New England Newsletter

June 2020 Letter from the President

Hi there,

Hope your spring is going well.  I have lots of things to share with you.

FIRST, there’s a virtual social gathering 6/11 from 7-8 pm with the Clear2Connect Coalition and the Global Alliance of Speech-To-Text Captioning. Stephen Clark, the president of this organization, volunteered to caption our last Zoom meeting on May 20.   The topic is how we can find paths to connect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SECOND, there’s an HLAA webinar Friday, June 12 at 2 pm on Advocacy During the Pandemic:  Tips and Resources for People with Hearing Loss presented by Lise Hamlin, Director of Public Policy, HLAA.

When the pandemic hit and shutdowns across the country began, HLAA immediately pivoted from day to day advocacy to working on providing information and education about how to survive the pandemic with a hearing loss. This webinar will be about what HLAA is seeing and hearing across the country and will provide tips and resources to help you advocate for access during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

Click here to register for the webinar and information about past and upcoming webinars: HLAA Webinar on Advocacy During the Pandemic:  Tips and Resources for People with Hearing Loss

THIRD, HLAA Experience HLAA debuts next Thursday, June 18 and Friday, June 19:

Presenting Sponsor—CapTel Captioned Telephone

This online experience is open to the world of people with hearing loss, their families and friends, hearing care professionals, and anyone interested in hearing health care. No registration fee and all webinars are captioned. This unique two-day virtual event is open to all.

In addition to our educational and informative webinars for those with hearing loss, there will also be a ‘virtual’ Technology Expo, where you can find products and services just for people with hearing loss from the comfort of your own home. We thank all of our generous sponsors and partners for making this event possible.

Experience HLAA! Highlights:
Thursday, June 18, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

  • Workplace Symposium
    Workplace Gain: Employment and Hearing Loss is a discussion on self-advocacy, marketing and navigating the workplace with hearing loss.

Friday, June 19, Noon-1:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Click here to register today and spread the word to your friends and family. Once registered, you’re automatically signed up for the whole online event and webinars. It is suggested to use a computer and Google Chrome for the best online experience.

FOURTH, Frank Tripi, a board member of the  HLAA Plymouth Chapter, wrote this informational message for our newsletter:

What’s NEW? Another free service like the CaptionCall land line telephones, is funded by the FCC (good use of taxpayer dollars), is the InnoCaption app for Android cell phones.  It provides closed caption for inbound calls real time and stores each one as a readable message which can be used for review and/or resent as an email. 

There are many applications for this well-designed application and here is one that I found to be particularly valuable. 

During a recent short stay at a local hospital where all the staff were wearing masks, it was difficult to hear so as an alternative to having them write down questions and answer this app can be used simply by calling their cell phone. This was extremely important to me at my discharge so I could be sure of any further home treatments and to provide this update to my many other physicians. 

You get a new number assigned for this service but there is no interruption in your current cellphone service. You just have to make the calls from the InnoCaption app!  It stores all the calls you made so you can simply look at the log to use the next time. 

Go to for more details and to add this application.

P.S. For iPhones you can get the same service from ClearCaptions

Questions? Feel free to reach out to me or call/text 781-962-1429.

Please note:  HLAA Chapters and State Organizations will refrain from promoting any one product or service over another. Chapters and state organizations can provide education and information about a variety of products and services, with an eye toward an even-handed approach among competing business interests. When HLAA educational meetings focus on treatment, technology, devices or services, chapters and state organizations should include information about competing products or services at the same meeting or subsequent meetings in the same meeting season.

FIFTH, Bob Broker, a member of our Plymouth Chapter, would like me to share with you:

Hearing Loss Advocacy is the sum of little things.

Last week, there was a wonderful article with photos about a woman in Quincy by Robin Chan in the Hingham Journal, MA that deserves sharing to demonstrate good support for the conflicts of the dear and hard of hearing. Everything counts. Robin was pleased that others might be interested. The Journal also printed my letter on being at home, the elderly and hearing loss.

Thanks to Robin Chan. 

Looking forward to HLAA zoom on advocacy on Friday.

Robert Broker

COVID issues for Deaf and HOH 

Letter to the Editor:  Isolation if my friend, for now!

SIXTH, the Association of Adults Musicians with Hearing Loss (AAMHL) is presenting a virtual concert on Friday, June 19 from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. 
You must register for this concert. Click here: Get Tickets
About this Event: Several fine musicians with hearing loss will be performing on this special evening. Genres include classical, jazz and popular tunes.

There is no charge for this event, but donations will be gratefully accepted. And we do ask interested attendees to register. We will “open the lobby” at 7:30 pm and the concert will start promptly at 8:00 pm.

Thank you!

SEVENTH, and last, from Betty Hauck at the HLAA Boston Chapter wrote:

Shari Eberts, a hearing loss advocate in the front lines, has been working hard to get video conferencing platforms to provide free captioning for people with nearing loss.
Google and Microsoft have done so. Will you join me in signing this petition to get Zoom to provide captions for free as well?
Our goal is to reach 50,000 signatures and we need more support. To read more and sign the petition Click Here.


If you’ve made it all the way to the end, congratulations!

Please send me your comments and feedback to

Sandy Spekman, President
Hearing Loss Association of America – Plymouth Chapter