Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes and FREE Theatre Tickets !!!

Thirty people attended our January 29th meeting and heard Dr. Michael Harvey speak about the Psychology of Hearing Loss. If you were unable to attend would like to review the information, here it is: Psychology of Hearing Loss, Beautiful tree but alone, Outrage, airplanes, and chandeliers. Thank you to Tom Cummiskey of the Plymouth Public Library for making copies for the meeting.

Our next bimonthly chapter meeting will be Tuesday, March 26 – a Rap Session. It will be from 5:00 to 6:30 pm with an optional dinner at a nearby restaurant afterwards.

FREE Theatre Tickets!

As announced at the meeting, these tickets are provided courtesy of Charles Baldwin, Program Officer, Universal Participation Initiative, Massachusetts Cultural Council.   He also would like people to know about the great review that Ragtime received:

Details:  2 FREE tickets/person for the Open Captioned (OC) performance of Ragtime. Friday February 15 at 7:30 pm at the Wheelock Family Theatre at BU. 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA
Contact Sandy Spekman ( ASAP for tickets.
HLAA Plymouth is also working with Charles Baldwin and Ruth Kahn, who does the captioning at the Wheelock Family Theatre, to have a program on Tuesday, April 9 called:  Access to Theatre:  Captions and Communications  Access to Theatre: Captions and Communications  Access to Theatre: Captions and Communications
New England Newsletter

January 2019 Newsletter

Hope 2019 will be  a good year for everyone!


Newsletter Topics:

  • Meeting Information
  • Interesting News
  • Amazon Smile
  • National HLAA
  • 2019 New Years Resolutions
  • Captioned Events



Our next meeting is on January 29 at 7:00  at the Plymouth Public Library. Dr. Michael Harvey will talk about The Psychology of Hearing Loss.

Because our chapter is unable to use the Otto Fehlow Conference Room at the Plymouth Public Library on the third Tuesdays of the month, as we have for the past two years, our meeting dates have changed.

The March meeting will be on Tuesday, March 26 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm as a Rap Session with an optional dinner out at a quiet restaurant afterwards.  This meeting is when you’ll get a chance to talk or hear about devices people use (like a show and tell) and how people cope with noisy situations.

The May meeting will be on Wednesday, May 22 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm (may be moved up earlier in time) and the topic is on advocacy:  Peggy Ellertsen and Barbara Abineri will speak about Reach Out!  Helping Yourself and Others.

There’s a Board Meeting or Planning Meeting open to everyone on Tuesday, January 15 at 1 pm upstairs at the Plymouth Public Library in the Board Room.  This meeting is to discuss our chapter and what’s going on.  Everyone is welcome to attend, especially new people who would like to find out more about HLAA and our chapter.



NYT article

This article describes how poor hearing is not just an annoying inconvenience:

NJ Newsletter

Sandy Speckman’s NJ friend, Pat Dobbs, who runs the Morris (NJ) County Chapter, wrote an informative newsletter with a reference a New Year’s Resolution by hearing loss advocate Ruth Bernstein:

Hearing and Health Foundation Article

This article describes the disturbing rise in hearing loss and tinnitus:



Don’t forget to set up Amazon at so a portion of your order goes back to the Hearing Loss Association of America, Plymouth Chapter.



Don’t forget to sign up for national HLAA membership at:  Veterans get a free one-year membership.

Anyone who wishes to attend the HLAA National Convention in Rochester, NY from June 20-23 can have their registration covered!  For more information, go to:



Two years ago, I wrote some New Year’s Resolutions for our chapter.  I’m going to compare those with what we’ve already accomplished, and what we need to accomplish in 2019:

2017 goals are mentioned first followed by status and/or revised 2019 goals

  • Larger paid membership

We still need more members to become official HLAA members by paying dues to the national organization.

  • Active membership

We still need more people to say: “What can I do to help our chapter?”

  • Community involvement

We still need more people to spread the word about HLAA and how it can help.  We could participate in community and health fairs to spread the word.

  • CART and looping increased

Congregation Beth Jacob in Plymouth is now looped.  Please ask your church and/or meeting room/social hall to be looped.  If you’ve accomplished this, let me know so I’ll spread the word.  The Pinehills Association has agreed to loop their Stonebridge Club (both upstairs and downstairs) and their Cabana.  It all boils down to YOU asking for what you need.  Our chapter now has a portable loop (was the Cape Cod Chapter’s loop) that can be used anywhere you need it to be.  AARP MA has given our chapter a grant to provide open captioning at eight live events.  We’ve had four events so far, with four more to go.  If you have an idea of where you’d like an event to have open captioned, let us know!  There’s no reason to attend and not understand what’s being said.  The ADA law requires “effective communication” and for some people, that means captioning.

  • Brochure for our chapter

This was completed by Linda Maloney in August 2018.

  • Webpage for our chapter

The chapter website,, was set up by Robert Brodin a year ago and is maintained by Linda Maloney.  We also have a Facebook page,, which is maintained by Frank Tripi.

  • Young people involved in our chapter

We still need to find young people in our communities (those who still work) who will eventually take over our chapter as the years go on.

  • Train future HLAA leaders

Our chapter has found some new potential leaders, but there’s room for more people to get involved.  That means YOU.

Stephanie Blanchard has stepped up to become treasurer of our chapter.  Thank you, Petie (her nickname)!  We still need a secretary.  Petie is filling in for both positions right now.

  • Meetings that attract a large turnout

Our meetings have grown in size, but there’s still room for more!  The Plymouth Public Library Otto Fehlow Conference Room seats 130 people, with a capacity for 250.  Surely there are that many people in our communities with a hearing loss.

  • Social activities

We had a Holiday Party at Sandy Spekman’s house, with 15 people in attendance, and all had a good time. Hearing loss was NOT the primary topic of conversation for spouses attended who don’t have a hearing loss!  We are going to try for more social events in 2019.  If you have an idea for one, such as a pool party, quiet restaurant night, etc. please let us know.  Social events give us a chance to get to know other people and how they cope with their hearing loss.


CAPTIONED EVENTS In the Plymouth Area

The Priscilla Beach Theatre has agreed to provide open captioning for each of their six productions.  The first Sunday matinee of each performance will be open captioned.


CAPTIONED EVENTS in the Boston Area

Boston Opera House 2019 Season  For up-to-date information and tickets, visit

Open Captioned Audio Described ASL
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Jan 12 Jan 13 Jan 19
Beautiful: The Carol King Musical Feb 2 Feb 3 Feb 9
School of Rock Feb 16 Feb 17 Feb 23
A Bronx Tale Apr 6 Apr 7 Apr 13
Les Miserables Apr 20 Apr 27 Apr 27
Miss Saigon Jun 15 Jun 16 Jun 22
Dear Even Hansen Jul 13 Jul 14, 28 Jul 20, Aug 3
Hello Dolly Aug 17 A18ug Aug 24


Huntington Theatre 2019 Season  For up-to-date information and tickets, visit

Open Captioned
Romeo and Juliet Mar 20, 26
Yerma Jun 23, 25


Trinity Rep 2019 Season  For up-to-date information and tickets, visit

Open Captioned
Black Odyssey Jan 6, 16
An Iliad Feb 10
The Song of Summer Mar 17, 27
Little Shop of Horrors Apr 14, May 1
Marisol May 19, May 29


Wheelock Family Theatre 2019 Season  for up-to-date information and tickets, visit

All performances are open captioned                                                             

Open Captioned Audio Described ASL
Ragtime Jan 23-Feb 17 2/10, 2/15 2/10, 2/15
Ronald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach Apr 12-May 12 5/5, 5/10 5/5, 5/10