, there is a possibility of residual long-term damage to the hearing.

However, if people are frequently exposed to loud noises and over a long period of time, then permanent hearing loss can occur. Permanent hearing loss cannot be cured, but may be helped with the use of hearing aids, cochlear implants and assistive listening devices.  READ MORE!


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

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

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

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


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

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

This Month's Webinar - May 18th, 8:00 PM

Lauren E. Storck, Ph.D. is the founder and president of the CCAC (, a non-profit organization of volunteer captioning advocates. As a clinician, teacher and consultant her publications span a variety of issues, including group, social, and international dynamics, leadership and online behavior, aging, women’s issues, captioning studies and hearing loss. She has been deafened for 15 years.

Lauren will introduce the organization called the "Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning" or as many know it now, the CCAC, a non-profit registered in the U.S. with many global participants.
Neither a hearing loss nor deaf organization per se, the CCAC attracts many people with hearing loss, as well as many interested in education, literacy, languages, disabilities, technologies, and accessibility. She will address some of the pros and cons of an all-volunteer group, and the challenges of continuing captioning activism.
Mention will be made of an exciting first captioning conference as well as some information about the new IFHOH survey about captioning. Time for questions about advocacy will be welcome.
Many CCAC members also belong to long-established and important groups such as HLAA, ALDA, IFHOH, and more. Together, CCAC says, “Let's #captiontheworld.”


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,

Robert Goree,                         Longboat Key
Illona Martin,                           Bradenton
Robert Ripley,                         Sarasota
JeanEllen Trapani,                  Nokomis
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

979 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 next “meeting” will be on Tuesday, May 31. The Club will then take the summer off but the caption glasses will always be available throughout the country at participating theatres
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. An optional roundtable review--and other conversation-- follows at the Mediterraneo across the street or the new Sol’s Deli next door to Hollywood 20.                               
“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 –

 Katherine Bouton, an HLAA Trustee, recently wrote about movie captions in an AARP article.  READ MORE!

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 completed a successful season last month.

The Players provides the Chapter with 20 to 25 FREE tickets. This is another “Members Only” perk, a great benefit of our nominal membership dues. The shows are, of course, looped! 
The 87th Season will be announced in next month’s Listen Up.



Between The Covers Book Club (Members Only) 

“Between the Covers” – Fall 2016

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

From time to time, we will republish Gael’s article in “Hearing Health and Technology Matters” with permission of the editor. Hear are travel tips for the hoard of hearing--
 Travel Alert: What Passengers with Hearing Loss Really Need
(Hint: It’s not a wheelchair.) 
I travel frequently for pleasure and business. My severe hearing loss poses no problem when I’m traveling with family or friends, who take over the most crucial communication chores. I depend on them to catch unexpected gate changes, pilot announcements about engine failure, and what train station we’re coming into—hopefully not the one after our destination. These tasks are simple for the hearing folks but heavy-duty for the solo traveler with hearing loss. I do my job and let the airlines know my needs, but the help I get is a curiously mixed bag.
So, here’s a shout out to all airlines and their staff:


Meeting the Needs of Passengers with Hearing Loss

  • We are more anxious than the average flyer—for good reason. We’ve panicked over last minute gate changes that we didn’t hear announced. We’ve missed you calling our name for seat changes or upgrades. Boarding procedures are not standard, so don’t assume we know what to do in any given airport. Actually, don’t assume anything about us because, beyond our common hearing issues, we’re as individual as snowflakes.
  • Pre-boarding is a nice gesture, which I accept when it’s offered after disclosing my hearing loss. But technically it’s not necessary, as long as you remember to get my attention when my row or group is boarding. On second thought, go ahead and pre-board me. I can help with pushing any wheelchair-users.   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