Planning Meeting

There will be a planning meeting on Thursday, August 1st at 9:30 am at Petie Blanchard’s house, 4 Xander Lane in Plymouth to decide on the topics to have for next year’s programs.  If you have a suggestion or would like to be part of this planning committee, please email me at  Everyone is welcome to give us their ideas and input.

New England Newsletter

July 2019 Newsletter

 Newsletter Topics

  • HLAA National Convention
  • Upcoming Events
  • Open Caption Performances
    • Priscilla Beach Theatre
    • New Repertory Theatre
    • Huntington Theatre Company

HLAA National Convention by Sandy Spekman, HLAA Plymouth Chapter President

From June 20-23, 2019, I attended the HLAA National Convention in Rochester, NY.  It was my second HLAA convention in Rochester.  My first one was in 1988, when I met my mother there.  I was 36 years old and my mother also had a hearing loss.  She came from Detroit (where I was born and brought up until my late 20’s) and I came from New Jersey (where I lived for 30 years).  Since that time, I have been to many HLAA conventions, and this past one in Rochester was my 20th.  The conventions are wonderful opportunities to learn about hearing loss, learn the latest technologies, connect with people, and everything is hearing accessible.  Where else can you go and get every session, workshop, program with open captioning and the room is looped?  The room looping is so powerful that I hardly ever look at the captioning.  Wow!  HLAA is celebrating its 40-year anniversary this year, and I was happy to be part of its 40-year celebration.  Two people at this year’s convention have been to every single convention – 34 total.  To read more about the convention, go to the national website,, at Hearing Loss members who receive Hearing Life magazine get this wonderful magazine every two months, and they will have articles about the convention in an upcoming issue.  To join, also go to this website.

At the convention, on Friday, June 21, was a Research Symposium on The Latest on Genetics and Hearing Loss.  This was especially interesting to me because hearing loss runs in my family, starting with my great-grandfather, my grandmother, my mother, me, and my son, 34.  They’ve identified over 140 genes that cause hearing loss and they are trying to alter these genes.  Gene therapy most likely won’t be offered in my lifetime, but it was still interesting to see how far they’ve come in their research lately.  More research and research dollars are needed in this area.

Next year’s HLAA convention will be June 18-21, 2020 in New Orleans.  If you’ve never been to New Orleans but have always wanted to go, now you have a reason to attend!  See the article from Petie Blanchard, our chapter treasurer, who attended the Rochester convention, on her thoughts of her first convention (click here).

Note:  National dues are going up July 1 from $35/year to $45/year.


Planning Meeting – There will be a planning meeting on July 23 at 1:30 pm at Petie Blanchard’s house, 4 Xander Lane in Plymouth to decide on the topics to have for next year’s programs.  If you have a suggestion or would like to be part of this planning committee, please email me at  Everyone is welcome to give us their ideas and input.

It would be great if our chapter could become active like the Rochester HLAA Chapter, which is 35 years old.  They have 250 paid members.  This chapter publishes a newsletter, has a team of people working on captioned theatre, plans social events (such as a summer picnic), plans fundraising, has an assistive listening device demonstration center, has an HLAA Membership Appreciation Picnic, a scholarship program for high school students going to college, and personal story of someone with hearing loss in every chapter newsletter.  This is a long list of things they do, but our chapter can at least have more than just bi-monthly meetings!

Pool Party – There will be a Pool Party on August 6, 1-4 pm, at Frank Tripi’s house, 321 Congress St., Duxbury.  Park in the driveway or across the street.  What to bring: Bathing suit, towel, and a snack.  Also feel free to bring significant other.  If enough people show an interest, we may assign people to bring an appetizer, vegetable, or dessert.  This is to be determined by the sign up.  Please RSVP to Frank Tripi at by August 2.

HLAA’s Annual Walk4Hearing – This event will be on Sunday, October 27.  Please mark your calendars with this date for now.  This is a fun event to meet other people with a hearing loss on the beautiful Charles River.  If you have trouble walking, you can still enjoy the beautiful fall scenery and hear music on the Charles River.  Raising money at the Walk allows us to caption our meetings and to help purchase loops and hearing equipment for hearing accessibility.

Plymouth 2020 – This celebration is right around the corner.  We need people to ask for open captioning for Plymouth 2020 events.  It doesn’t happen unless you ask for it!  One lesson from the HLAA Convention is that people need to complain when there isn’t hearing accessibility, such as captioning and assistive devices.  How many of you have requested it at public events?


Priscilla Beach Theatre

The Priscilla Beach Theatre is providing open captioning on the first Sunday of all of their six productions for this season.  You must request open captioning and you will have something set up for you, similar to open captioning that all movie theatres have today but you have to ask for it.  You can also ask for a headset with headphones or a personal neckloop that you put your hearing aids or cochlear implants on t-coil or telecoil.  For those of you who do not know what the t-coil is, has a section on Hearing Help and Technology.

I have two tickets for the Sunday, October 6, 2 pm open captioned performance of Young Frankenstein at the Priscilla Beach Theatre that I cannot use, so if you’re interested in attending, please contact me at  Tickets are $29 each for seniors.

–   New Repertory Theatre

The New Repertory Theatre was selected for the Theatre Development Fund’s Open Captioning grant. There will be six performances with open captioning for the coming season (all performances are at 3pm): 

  • Nixon’s Nixon – September 28th
  • Trayf – October 26th
  • Oliver! – December 14th
  • Hair – February 8th
  • Lady Day at the Emerson Bar & Grill – April 11th
  • August Wilson’s Fences – May 9th

 25 seats will be reserved in the front of the side section with the best view of the open caption system, for those who are part of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community.  When making a reservation, just be sure to mention that you’d like to take advantage of that service, and the box office will make sure to give you priority for those seats.

–  Huntington Theatre Company

The 2019-2020 season Open Caption performances at the Huntington Theatre Company are:

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead: October 1 7:30pm and October 9 2pm
  • We All Fall Down: January 21 7:30pm and January 29 at 7:30pm
  • Sweat: February 12 2pm and February 18 7:30pm
  • Our Daughters, Like Pillars: March 31 7:30pm and April 8 2pm
  • The Bluest Eye: May 5 7:30pm and May 13 2pm