New England Newsletter

October 2020 Newsletter

Hi there,

This is the 15th year that there’s an annual Walk4Hearing.  Last year, our team captain was Petie Blanchard (thank you, Petie!).  Last year’s Walk4Hearing was a heavy rainstorm.  This year, all Walk4Hearings are virtual, so it doesn’t matter what the weather is.  Also, you don’t have to drive to Boston.  You can enjoy the Walk4Hearing in the comforts of your own home.

Why am I doing the Walk4Hearing again year after year?  The reason is because I BELIEVE in this wonderful organization.  The mission of HLAA is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support, and advocacy.  If people with hearing loss do not support our national organization, who else will?  

Hearing Life Magazine

In addition to the Walk4Hearing, another benefit of being a member of the HLAA National organization is you receive Hearing Life magazine bi-monthly.  HLAA made the September/October issue free online for anyone.  If you’re interested in reading any articles in it, go to:

Some articles in the September/October issue are:  

  • HLAA Advocacy Update
  • From Cow to Now – A Brief History of Hearing Aids
  • Improving Your Hearing Improves Your Game
  • Keeping Our Community Together Virtually.
  • Why It’s Important to Have Leaders for Our HLAA Chapters

This is one magazine that I read from cover-to-cover.  I want to make sure I’m kept up-to-date on all that’s happening.  I also learn something new from each magazine issue.  It makes me continue my commitment to serve as an HLAA leader. 

HLAA Plymouth Chapter

Besides the Walk4Hearing being virtual, our HLAA Chapter meetings have also been virtual.  We’d had three virtual chapter meetings since the pandemic started, but we’re still missing the person-to-person connection.  However, it’s the best we can do for the time being.

We need more leaders within our chapter, especially now that two people on our board have stepped down.  We have openings for vice president and secretary. Please contact me at if you are interested in joining/serving our chapter.

Our next HLAA Plymouth Chapter meeting is scheduled for November 18 at 4 pm.  Betty Hauck, who was supposed to perform with the violin and viola for our chapter at the Plymouth Public Library, on March 18, 2020 (just before the pandemic started), will be talking A LIFE IN MUSIC LOST & FOUND: My Journey as a Musician with Hearing Loss. Betty was featured in an NPR story about musicians and hearing loss, which was reprised as a favorite story of 2018.

More details will be coming in November.  For now, reserve November 18 for a 4-6 pm captioned virtual meeting.

For those of you who need something meaningful to do during this pandemic, there’s lots to do in regards to hearing loss.  For example:  We need more captioned live events.  You need to ask for captioning.  More future theatrical productions could have live captioning.  More venues could be looped.  People could be educated that some deaf people do not use sign  language as their primary language.  I’m totally deaf without my cochlear implants but I do not use sign language.  I’ve taken classes on learning sign language over the years, but have forgotten much of it because I don’t practice it on a regular basis.  Most HLAA members do not use sign language.  Many decision makers, especially if they do not have or know someone with a hearing loss, do not think about what people with hearing loss need.  That’s why it’s important to be on community committees to tell people what you need, such as live captioning at virtual meetings (especially on Zoom).  If you don’t speak up, people will assume that everything is fine.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

Future Events Related to Hearing Loss

AAMHL 2020 Miniconference

Captioning sponsored by: Stenoknight CART Services

The Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss (AAMHL) is pleased to present an afternoon of webinars featuring topics of interest to musicians who use hearing devices. This year the fall mini-conference will take place on Sunday, October 25 from 1-5 pm Eastern Time. The agenda is as follows:

1:00-2:00 pm – Talking with your audiologists about configuring hearing aids for music performance and recording music (Charles Mokotoff and Rick Ledbetter)

2:00-2:45 pm Talking with your audiologists about configuring cochlear implants for music making (Dr. Brad Ingrao, Blue O’Connell and Wendy Cheng)

2:45 – 3:00 pm BREAK

3:00-4:00 pm Emoji’s, Marco-Polo and Pet Sharing Recitals, Oh My! Teaching Music Online can be productive and fun (Penny Lazarus)

4:00-5:00 pm Apps for Music Collaboration during a Pandemic (Peter Franklin)

October is National Protect Your Hearing Month

Loud sounds can damage your hearing and cause tinnitus—a ringing, buzzing, or roaring in your ears or head. Noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus are preventable. During National Protect Your Hearing Month in October—and throughout the year—the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) offers science-based resources to help you maintain your hearing health. See Read more »

Interesting Article

Eric Asendorf, a member of our chapter, sent me an article to share with you that was in the Wall Street Journal (thank you, Eric): The Pandemic Has Made My Hearing Problem Even More of a Problem

Upcoming HLAA Webinar:

HLAA is proud to present its first webinar in Spanish aimed at supporting people with hearing loss in the Latino community.

Presenter: Alejandra Ullauri, Au.D., MPH, Director, Chicago Hearing Care

Hearing loss is more common than what most of us think. It is the third most common health problem in the US People who have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and history of noise exposure are at risk of acquiring a hearing loss. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are common health problems in the Latino population, therefore we must stay informed about ways to detect a hearing loss, and what we can do about it. Please join us in this informative session and learn about what types of hearing tests are available, as well as what types of hearing solutions we have.

This session will be in Spanish only, and there will be a Q&A section at the end.

Please check your time zone for this webinar: 4 pm ET, 3 pm CT, 2 pm MT, 1 pm PT. This webinar is free and open captioned.

* * * * * * * * * * PLEASE TAKE THE SURVEY * * * * * * * * * *

Tell Us About Your Experience with COVID-19 and its Impact on the HLAA Community

Take the survey today!

We’ve experienced the effects of a global health pandemic since March. After more than 40 years of regular chapter meetings coast to coast, who would have ever thought that HLAA Chapter meetings would be put on hold or move to virtual meetings?

Spread the word to chapter members.  Your input is valuable. It will help us plan programs for the future.

With appreciation, Barbara Kelley, Executive Director, HLAA  

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Hope to see you soon via Zoom!

Sandy Spekman, President, HLAA – Plymouth Chapter Serving South Shore, Cape Cod and the Islands