August 2021 Newsletter

Contents

  • September Meeting of HLAA/Plymouth
  • November Meeting of HLAA/Plymouth
  • Information for New HLAA/Plymouth Members
  • New England Walk4Hearing
  • Action Alert – Medicare Coverage for Hearing Aids
  • Miscellaneous Information
    • Movie Recommendation
    • New England Accessible Theatres
    • Blog by Exec Dir of HLAA
    • Blog by Hearing Health Matters
    • Priscilla Beach Theatre

September Meeting of HLAA/Plymouth

We haven’t had an HLAA Plymouth Chapter meeting since January, 2020 due to the pandemic and the library being closed.  We need to meet in person to keep our chapter going strong.  We are grateful for the Plymouth Public Library to allow us to use their meeting room. The PPL requires everyone to wear a mask at all times, whether vaccinated or not. We need to support the hearing loss community by attending. 

The September meeting of  HLAA/Plymouth  will be held at the Manomet Branch of the Plymouth Public Library, 12 Strand Avenue, Plymouth, MA 02360 on Thursday, September 23, 2021 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.  From 7:00 to 8:00, there will be a captioned movie:  We Hear You, Now Hear Us.  From 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm there will be a discussion about the movie.

The Manomet library’s meeting room has limited seating.  We are asking that everyone RSVP to Sandy to ensure that we have the correct number of chairs set up.  Everyone is welcome to bring guests.  After all, hearing loss not only affects you but family and friends.

For those unable to attend, you can register for the movie to watch at your home at this link, which includes information about the speakers and moderator:  Register

For those who’d like to virtually participate in a discussion after the movie, 8:00 to 8:30 pm, a Zoom link can be found here:

Topic: We Hear You, Now Hear Us Discussion
Time: Sep 23, 2021 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 811 1515 9957
Passcode: DyGh6m

One might ask, “Why should I attend the meeting in person versus watching the movie at home?”  Here are 3 good reasons:

1)  The majority of names on our HLAA Plymouth Chapter’s email list are not HLAA National members.  HLAA National members support HLAA, receive Hearing Loss Magazine, and keep up with the latest technology.  Non-members will not receive emails about the movie We Hear You |Now Hear Us because they’re not on HLAA National’s mailing list.  To join HLAA National, go to:  hearingloss.org and click on BECOME A MEMBER.

2)  Often people receive emails with links to watch movies but put them on a “to do” list or on hold.  When you attend a movie in person, you devote your full attention to it, without any home distractions.  The movie, We Hear You | Now Hear Us is captioned and if you’re interested in learning more about hearing loss, it will be worth your time.

3)  Attending the movie and discussion is a good way to meet others with hearing loss.  You are not alone.  You will also learn more about the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and the wonderful things it does by providing information, education, support, and advocacy.  You’ll learn about some amazing people who happen to have hearing loss.  I personally know three of them in the film.

November Meeting of HLAA/Plymouth

The November 17 meeting will be back at the main Plymouth Public Library at 132 South Street, Plymouth, MA.

For our November 17 meeting, we plan to meet in the Fehlow Conference Room from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.  Sarah Cohen, audiologist, will present on the stigma of hearing loss. Sarah works at the Plymouth ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat).  She participated in a Walk4Hearing while an audiology student at Northeastern and knows all about looping.  Let’s welcome Sarah to HLAA Plymouth Chapter!

We’re going to try conducting hybrid meetings – in person and on Zoom.  This way, those who prefer to not drive at night can still attend virtually. 

Information for New HLAA/Plymouth

For those new to our chapter, we have been meeting since 2015.  Before the pandemic, we were meeting five times a year, usually the third Wednesday of the odd months from September to May, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the Plymouth Public Library.  We do not meet during the summer.  The Plymouth Public Library has been wonderful to us with support of our meetings, providing ALDs (assistive listening devices), printing and posting our meeting fliers, and allowing us to use their meeting rooms.  The third Wednesday of September conflicts with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur so we need to meet another night in September.  Also, the Fellow Conference Room at the Plymouth Public Library is not available in September.

Our chapter meets in the evenings so we can hopefully bring in younger people to join us.  If younger people are working during the day, they can’t attend our day-time meetings. Also, professionals who usually attract our largest crowds, are also working.  If we try to meet on the weekends, the library conference room is very busy due to the library’s own programming.  Also, some people spend weekends with their families.  It is our hope that eventually, younger members will become our new active HLAA leaders.  There are many people under 60 who have hearing loss.  We need to recruit them to join our chapter.  You can help with this!  If you know of anyone who has a hearing loss, please invite them to join our meetings. 

New England Walk4Hearing

The New England Walk4Hearing will be held on Sunday, October 3 at Artesani Park, 1234 Soldiers Field Rd., Brighton, MA overlooking the Charles River.  It starts with registration at 9:30 am and the walk starts at 10:30 am.  You do not have to walk to participate.  The Walk is 5K/3.1 miles.  Our chapter needs someone from our chapter to participate in this Walk.  If you can participate and/or fundraise for it, please contact Sandy.  The Walk is a fun way to meet others with hearing loss and fundraise for a good cause.

Action Alert: Medicare Coverage of Hearing Aids

HLAA National has been meeting with members of Congress, encouraging them to vote YES to expand Medicare to include hearing aids and services. New legislation is coming up soon that we hope will include a provision for hearing health care under Medicare. That would mean for the first time, people who rely on Medicare to pay their medical bills would also be able to turn to Medicare to cover the cost of hearing aids and related services.

Tell your Representatives and Senators that hearing health is important to you. Click HERE for help finding your congressional representatives as well as a sample email requesting their support. CONGRESS NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Miscellaneous Information

  • Movie Recommendation: Frank Tripi, an HLAA Plymouth Chapter member who also keeps up our Facebook page, provide information about a movie called:  CODA, currently showing on Apple TV.  What’s it about:  As a CODA (children of deaf adults) Ruby is the only hearing person in her home.  When she discovers a passion for singing, Ruby must choose between family obligations and her dreams.  This movie won a Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

  • New England Accessible Theaters Hearatboston.org provides a list of  accessible theaters. For example,  The Wheelock Family Theatre offers open captioning for every performance.

  • Blog by Exec. Dir. Of HLAA:  Barbara Kelly, Executive Director of HLAA, wrote a blog called:   Understanding the Cost of Hearing Aids 

Blog by Hearing Health Matters: Hearing News Watch features current topics related to hearing health. Here are some examples recent articles:
— Bose Launches Direct to Consumer Hearing Aids Nationwide
— A Combination of Sound and Silence May Help Slow the Progression Hearing Loss
— Self Care and Hearing Loss: The Amazing Connection
— Scientists Explore Human-Body Communications with Binaural Hearing Aids

Priscilla Beach Theatre

The Priscilla Beach Theatre provides closed captioning for each of their performances at their Sunday 2:00 pm matinee.  You need to ask for an ipad to read the captions.  The captions will not disturb anyone else for you’re the only one to see it.  You can also ask for a headset.  If you need a headset with a loop, for those with t-coils in their hearing aids and/r cochlear implants, they have those as well.

Our chapter will be holding a raffle to win two free tickets for the October 3 2:00 pm closed captioned performance of The Addams Family, A Musical Comedy.  To enter this raffle, you must attend our HLAA Plymouth Chapter meeting on September 23.  Please email Sandy so we know how many are interested in attending this PBT closed captioned performance. 

We are thankful to the Priscilla Beach Theatre for providing closed captioning and need to support it.  If you need captioning and/or assistive listening devices to better comprehend their shows, please ask the PBT (Sandy Malone) for her help.  If you attend another venue and they don’t provide captioning, please ask for captioning as well.  If no one asks for captioning, the theatres think that everything is fine and they are meeting the needs of people with hearing loss with the assistive listening devices (ALDs).  I happen to need both ALDs and captioning, especially to understand song lyrics at musicals.  There are many of us who need captioning as well. I asked the PBT to provide closed captioning and they did it!   We need to thank Sandy and Bob Malone in person after the performance.  If you don’t know who they are, just ask someone afterwards.  They go out of their way to help those who need hearing assistance. They take advantage of the Globetitles technology to caption their shows.  Please thank them for this. Only the Sunday matinee performances have captioning at this time.  It would be nice if all performances had it.

April 2021 Newsletter

Contents

  1. Next HLAA Plymouth Chapter Meeting on May 19: Hearing Technology
  2. An HLAA member’s Personal Story of Her Hearing Loss
  3. Future Events
  4. Articles/Videos for Future Reference

Next HLAA Plymouth Chapter Meeting

Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 19 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm and the topic will be:  Hearing Technology:  3 reasons to be excited about hearing technology and 3 things missing from the conversation.

The speaker will be Andrea Kaneb, an educator and advocate striving to break down barriers that lead to social isolation for people with hearing loss. She created the website www.gatheringsound.com based on her own lifelong experience with hearing loss and a deep dive into stories of others and the industry. She has completed the Network of Consumer Hearing Assistive Technology Trainers (N-CHATT) program and has an engineering background.

The meeting will be captioned on Zoom using ASR (automatic speech recognition), which is the same thing as Live Transcription, Closed Captioning, or Subtitles. 

Zoom Meeting Link : https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82690617529.

This will be our last virtual meeting of the 2020-21 year.  Our chapter does not meet over the summer.  Hopefully by the fall, we’ll be able to meet again in person. 

An HLAA Member’s Personal Story of Her Hearing Loss

My Hearing Loss Journey by Betsy Stengel, a member of HLAA Plymouth Chapter

Almost 30 years ago, I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease, an inner ear disorder that causes vertigo, imbalance, tinnitus, and hearing loss.  My particular kind of Meniere’s is on the migraine spectrum, which made me very sensitive to light and noise, so I had the seemingly contradictory symptoms of losing my hearing while at the same time certain sounds were almost painful to my ears.  While the tinnitus and hearing loss were certainly very concerning to me, for many years my real struggle was with vertigo attacks that would come on suddenly, making the room spin wildly and causing severe nausea for hours.    Unfortunately, in the years when I was going through the worst vertigo attacks, CBD treatments were not available, but they are now used by many to reduce both vertigo and tinnitus. 

Dealing with the progressive loss of hearing was easier than handling my often-spinning world.  My first hearing aid had a “masker” – a channel that offered gentle white noise that covered my tinnitus.  I found it truly relaxing, even comforting, especially after a vertigo attack when my tinnitus was particularly loud.  Several years later I acquired a hearing aid for my other ear and found the pair enabled me to hear in most situations, except crowded rooms.  After 9/11, I was working on integrating the emergency preparedness system of the Boston teaching hospitals with Boston’s police, fire and EMS agencies, and my greatly improved hearing enabled me to continue working in an immensely rewarding job.

About five years ago, I fell while walking my dogs in the woods and lost all hearing in my left ear.  After waiting a few months to determine if the hearing would return (it did, but only slightly), my wonderful ENT at Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary suggested a cochlear implant, and my husband, who had watched me struggling to continue my active life with significantly impaired hearing, encouraged me to take the giant step.  In August 2016, I had the implant surgery and a month later, my audiologist “turned on” the sound.  Immediately, in what seemed like a miracle, I heard her voice coming clearly through the static in my head.  From that day forward for the next several months, my hearing improved on a daily basis, so that at my next hearing test I had 86% hearing – something I hadn’t experienced for many years.  Importantly for my favorite activity as a swimmer, the cochlear implant I selected has a waterproof component that allows me to converse with my friends in the pools and pond where we swim several times a week.  The relatively simple implant surgery allowed me to return to all my activities with greatly enhanced ability to hear. The best reward?  Hearing my grandchildren laughing.

Betsy Stengel

Plymouth, MA

Betsy also sent me some information on Improving Hearing Loss with AudioCardio  www.mindovermenieres.com/improving-hearing-loss-with-audiocardio/

Betsy emailed me: “This is really interesting. It wouldn’t be useful for you or me, but for people who have medium hearing loss it might be worth checking out the app.  The guy who wrote this has Meniere’s Disease – which I do too, and he’s built a business advising people and companies (employers) about dealing with the disease.  He rarely endorses actual labels or companies, so this is probably quite legit.  I think Joe (my husband) is going to see if the app helps him reduce tinnitus and improve his hearing.”

Future Events

  1. Saturday, May 1, 10:00 am to 12:30 pm (GMT-04:00) How to Be That Fabulous Person with Hearing Loss! By Gael Hannon. Organized by HLAA Indianapolis Chapter. This presentation is a humorous but realistic look at how we can live more positively with our hearing loss.
    Google Meet Link: https://meet.google.com/honjtic-dpr
  2. Saturday, May 1, 2021 AT 1 PM EDT – 3 PM EDT Part 2: How to Overcome Hearing Loss & Isolation-You Have a Choice!  Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/chv-ivqe-xdk Facebook event page: https://fb.me/e/1smkmP320
  3. Monday, May 3, 4:30-6:00 ET Music Enjoyment with Hearing Loss: Factors Influencing Music Perception, How Hearing Aids are Designed for Speech versus Music, and Tips for Better Enjoyment presented by Dr. Peg Lisi, Audiologist, Pacific Hearing Services. Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIoceyuqTgtE9TJayAvOlSWZyG3YiZ8DOUJ 
  4. Wednesday, 12 May 2021 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm ET  HLAA Western Wayne County, Michigan. Hearing Aid Common Complaints, Solutions, and Troubleshooting presented by Ben Wightman, Au.D.
    Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckf-yorjsjG9MF5lvPAO725j-hwKHvFPTq
  5. Tuesday, May 25, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm ET. HLAA has received permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to host its first ever meeting on Externally-Led Patient-Focused Drug Development (EL-PFDD) for People and Families Living with Sensorineural Hearing Loss.
    Please register for the meeting by clicking here. You’ll receive important meeting updates, including the link to login on the 25th.  www.hearingloss.org/hlaa-meeting-on-sensorineural-hearing-loss/

Articles/Videos for Future Reference

  1. HLAA-Washington State has an article in the 4/25/21 Seattle Times
    www.seattletimes.com/sponsored/ending-the-isolation-of-hearing-loss/
  2. Self-Care During Covid-19: The MCDHH (Mass. Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) Victim Services Program has created a video on mask wearing and communication tips for Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened people. This project was partially supported by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance through a Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.  www.fb.watch/4-ZNNT8PHb/
  3. How to Access and Ask for Zoom Captioning:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/207279736-Closed-captioning-and-live-transcription

4. Shari Eberts, who writes a Living with Hearing Loss Blog, wrote: Hearing Loss & Beyond – A New Captioning Tool in Chrome: https://livingwithhearingloss.com/2021/04/20/hearing-loss-beyond-captions-are-catching-on/

5. Valerie James Abbott, a mom of two daughters whose youngest child, now almost 16 years old, is hard of hearing. She will be publishing a children’s book in May 2021 (Padapillo) that is based on the true story of how her family discovered and came to terms with her child’s late onset hearing loss.  If you would like to read more of this family’s story, please visit: www.valeriejamesabbott.com/ or Valerie James Abbott’s Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/valeriejamesabbott

6. A guide that provides information about options and for the best medical alert system: www.assistedliving.org/best-medical-alert-systems/. Assisted Living is a community organization that prioritizes helping those who are disabled and the elderly fully enjoy their healthy years and age gracefully.

March 2021 Newsletter

Contents

  • March 2021 HLAA/Plymouth Meeting
  • HLAA/Plymouth Chapter Website
  • Support HLAA Plymouth Chapter through Amazon Smile
  • Member News
  • How Has HLAA Helped Me by Stephanie Blanchard, Chapter Treasurer
    • Death of member David Swanson
  • HLAA NYC Chapter Presentations
    • Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids
    • Balance Problems and Dizziness
  • Other HLAA Chapter Presentations
  • HLAA 2021 National Convention
  • Miscellaneous Information
    • Cochlear Implants from HLAA Boston
    • Musicians with Hearing Loss
    • Living with Hearing Loss Blog – ZOOM ASR Caption is now FREE
    • World Hearing Day is March 3
    • National Gallery of Art – Art of Looking, with CART Captions
    • New Website on Hearing Loss and Technology Resouces
    • HLAA and Hearing Life
    • New Book by Deaf Rabbi, Darby Leigh
    • White House Press Briefings now have ASL Interpreter
    • New Director for Mass Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • March 2021 HLAA Plymouth Meeting

The next meeting of HLAA/Plymouth will be held on Wednesday, March 17 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm and the topic will be Wellness and Self-Care for People with Hearing Loss.

Melissa Anderson, PhD, MSCI, our speaker, is a Gallaudet University-trained psychologist and clinical researcher who strives to provide accessible behavioral healthcare to members of the U.S. Deaf community. Melissa is Director of the DeafYES! Center for Deaf Empowerment and Recovery, housed within UMass Medical School’s Implementation Science & Practice Advances Research Center (iSPARC). There will be time for questions at the end of her presentation.

To receive an email reminder about it, please send your name to:  sspekman@gmail.com

The meeting will be captioned on Google Meet: meet.google.com/mdk-gpws-npy?authuser=0&hs=122. If you have not requested to receive a reminder but wish to join us at the last moment, and/or have trouble logging on, Google Meet is now using our new chapter gmail, hearinglossplymouth@gmail.com.  You can email me at sspekman@gmail.com and I’ll send you a link to sign up. Please do not send an email during the meeting to hearinglossplymouth@gmail.com, because I will not see this email until our meeting is over.

Hopefully, next year, we will be able to go back to in person meetings at the Plymouth Public Library. 

  • HLAA/Plymouth Chapter Website

Are you aware that our HLAA Plymouth Chapter has a website?  It’s hearinglossplymouth.org.   It’s not always up to date, but if we are having an upcoming meeting, you will most likely find the details about it on this site.  Please send your comments and feedback regarding it to sspekman@gmail.com or to our website editor, Linda Maloney at  maloneylindam@yahoo.com.  We’d like to hear from you.  We also would like you to send us stories about you and your hearing loss for this newsletter.

  • Support HLAA Plymouth Chapter through Amazon Smile

Simply specify HLAA Plymouth as the charity you support! smile.amazon.com/gp/ch/list/47-4815482 

Member News

How Has HLAA Helped Me by Stephanie Blanchard, Chapter Treasurer (2/27/2021)

I have worn hearing aids for 44 years. When I started going to HLAA meetings in Plymouth and joined the National HLAA organization, I learned a great deal about hearing loss and hearing aids.

First, I was unsure about my present audiologist. I went to an HLAA Convention and visited in the Exhibit Hall the Phonak booth for that was my hearing aid company. They gave me the name of an audiologist in Plymouth for me to try. The audiologist did a hearing test and reset the program on the hearing aids. Everyone I met who knew me was surprised at how much my hearing had improved!  I had never been able to hear a person who spoke behind me, but now I can.

I volunteered to be the Treasurer for the HLAA Plymouth Chapter. Each meeting I would learn new things to help me hear and cope with hearing loss.

When I heard about the HLAA Convention in Rochester, NY. My husband and I went and continued to learn new things.

One problem I continued to have was hearing someone speak when there was background noise. I learned about an accessory that would help called a Roger. Many businesspeople use it for meetings as they can point the Roger towards the person they are trying to hear. This tool relies on Blue tooth. Just recently I purchased new hearing aids with Blue Tooth and a Roger. My husband and I had dinner in a noisy restaurant on Valentine’s Day and with the Roger in front of him I clearly heard everything he said the Roger sent the voice directly into my hearing aid. This was a first for us in 52 years of marriage.

I continue to learn new things at every meeting. I encourage you to do the same.

Death of member David Swanson

Unfortunately, last fall, one of our active HLAA members, David Swanson, from Cape Cod, passed from COVID.  To see his picture or read his obituary, go to:  Dave Swanson

  • HLAA NYC Chapter Presentations

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

When:
Tuesday, 2 March 2021,   6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Where:
Virtual Meeting – Link: https://nyulangone.zoom.us/j/95688548550?pwd=a2NWNFpORXdKSzNQczhIc0pNS1N6QT09

Organizer: HLAA NYC info@hearinglossnyc.org 212-769- HEAR (4327)

Presenter:
Dr. Kevin Franck, Vice Chair of the HLAA Board of Directors and Senior Vice President at Frequency Therapeutics

Balance Problems and Dizziness

The HLAA NYC Chapter had a virtual captioned meeting on February 2, 2021 about balance problems and dizziness that is available on youTube: https://youtu.be/jFtQEY9aI6Q. Dr. Maura Cosetti of Mount Sinai Hospital spoke about the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of balance problems and dizziness, as well as the ongoing research and exercises aimed at addressing these problems. She was joined by vestibular therapist, Jennifer Kelly of the New York Eye and Ear Hospital, and Andrea Feghali, a nurse practitioner with an interest in dizziness, especially in the elderly:

Other HLAA Chapter Presentations

Since the pandemic started, many HLAA chapters across the country are now sending their meeting links to all interested.  If you are a national HLAA member, you should be getting these meeting links.

Margaret Myatt from the Hearing Loss Central MA Chapter, www.hearinglosscentralma.org organizes all these meetings on a calendar: hearinglosscentralma.org/HLAAVirtualEvents.html

Here is an example of an interesting calendar listing:

Topic “How to Be That Fabulous Person with Hearing Loss!”
When:  Sat, March 13, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

We spend a lot of time saying that we want to hear better, that we need to communicate better, that hearing loss is a journey with ups and downs along the way. It’s time to up our game with a more positive spin. It’s time for each of us to break out and be That Fabulous Person with Hearing Loss! This presentation is a humorous but realistic look at how we can live more positively with our hearing loss. Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvdeGsrTspHdMkMGYfjc0Bs8L_ftjZr7cX

  • HLAA 2021 National Convention

Save the Date:  June 24-26, 2021

HLAA 2021 Convention is going virtual! Join us June 24-26, 2021 for the world’s premier event for people with hearing loss—safely from the comfort of your own home! This three-day event will be jam-packed with the same robust educational workshops, innovative HLAA exhibitors, and unique networking opportunities you are used to having at HLAA Conventions.

  • Miscellaneous Information

Cochlear Implants from HLAA Boston

For anyone interested in cochlear implants, the HLAA Boston Chapter had a meeting on cochlear implants on Saturday, February 27.  For more information, contact the HLAA Boston Chapter. Contacts:

Audiologist:  Eva Bero, Director of Audiology, Lahey Clinic, Eva.M.Bero@lahey.org, (781) 744-2528- direct, (781) 744-5100- main

Implant Surgeon:  Dr. Daniel Lee, daniel_lee@meei.harvard.edu, (617) 573-3130

CI Representatives:  Sarah Laurello, Advanced Bionics, Sarah.Laurello@AdvancedBionics.com, (661) 289-4543 (call and text)

Megan Frey, Cochlear Americas, mfrey@cochlear.com

Alyssa Somplasty, MED-EL, Alyssa.Whinna@medel.com

Musicians with Hearing Loss

TheAssociation of Adult Musicians With Hearing Loss had a winter webinar on February 28, 2021. Dr. Brad Ingrao provded an update on developments, trends, and limitations of hearing aids/cochlear implant processors and bone-anchored devices for musicians with hearing loss.

Deaf composer Jay Alan Zimmerman, creator of the Incredibly Deaf Musical
(http://deafmusical.com/) and Seeing Music visualizers (https://experiments.withgoogle.com/seeing-music) with Google, debuts his new “Hearing Visualizer” that transforms audiograms into easy-to-understand, positive, and intuitive visualizations of hearing plus shows how that ability is enhanced by various hearing devices.

Living with Hearing Loss – ZOOM ASR Captioning is now FREE

Shari Eberts of NYC, writes a Living with Hearing Loss blog. On Feb 25, 2021 she wrote: Congratulations! Our voices have been heard! Zoom has announced it will make ASR Captioning FREE for people with hearing loss. All the details are in this blog post. Advocacy works!

If you want to attend a Zoom meeting and wish to have it captioned, you need to contact the host and ask to have the Live Transcript set up ahead of time.  This cannot be done during a Zoom meeting unless the host knows how to activate it once she/he sees you on the screen.  After the captions are activated, you need to click  on CC on the bottom of your screen. 

If you need step-by-step instructions to activate Live Transcript (closed captioning, subtitles, automatic speech recognition – all the same on Zoom) please email sspekman@gmail.com.  I’ll be happy to spread the word so more Zoom meetings are hearing accessible.  If you attend any HLAA or ALDA meetings (Association of Late Deafened Adults), they already are captioned, so you don’t have to request this.

World Hearing Day is March 3

On March 3, join Noisy Planet, the World Health Organization (WHO), and others in spreading the message about healthy hearing in observance of World Hearing Day. This year’s theme is Hearing care for ALL! Screen. Rehabilitate. Communicate. Noisy Planet observes this annual event by encouraging you and your family to practice safe listening habits with these simple steps:

  • Lower the volume.
  • Move away from the noise.
  • Wear hearing protectors, such as earplugs or protective earmuffs.

For more information, see: https://www.noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov/have-you-heard/world-hearing-day-2021-practice-safe-listening

National Gallery of Art, National Gallery of Art – Art of Looking, with CART Captions

Lorena Bradford from the Accessible Programs and Projects, National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC  invited all HLAA members to a weekly online program called The Art of Looking. The sessions take place on Fridays from 1:00-2:00 pm Eastern, and CART captions are offered in one of the virtual meeting rooms. More information at: www.nga.gov/artoflooking This program is free and open to the publi

New Website on Hearing Loss and Technology Resouces

Andrea Kaneb, who lives in New Hampshire and has participated in Boston HLAA Chapter meetings, is a wonderful resource for people with hearing loss wanting to explore what kind of technology is available to help them hear. She has an engineering background and is a graduate of HLAA’s N-CHATT program. Andrea has just launched a new website with lots of helpful information and she does a great job of combining technological know-how with a personal touch. Check it out!  https://gatheringsound.com/

Andrea will be our HLAA Plymouth Chapter’s guest speaker on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.  Topic:  Latest Technology for Hearing Aids/Cochlear Implants.  This will be our final meeting of the 2020-2021 year.

HLAA and Hearing Life

Are you aware that the HLAA National Office moved from Bethesda, Maryland to Rockville, Maryland?  Also, the magazine Hearing Life now is published quarterly now, instead of bimonthly.  To become a member or to renew your HLAA membership, go to:  https://www.hearingloss.org/make-an-impact/become-a-member-renew/

HLAA members not only receive Hearing Life but Hearing Life e-News.  See  an example of Hearing Life here: Hearing Life e-News

New Book by Deaf Rabbi, Darby Leigh

Kerem Shalom, 659 Elm St., Concord announced that the congregation’s rabbi, Darby Leigh, of Newton, is the second author of the chapter, “Religion and Deaf Identities” in the newly released book “Deaf Identities — Exploring New Frontier.” The book by Irene Leigh, Leigh’s mother, and Catherine O’Brien, offers an academic, multicultural perspective on deaf identities and experiences.

Rabbi Leigh is one of few deaf rabbis in the world. As an expert in Torah, who has travelled extensively teaching Torah analysis, he could offer the full analysis of moving in deaf and non-deaf religious worlds.

For information, visit https://.keremshalom.org and https://concord.wickedlocal.com/news/20200217/kerem-shaloms-rabbi-darby-leigh-authors-chapter-in-newly-released-book/1

White House Press Briefings now have ASL Interpreter

Betsy Stengel, a member of our planning committee, pointed out earlier in the year that President Joe Biden now has regular press briefings with an American Sign Language Interpreter. The White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the move was “part of this administration’s accessibility and inclusion efforts.”

The previous administration under former President Donald Trump was sued last year over accessibility of its briefings, and a judge ordered in the fall that it had to provide a sign language interpreter for its updates on the coronavirus crisis, as NBC News reported at the time

New Director for Mass Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

MCDHH (Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) is pleased that Dr. Opeoluwa Sotonwa will be leading the agency beginning on March 1st. MCDHH provides accessible communication, education, and advocacy to consumers and private and public entities so that programs, services, and opportunities throughout Massachusetts are fully accessible to persons who are deaf and hard of hearing.

November 2020

HLAA Plymouth Chapter

Our HLAA Plymouth Chapter meetings are captioned and held from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm on the third Wednesday of each month, bi-monthly.  We meet in September, November, January, March, and May.  Our virtual meetings will continue until the Plymouth Public Library opens their conference room for the community.  In the meantime, we are doing the best we can meeting virtually.  Please join us at one of our meetings.  For those who would like a Google Meet link reminder, please email Sandy Spekman at sspekman@gmail.com to add your name to the list.  A reminder link will be sent to you only if your email is on the Google Meet list.

Our presenter for November 18 is Betty Hauck.  She was supposed to present to us at the Plymouth Public Library on March 18, 2020, just before everything closed due to COVID.  We are happy that Betty will finally be presenting to us, but virtually, eight months later. For more information about Betty, click here.

The following HLAA Plymouth Chapter meetings are planned for 2021:

Date Topic Presenter
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 DEAF, Inc. Services for Hearing Loss CommunityCatarina Lima of Deaf, Inc.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021Wellness and Self-Care for People with Hearing LossMelissa Anderson, Therapist, UMass
Wednesday, May 19, 2021Latest Technology for Hearing Aids/Cochlear ImplantsAndrea Kaneb, N-Chatt Trainer



HLAA Plymouth Chapter – Walk4Hearing

Our chapter is happy to report that we raised $2,125 for the Walk4Hearing!  Our team, the Plymouth Pilgrims, participated in a virtual walk on October 25, 2020.  Our chapter treasurer, Petie Blanchard, arranged to bring in a large donation from her family foundation!!

Thank you all who supported the Walk4Hearing!

National HLAA Meetings

Many HLAA chapters throughout the country are now opening their virtual meetings to everyone who is a member of HLAA.  There are many topics and many virtual meetings, too many to mention here.  If you would like to join in on these meetings, please email Sandy at sspekman@gmail.com so you’ll be forwarded a link.  Here is an example of an HLAA captioned meeting:

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 16
TIME: 7:00 – 8:30 pm (Eastern Time)
TOPIC: What’s new in Cochlear Implants & Hearing Aids
SPEAKERS: Drs. Katrina Stidham and Mindy Schmelzer, Westchester Medical Center Cochlear Implant & Balance Center
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83535401957?pwd=UGxOUWl2RFdWUUNBMVRpZ2VhR21jdz09
Zoom Meeting ID: 83535401957    Zoom Passcode: 466830

Amazon Smile

Make a difference this holiday. Shop for gifts at smile.amazon.com/ch/47-4815482 to generate donations for Hearing Loss Association of America Inc.  Every time you order something from Amazon, don’t forget!

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: https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/HLAA/G120055HLAA_SeptOct2020/index.php

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 sspekman@gmail.com 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.

http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2018/04/17/classical-musicians-hearing-loss

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  

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hope to see you soon via Zoom!

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

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 www.innocaption.com 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 frank.tripi@gmail.com 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.

Thanks!
Betty

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

Please send me your comments and feedback to sspekman@gmail.com

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

February 2020 Newsletter

NewsletterTopics:

  • President’s Letter
    • Program on Cochlear Implants on March 21 at the Watertown Public Library
    • Deaf Program on March 25 at the Plymouth Public Library
  • Spring HLAA Meetings
    •  Board Meeting on Friday, March 6 at 11 am  
    • \General Meeting on March 18 at 7:00 pm
    • General Meeting on May 20 at 7:00 pm
  • National Convention in New Orleans June 18-21
  • News of Interest
    • Book Recommendation
    • American Girl Doll
  • Amazon Smile Reminder
  • Open Captioned Performances

President’s Letter

It’s already the middle of February, which means spring is around the corner!

Next month, our chapter is having two meetings:  A board meeting on Friday, March 6 and a general meeting on Wednesday, March 18.  Details are in this newsletter.

There are also some other hearing loss related meetings in March that may be of interest to you:

  • If anyone is considering a cochlear implant, on March 21 there will be representatives from the three major cochlear implant companies discussing what’s new with CIs.  This meeting, part of the HLAA Boston Chapter, will be held at the Watertown Public Library, 123 Main Street, Watertown. If interested, contact Betty Hauck at bettiola@comcast.net.  
  • On Wednesday, March 25, at the Plymouth Public Library, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm (formal program from 6 to 8 pm) will be a panel of adults who are deaf or hard of hearing speak to students and young adults (18-30).  This program is to offer advice, encouragement and support for navigating middle/high school, college, and the working world.  Cara Jordan, a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing in the Duxbury Public Schools, is coordinating it. Anyone interested in joining the panel of deaf and hard of hearing adults needs to contact Sandy Spekman (sspekman@gmail.com) who will contact Cara Jordan.

I look forward to seeing you at our meetings!
Sandy Spekman, President, HLAA/Plymouth Chapter

Spring HLAA Plymouth Chapter Meetings

All meetings are at the Plymouth Public Library, 132 South St., Plymouth

  • Friday, March 6 at 11 am – The HLAA Board Meeting is open to anyone who’s interested in learning more about HLAA and our chapter.  It will be held am in the board room of the Plymouth Public Library.  All are welcome to join us.  This will give you an opportunity to learn more about what we do, what HLAA is all about, and how to help others with a hearing loss.
  • Wednesday, March 18 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm – This HLAA General Meeting is also listed on the Plymouth Public Library’s March calendar of events.  The program is called:  A Life in Music Lost and Found – A Talk and Play, by Betty Hauck, Violinist.  Betty will not only perform for us on both the violin and viola, she will tell us her story of how she was a professional violist and lost her hearing due to a progressive hearing loss.   CART (captioning) will be provided as well as assistive listening devices with headsets and loops.  A flier can be found here.
  • Wednesday, May 20 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm – This is the last HLAA General Meeting before summer break. The topic will be Travel Tips for People with Hearing Loss.  Ruth Bernstein, hearing loss advocate who also writes an e-newsletter and blog for the Center for Hearing and Communication in NYC, will present.

National Convention in New Orleans June 18-21  For more information, see:  https://www.hearingloss.org/programs-events/convention/.  Our chapter will sponsor anyone who wishes to attend by paying for their registration fee.  The Early Bird Registration fee deadline is March 2.  First timers to the HLAA Convention may also apply for scholarships (up to $800) to cover expenses.  Apply by February 21 at: https://www.hearingloss.org/programs-events/convention/scholarships/ 

News of Interest

Amazon Smile Reminder

Our chapter raises funds through Amazon Smile:  smile.amazon.com  Our link is: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-4815482 or the Hearing Loss Association of America Plymouth Chapter.  When you buy something from Amazon, if you set it up through this link, a portion of your total goes back to our chapter from Amazon.

Open Captioned Performances

– Priscilla Beach Theatre  The Priscilla Beach Theatre will again be providing closed captioning on the first Sunday of their six productions for the upcoming season.  You request closed captioning and a tablet will be set up for you at your seat.  You can also request a headset with headphones or a personal neckloop that works with your hearing aids or cochlear implants on the t-coil or telecoil setting.  If you aren’t sure what the telecoil is, please ask your audiologist or any HLAA chapter members familiar with this technology.   The national HLAA webpage – hearingloss.org – also has information under the topic of “Hearing Help” that will also help you understand this technology.

First Sunday of the Month 2 pm Closed Captioning at the Priscilla Beach Theatre:

Sunday, May 3 Sisters of Swing
Sunday, June 7 She Loves Me
Sunday, July 5 Mama Mia!
Sunday, August 2 Monty Python’s Spamalot!
Sunday, September 6 The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Sunday, October 4 The Addams Family

–   Broadway in Boston For information about Broadway in Boston’s accessibility: https://boston.broadway.com/theatre/citizens-bank-opera-house/#accessibility

  • The Band’s Visit – Saturday March 28, 2020 at 2 pm

–   Trinity Rep  For information about Trinity Rep’s accessibility: https://www.trinityrep.com/box-office/accessibility/open-caption-performances/

  • A Tale of Two Cities – Sunday February 23, 2020 at 2 pm and Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • Sweat – Sunday March 5, 2020 at 2 pm, and Wednesday, March 15, 2020 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barer of Fleet Street – Sunday, April 26 at 3 pm and Wednesday, May 13 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm

–   Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University:  All performances at the Wheelock Family theatre are open captioned.  For a complete schedule, see https://www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org/performances/current-season.  The following are ASL (American Sign Language) & AD (Audio Described) performances (ALL performances have open captioning):

  • The Little Prince – April 26 at 2 pm and May 23 at 2 pm
  • Bud, Not Buddy – May 16 at 2 pm

–   American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University:  The following performances at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University have Open Captioning:  

  • Gloria: A Life – February 20 at 7:30 pm and February 22 at 2 pm
  • 1776 – June 25 at 7:30 pm and June 27 at 2 pm

The theatre will maintain holds for anyone wishing to use the Open Captioning service and can best accommodate patrons over the phone at 617-547-8300 or email at access@amrep.org. Hours of operation: Tuesday-Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm or until 30 minutes prior to any performance at the Loeb Drama Center.

–   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 3 pm): 

  • 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 2020 season Open Caption performances at the Huntington Theatre Company are:

  • Sweat: February 12 at 2 pm and February 18 at 7:30 pm
  • Our Daughters, Like Pillars: March 31 at 7:30 pm and April 8 at 2 pm
  • The Bluest Eye: May 5 at 7:30 pm and May 13 at 2 pm

Tickets are $20 for each patron with slight to profound hearing loss. To reserve tickets, please contact Director of Education Meg O’Brien at 617 273 1558 or email mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org.  For more information, see https://www.huntingtontheatre.org/visit/accessibility/#Open%20Captioning

If a performing arts theatre or cultural arts center near you does not offer open captioning, please ask for it.  Many people with hearing loss need open captioning to fully enjoy it, yet very few even speak up to ask.  As a result, the performing arts theatres and cultural centers staff assume that they are providing everything required of them.  Some of us need to think of the term “hearing accessibility”, such as captioning for live theaters.   Most performing arts theatres provide physical accessibility by providing a wheelchair ramp or elevator – and they think that that’s enough.  Those of us with severe-to-profound hearing losses are left out.  Using an audio enhancement headset can be frustrating because they don’t always work, or the battery could be dead.  This could happen in the middle of a performance!  Even when using headsets, some still need captioning to understand the song lyrics.  Those who need captioning should have equal access.   The HLAA Convention is totally hearing accessible with looping and captioning at every single event and/or presentation.  Those 3-4 days at the convention are wonderful – but what about the rest of the year?  Where’s the hearing accessibility?  Maybe you’ll find it in large cities.   What about our smaller communities? That’s where YOU can advocate for what you need.  One person can make a difference!

December 2019 Newsletter

Newsletter topics:

  • President’s Letter
  • 2020 Schedule
  • New Year’s Lunch on January 3, 2020
  • Show-n-Tell on January 3, 2020
  • Favorite Hearing Assistive Technology Devices
  • Things People Do Not Like About Hearing Assistive Technology
  • Board Meeting on January 3, 2020
  • General Meeting on January 15, 2020
  • November/December Hearing Life Magazine
  • New Membership Benefit – hearOclub
  • National HLAA Convention in New Orleans June 18-21, 2020
  • Article to read:  How Israelis are going to help us hear better
  • Plymouth Chapter HLAA Board Members List
  • Spring 2020 HLAA/Plymouth Meeting Schedule
  • Amazon Smile Reminder
  • Open Captioned Performances

President’s Letter:

Hi there,

Last month, HLAA celebrated 40 years.  Our Plymouth Chapter, which serves Cape Cod, the Islands, and the South Shore, has celebrated four years.  Our chapter is growing – but we need more people to become active and more involved.  Our last meeting, on November 20, Kevin Franck spoke on Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids.  There were 35 people – our largest meeting attendance on record!   In charge of this meeting was Frank Tripi.  Thank you, Frank!   Frank, as well as Roger, Petie, and myself, all volunteer our time to help others with a hearing loss.  We can’t do it alone.  We need more people to volunteer.

Why do people volunteer with HLAA?  First reason:  To fulfill the mission of HLAA.  The mission of HLAA is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy.  HLAA meetings help you learn how to ask for what you need.  People learn to become hearing advocates.  HLAA members not only have opportunities to meet other people with a hearing loss, they learn more about hearing technology.  For example:  if you attend HLAA’s national convention, you could spend a full day in the Exhibit Hall just learning.  Many of the products are hands-on, which allow one to try it out right there in the convention hall.

If learning about new technology sounds overwhelming, let’s take one small step at a time.  First step:  Get to know others with a hearing loss.  Second step:  Get more involved with our HLAA chapter.  Third step:  Learn more about technology.  We’re going to do that on January 3.

You’re invited to join our board at our next board meeting on January 3, 2020.  What a terrific way to welcome the New Year!  The meeting is from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Plymouth Public Library, upstairs in the second-floor board room.  After the meeting is a New Year’s Luncheon, Show-n-Tell, and Yankee Swap at a nearby Japanese restaurant.  You can order whatever you please.  To see the flier for more information, click here. Please RSVP.

There’s also a lot of information packed into this newsletter.  Please it with others.

Season Greetings and Happy New Year!

Sandy Spekman, President, HLAA Plymouth Chapter

2020 Schedule:

January 3, 2020           11:00 am Board Meeting-Plymouth Public Library, 2nd floor board room

January 3, 2020           12:30 pm Luncheon, Show-n-Tell, & Yankee Swap, New Tokyo restaurant

January 15, 2020         7:00 pm Ask the Audiologist, Melissa Campbell, Plymouth Public Library

March 18, 2020          7:00 pm A Life in Music Lost and Found – Betty Hauck, Violinist

May 20, 2020              7:00 pm Travel Tips for People with Hearing Loss, Ruth Bernstein

What’s the Show-n-Tell all about?

At our New Year’s luncheon on January 3, we plan to have a Show-n-Tell.  This is where people bring in a hearing assistive technology (HAT) device that helps them.   We’ll sit in a circle and each person will talk about their device.  At an HLAA Boston meeting that Sandy attended on December 7 at the Watertown Public Library, people brought in a variety of devices and talked about them.   Participants with smartphones downloaded Otter, an app, which turns someone’s voice into text, used instead of remote CART.  One followed what was being said by reading the text on their smartphones.   Sandy would like to try this out with our HLAA Plymouth Chapter.  For the January 3 luncheon, download Otter on your smartphone. Bring in a device to share.

Favorite Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) devices:

Andrea Kaneb, who attended the HLAA Boston Chapter meeting on December 7, took notes and wrote a detailed summary of the HAT presentation of our favorite devices:

Remote Microphones:

  • Phonak Roger Easy Pen
  • Oticon ConnectClip
  • Phonak ComPilot 11
  • Phonak Table Mic 11 (can network two together, turn volume all the way down on hearing aid app)
  • Resound Multi-Mic
  • Remote mics used in a group can become a “talking stick,” which makes following discussions easier

Smart Phone Apps (free):

  • Caption Call
  • FaceTime (can lipread grandchildren)
  • InnoCaption (many people like it)
  • Live Transcribe- Android phones (many people like it)
  • Otter- iPhones (many people like it)
  • Sound Amplifier app
  • Telephone speakerphone helps to hear with both ears

Alerting Devices:

  • Bluetooth phone to both hearing aids
  • LifeTone bedshaker (might be free from your Fire Department)
  • Serene Innovations Bedshaker (great if power goes out)
  • Serene Innovations CentraAlert Wearable Vibrating Personal Notification Receiver
  • Serene Innovations Home Notification System (many types of alerts)
  • Serene Innovations Instalink Smartphone Alert Watch

Wired listening devices (instead of neckloops, which require positioning):

  • Music Link ear hooks for music, audiobooks, etc.
  • T-Link ear hooks for inline mic for phone
  • Cozy Phones headband with removable wired headphones that magnetically adhere to CI implants

Things people DO NOT like about Hearing Assistive Technology:

1.  Many people are overwhelmed by hearing assistive technology and wish it was easier, more universal, or that more education was provided.

2.  Hearing aid remote control apps are cumbersome, and some people think you are rudely using your phone.

3.  Table mics don’t work well if the speaker is walking around.

4.  Some people think that the Roger Pen is confusing or not worth the cost.  Others do not.

5.  Phonak Marvel only accepts 2 Bluetooth devices at a time so you must choose.

6.  Many devices are not intuitive.  People at senior centers can help.

7.  Alerting devices with separate transmitters can lead to needing to push multiple doorbells.

8.  Otter (an app on your phone) can be unreliable at times with weird words.

9.  Technology can be outdated quickly and can be unreliable.

10.  Hearing aids that change programs automatically can be annoying and the user often wants more control.

Next Board Meeting on Friday, January 3, 2020

From 11:00 am to 12:15 pm, there will be a board meeting at the Plymouth Public Library, upstairs in the second-floor board room.  This meeting is open to anyone.  Our chapter needs a secretary, as well as people to advocate for our needs:  looping, captioning, publicity, etc.  We need people to volunteer at health fairs.  Please come to learn more about what HLAA has to offer.  You’ll be helping others as well as yourself.  Please let Sandy know that you plan to attend the board meeting:  sspekman@gmail.com (and luncheon afterwards).

Next General Meeting:  Wednesday, January 15, 2020
The topic is: “Ask the Audiologist”.  The presenter is Melissa Campbell, Au.D, CCC-A.  For a flier, click here.  For those with cochlear implants, Melissa will talk about assistive devices.

November/December Hearing Life Magazine:  http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/HLAA/G111090_hlaa_novdec19/index.php#/10

Did you receive the latest issue of the new Hearing Life – The Magazine for Better Hearing?  You won’t get this type of information anywhere else, all in one popular magazine.  The articles are printed for you – people with hearing loss who want the latest and credible information to live successfully with hearing loss.  All National HLAA members receive Hearing Life.  If you haven’t signed up yet to become a national HLAA member, go to:  https://www.hearingloss.org/make-an-impact/become-a-memberrenew/

New Membership Benefit:  hearOclub

A new benefit for national HLAA members is the hearOclub.  This is a hearing aid and cochlear implant battery subscription service which delivers DieHard brand batteries on a set schedule (with free shipping!). Sign up for a hearOclub subscription and receive $30 worth of free batteries plus a battery tester keychain – a $40 value, exclusive to HLAA members!  Use the coupon code HLAAmember online at hearoclub.com or by calling 833.LISTEN-2 (833.547.8362).

National Convention in New Orleans, June 18-21, 2020 

Early-Bird Registration for the HLAA’s annual convention is now open.  Any chapter member who wishes to attend can request to have their registration fees handled by our chapter.  Contact a board member if interested.  A list of board members can be found in this newsletter.

National HLAA Convention in New Orleans
SAVE THE DATE!!!!

Signing up for the Convention includes:

  • Exhibit Hall Grand Opening, Thursday morning, June 18
  • Opening Session, Thursday evening, June 18
  • Research Symposium, The Latest on Tinnitus Research, Friday morning, June 19
  • Get Acquainted Party (GAP) – Off-site Event, Friday evening, June 19
  • HLAA2020 Convention Walk4Hearing, Saturday morning, June 20
  • Awards Ceremony and Reception, Saturday evening, June 20
  • Unlimited entry to Exhibit Hall and Socials
  • All workshops, demo presentations and featured speakers

Article of Interest:  How Israelis are going to help us hear better.  Technology and academic research come together in Israel to find solutions for people with hearing impairment:  https://www.israel21c.org/how-israelis-are-going-to-help-us-hear-better/

Harry Shamir, a Plymouth resident, sent in the above article.  Everyone is welcome to send in an article to be published in newsletter.  Please send your articles to sspekman@gmail.com.

HLAA Plymouth Chapter Board Members:

Sandy Spekman, President  sspekman@gmail.com
Roger Berg, VP nqr@mac.com
Stephanie (Petie) Blanchard, Treasurer  petieblanchard@yahoo.com
Frank Tripi, Publicity Chair frank.tripi@gmail.com
Our chapter needs a secretary.

Spring 2020 HLAA Plymouth Chapter Meeting Schedule:

All meetings are at the Plymouth Public Library, 132 South St., Plymouth

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 7-8:30 pm
A Life in Music Lost and Found – A Talk and Play
Betty Hauck, Violinist

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 7-8:30 pm
Travel Tips for People With Hearing Loss
Ruth Bernstein, Hearing Loss Advocate

AMAZON Smile Reminder

Our chapter raises funds through Amazon Smile:  smile.amazon.com  Our link is: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-4815482 or the Hearing Loss Association of America Plymouth Chapter.  When you buy something from Amazon, if you set it up through this link, a portion of your total goes back to our chapter from Amazon.

Open Captioned Performances

– Priscilla Beach Theatre  The Priscilla Beach Theatre will again be providing closed captioning on the first Sunday of their six productions for the upcoming season.  You request closed captioning and a tablet will be set up for you at your seat.  You can also request a headset with headphones or a personal neckloop that works with your hearing aids or cochlear implants on the t-coil or telecoil setting.  If you aren’t sure what the telecoil is, please ask your audiologist or any HLAA chapter members familiar with this technology.   The national HLAA webpage – hearingloss.org – also has information under the topic of “Hearing Help” that will also help you understand this technology.

First Sunday of the Month 2 pm Closed Captioning at the Priscilla Beach Theatre:

Sunday, May 3 Sisters of Swing
Sunday, June 7 She Loves Me
Sunday, July 5 Mama Mia!
Sunday, August 2 Monty Python’s Spamalot!
Sunday, September 6 The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Sunday, October 4 The Addams Family

–   Broadway in Boston For information about Broadway in Boston’s accessibility: https://boston.broadway.com/theatre/citizens-bank-opera-house/#accessibility

  • Cats – Saturday January 11, 2020 at 2 pm
  • The Band’s Visit – Saturday March 28, 2020 at 2 pm

–   Trinity Rep  For information about Trinity Rep’s accessibility: https://www.trinityrep.com/box-office/accessibility/open-caption-performances/

  • August Wilson’s Radio Golf – Sunday January 2, 2020 at 2 pm and Wednesday, January 12, 2020 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • A Tale of Two Cities – Sunday February 23, 2020 at 2 pm and Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • Sweat – Sunday March 5, 2020 at 2 pm, and Wednesday, March 15, 2020 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barer of Fleet Street – Sunday, April 26 at 3 pm and Wednesday, May 13 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm

–   Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University:  All performances at the Wheelock Family theatre are open captioned.  For a complete schedule, see https://www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org/performances/current-season.  The following are ASL (American Sign Language) & AD (Audio Described) performances (ALL performances have open captioning):

  • Little Women, the Musical – February 9 and 12 at 2 pm
  • The Little Prince – April 26 at 2 pm and May 23 at 2 pm
  • Bud, Not Buddy – May 16 at 2 pm

–   American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University:  The following performances at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University have Open Captioning:  

  • Moby Dick – January 9 at 7:30 pm and January 11 at 2 pm
  • Gloria: A Life – February 20 at 7:30 pm and February 22 at 2 pm
  • 1776 – June 25 at 7:30 pm and June 27 at 2 pm

The theatre will maintain holds for anyone wishing to use the Open Captioning service and can best accommodate patrons over the phone at 617-547-8300 or email at access@amrep.org. Hours of operation: Tuesday-Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm or until 30 minutes prior to any performance at the Loeb Drama Center.

–   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 3 pm): 

  • 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 2020 season Open Caption performances at the Huntington Theatre Company are:

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

Tickets are $20 for each patron with slight to profound hearing loss. To reserve tickets, please contact Director of Education Meg O’Brien at 617 273 1558 or email mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org.  For more information, see https://www.huntingtontheatre.org/visit/accessibility/#Open%20Captioning

If a performing arts theatre or cultural arts center near you does not offer open captioning, please ask for it.  Many people with hearing loss need open captioning to fully enjoy it, yet very few even speak up to ask.  As a result, the performing arts theatres and cultural centers staff assume that they are providing everything required of them.  Some of us need to think of the term “hearing accessibility”, such as captioning for live theaters.   Most performing arts theatres provide physical accessibility by providing a wheelchair ramp or elevator – and they think that that’s enough.  Those of us with severe-to-profound hearing losses are left out.  Using an audio enhancement headset can be frustrating because they don’t always work, or the battery could be dead.  This could happen in the middle of a performance!  Even when using headsets, some still need captioning to understand the song lyrics.  Those who need captioning should have equal access.   The HLAA Convention is totally hearing accessible with looping and captioning at every single event and/or presentation.  Those 3-4 days at the convention are wonderful – but what about the rest of the year?  Where’s the hearing accessibility?  Maybe you’ll find it in large cities.   What about our smaller communities?

November 2019 Newsletter

Newsletter Topics

  • President’s Letter
  • Upcoming Events
    • HLAA/Plymouth General Meeting – November 20
    • HLAA/Plymouth Board Meeting – Jan 3, 2020
  • Past Events – Walk4Hearing was on October 27
  • Amazon Smile Reminder
  • GalaPro
  • How To Survive a Family Gathering When You Have Hearing Loss
  • Tentative 2020 HLAA/Plymouth Meeting Schedule
  • Open Caption Performances
    • Priscilla Beach Theatre
    • Falmouth Theatre Guild
    • Broadway in Boston
    • Trinity Rep
    • Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University
    • American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University
    • New Repertory Theatre
    • Huntington Theatre Company

Click here to join HLAA National. Visit our chapter website at: hearinglossplymouth.org.

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

HLAA celebrates 40 years this November!  Of course, we also celebrate Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season.  It’s that time of the year when we can be thankful for what we have.  For those of us with hearing loss, we can be thankful for new technology, which allows us to hear better.  This allows us to have friendships, an active social life, and be active in our communities

We are thankful for HLAA being a part of our lives.  The mission of HLAA is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy.  The National HLAA office staff members work hard to accomplish this mission, as well as volunteers in our local chapters.  We’re continually learning new things.  For example, one of our members is attending an upcoming Broadway performance and asked me what she can do to be able to hear it at a Broadway performance. Besides using the assistive devices or looping, which all theatres are required to have by the ADA law, I told her about GalaPro, which many Broadway performances now have in addition to the assistive devices.  GalaPro is an app that allows users to watch live performances with captioning or audio description (for the visually impaired) on their phones.  Users can use their own phone or tablet device, as well as their own headphones or personal neckloop, to listen to descriptions of a live performance in real time.  This is one example of hearing accessibility making progress.  GalaPro, to my knowledge, is most likely found in big cities.  It hasn’t moved to smaller areas of the country yet.  We’ve achieved hearing access at the movies, but we don’t have it for live entertainment.  GalaPro can also translate a live performance into one’s native language, such as Spanish.  Check it out at GalaPro.com.

We need to learn to advocate for live captioning at more live theatres in Southeast Massachusetts and Cape Cod.  Instead of waiting for it to happen, YOU can to be the catalyst for change.  You can ask for hearing accessibility.  It’s your right under the ADA under “effective communication”.  Effective to me means live captioning as well as an assistive device.

HLAA meetings can help you learn how to ask for what you need.  We need more people to become hearing advocates.  As a member of HLAA, not only will you have an opportunity to meet other people like yourself, you’ll also learn more about hearing technology. 

You’re invited to join our board at our next board meeting on January 3, 2020.  What a great way to welcome the New Year!  This meeting is from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Plymouth Public Library, upstairs in the second-floor board room.  We need YOU to become part of our team as well as to learn how to advocate your hearing needs.  Not only will you meet others with similar goals and expectations, you’ll be helping others who don’t know how to advocate.

Sandy Spekman
President, HLAA/Plymouth Chapter

UPCOMING EVENTS

HLAA/Plymouth General Meeting –Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, November 20 at 7 pm at the Plymouth Public Library. The topic is Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids and the speaker is Kevin Franck.  Click here for more information.

HLAA/Plymouth Board Meeting – We need YOU to join in on our committees, such as advocacy, looping, captioning. etc.  Our chapter also needs a secretary.  Our next board meeting is on Friday, January 3 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Plymouth Public Library in the second-floor board room.  Please let Sandy know at sspekman@gmail.com if you plan to attend so we have enough copies of the handouts.  Being on the board gives you a chance to get more involved with others with a hearing loss while also bringing about change to our communities.  Our board needs your support – so please join us on January 3.  Start out the New Year by doing something good for yourself and for others!

PAST EVENTS

HLAA/Plymouth’s member Petie Blanchard participated in the Walk this year on October 27 and so far, she has raised $2095!   She’s still collecting donations so it’s not too late to donate if you would like to do so.  To donate on Petie’s Walk4Hearing webpage, click here.  You can also bring a check, made out to:  Walk4Hearing to our next meeting on November 20.  You can also mail her a check.  Please request home address by contacting her via email at petieblanchard@yahoo.com.


AMAZON SMILE Reminder
Our chapter raises funds through Amazon Smile:  smile.amazon.com  Our link is: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-4815482 or the Hearing Loss Association of America Plymouth Chapter.  When you buy something from Amazon, if you set it up through this link, a portion of your total goes back to our chapter from Amazon.

GALAPRO

GalaPro is an app that allows for users to watch live performances with audio description or captioning in their language. Users can use their own phone or tablet device, as well as their own headphones, to listen to descriptions of a live performance in real time.  Many Broadway performances are now using GalaPro.  If your live theatre doesn’t have GalaPro, please ask for it:  galapro.com. 

How to Survive a Family Gathering When You Have Hearing Loss – This month’s recommended read is: “How to Survive a Family Gathering When You Have Hearing Loss” from HearingLikeMe.com, https://www.hearinglikeme.com/survive-family-gathering-hearing-loss/

TENTATIVE 2020 HLAA/Plymouth Meeting Schedule

All meetings are at the Plymouth Public Library, 132 South St., Plymouth

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 7-8:30 pm
Ask the Audiologist
Dr. Melissa Campbell, Audiologist, CCC-A
http://www.plymouthent.com/audiology

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 7-8:30 pm
A Life in Music Lost and Found – A Talk and Play
Betty Hauck, Violinist
http://www.newportstringproject.org/calendar/xd84rbe29hswcmjrbzhw3mtrhkxmla

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 7-8:30 pm
Travel Tips for People With Hearing Loss
Ruth Bernstein, Hearing Loss Advocate
https://chchearing.org/blog/travel-hearing-loss/all your favorite songs when watc

OPEN CAPTION PERFORMANCES

If a performing arts theatre or cultural arts center near you does not offer open captioning or remote CART, please ask for it.  Many people with a hearing loss need open captioning to enjoy the performance, yet very few ask for it.  As a result, the performing arts theatres and cultural centers staff assume that they are providing everything required of them.  Some of us need hearing accessibility, such as captioning, for live theater.  Some performing arts theatres think that by providing a wheelchair ramp or elevator, that’s enough.  Those of us with hearing loss are left out.  Asking for the audio enhancement headsets can be frustrating because they don’t always work or the battery goes dead.  Some of us still miss out on understanding the song lyrics even with the headsets.  Please ask for live captioning!

– Priscilla Beach Theatre

The Priscilla Beach Theatre will again be providing open captioning on the first Sunday of their six productions for the upcoming season.  You need to request open captioning and it’ll be set up for you at your seat.  You can request a headset with headphones or a personal neckloop that works with your hearing aids or cochlear implants on t-coil or telecoil setting.  If you aren’t sure what the telecoil is, please ask your audiologist or HLAA chapter members familiar with this technology.   The national HLAA webpage – hearingloss.org – also has information under the topic of “Hearing Help”.

–   Falmouth Theatre Guild

  • She Loves Me – November 15 7:30 pm
    For more information, click here.

–   Broadway in Boston

For information about Broadway in Boston’s accessibility, see https://boston.broadway.com/theatre/citizens-bank-opera-house/#accessibility

  • Cats – Saturday January 11, 2020 at 2 pm
  • The Band’s Visit – Saturday March 28, 2020 at 2 pm

–   Trinity Rep

For information about Trinity Rep’s accessibility, see https://www.trinityrep.com/box-office/accessibility/open-caption-performances/

  • Fade – Sunday, December 8 at 2 pm and Wednesday Dec 18 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • August Wilson’s Radio Golf – Sunday January 2, 2020 at 2 pm and Wednesday, January 12, 2020 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • A Tale of Two Cities – Sunday February 23, 2020 at 2 pm and Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • Sweat – Sunday March 5, 2020 at 2 pm, and Wednesday, March 15, 2020 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barer of Fleet Street – Sunday, April 26 at 3 pm and Wednesday, May 13 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm

–   Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University

All performances at the Wheelock Family theatre are open captioned.  For a complete schedule, see https://www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org/performances/current-season.  The following are ASL (American Sign Language) & AD (Audio Described) performances (ALL performances have open captioning):

  • Little Women, the Musical – February 9 and 12 at 2 pm
  • The Little Prince  – April 26 at 2 pm and May 23 at 2 pm
  • Bud, Not Buddy  – May 16 at 2 pm

–   American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University

The following performances at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University have Open Captioning:  

  • Moby Dick – January 9 at 7:30 pm and January 11 at 2 pm
  • Gloria: A Life – February 20 at 7:30 pm and February 22 at 2 pm
  • 1776 – June 25 at 7:30 pm and June 27 at 2 pm

The theatre will maintain holds for anyone wishing to use the Open Captioning service and can best accommodate patrons over the phone at 617-547-8300 or email at access@amrep.org. Hours of operation: Tuesday-Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm or until 30 minutes prior to any performance at the Loeb Drama Center.

–   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 3 pm): 

  • 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 2020 season Open Caption performances at the Huntington Theatre Company are:

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

Tickets are $20 for each patron with slight to profound hearing loss. To reserve tickets, please contact Director of Education Meg O’Brien at 617 273 1558 or email mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org.  For more information, see https://www.huntingtontheatre.org/visit/accessibility/#Open%20Captioning

October 2019 Newsletter

 Newsletter Topics

  • Upcoming Events
    • Walk4Hearing
    • HLAA/Plymouth Meeting
  • Amazon Smile Reminder
  • Open Caption Performances
    • Priscilla Beach Theatre
    • Falmouth Theatre Guild
    • Broadway in Boston
    • Trinity Rep
    • Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University
    • American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University
    • New Repertory Theatre
    • Huntington Theatre Company

Click HERE to join HLAA National. Visit our chapter website at: hearinglossplymouth.org.

UPCOMING EVENTS

HLAA’s Annual Walk4Hearing – This event will be on Sunday, October 27 at Artesani Park 1234 Soldiers Field Road, Brighton, MA. Registration is at 10:30 am. The 5K (3.1 miles) walk starts at 11:30. For further information, contact Walk Manager Ann Rancourt, arancourt@hearingloss.org.  To log in to the Walk4Hearing information, go to www.Walk4Hearing.org.

 The New England Walk committee is working hard to provide a wonderful walk day experience for participants.

  • Appearances from your favorite characters
  • Strike a pose and let the caricature artist get creative
  • Get your face painted and be amazed with twisted balloons
  • Groove on with our White Collar Crime band
  • Enjoy amazing refreshments

Please support HLAA/Plymouth’s member Petie Blanchard in her efforts to be in charge of the Walk this year.  When you receive an email from the Walk4Hearing, please do not delete it right away.  Please read what Petie has to say about her hearing loss, why she’s walking, etc.  If everyone donated a small amount, such as $15-$25, this will cover the costs of remote CART at our meetings.  It will also sponsor HLAA National. To donate on Petie’s Walk4Hearing webpage, click here:

HLAA/Plymouth Meeting –Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, November 20 at 7 pm at the Plymouth Public Library. The topic is  Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids and the speaker is Keven Franck.  Click here for more information.


AMAZON SMILE Reminder
Our chapter raises funds through Amazon Smile:  smile.amazon.com  Our link is: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-4815482 or the Hearing Loss Association of America Plymouth Chapter.  When you buy something from Amazon, if you set it up through this link, a portion of your total goes back to our chapter from Amazon.

OPEN CAPTION PERFORMANCES

If a performing arts theatre or cultural arts center near you does not offer open captioning or remote CART, please ask for it.  Many people with a hearing loss need open captioning, yet if they never ask for it, the performing arts theatres and cultural centers do not know that you need it.  They assume that if they provide a wheelchair ramp, that’s it’s totally handicap accessible.  Some of us need hearing accessibility for live theater.  The headsets they give us don’t always work, or we still miss some of the song lyrics even with the headsets.  PLEASE ASK FOR OC!

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. 

  • [Title of Show] – September 8
  • Young Frankenstein – October 6

–   Falmouth Theatre Guild

  • She Loves Me – November 15 7:30 pm
    For more information, click here.

–   Broadway in Boston

For information about Broadway in Boston’s accessibility, see https://boston.broadway.com/theatre/citizens-bank-opera-house/#accessibility

  • Come From Away– Saturday, November 9 at 2 pm
  • Cats – Saturday January 11, 2020 at 2 pm
  • The Band’s Visit – Saturday March 28, 2020 at 2 pm

–   Trinity Rep

For information about Trinity Rep’s accessibility, see https://www.trinityrep.com/box-office/accessibility/open-caption-performances/

  • A Christmas Carol – Sunday, November 10 at 12 pm
  • Fade – Sunday, December 8 at 2 pm and Wednesday Dec 18 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • August Wilson’s Radio Golf – Sunday January 2, 2020 at 2 pm and Wednesday, January 12, 2020 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • A Tale of Two Cities – Sunday February 23, 2020 at 2 pm and Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • Sweat – Sunday March 5, 2020 at 2 pm, and Wednesday, March 15, 2020 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
  • Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barer of Fleet Street – Sunday, April 26 at 3 pm and Wednesday, May 13 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm

–   Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University

All performances at the Wheelock Family theatre are open captioned! For a complete schedule, see https://www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org/performances/current-season.  The following are ASL & AD performances:  

  • Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka – November 10at 2 pm and November 6 at 7:30 pm
  • Little Women, the Musical  – February 9 and 12 at 2 pm
  • The Little Prince  – April 26 at 2 pm and May 23 at 2 pm
  • Bud, Not Buddy  – May 16 at 2 pm

–   American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University

The following performances at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University have Open Captioning:  

  • Six – September 12 at 7:30 pm and September 14 at 2 pm
  • Moby Dick – January 9 at 7:30 pm and January 11 at 2 pm
  • Gloria: A Life – February 20 at 7:30 pm and February 22 at 2 pm
  • 1776 – June 25 at 7:30 pm and June 27 at2 pm

The theatre will maintain holds for anyone wishing to use the Open Captioning service and can best accommodate patrons over the phone at 617-547-8300 or email at access@amrep.org. Hours of operation: Tuesday-Sunday 12pm-5pm or until 30 minutes prior to any performance at the Loeb Drama Center.

–   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 2020 season Open Caption performances at the Huntington Theatre Company are:

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

Tickets are $20 for each patron with slight to profound hearing loss. To reserve tickets, please contact Director of Education Meg O’Brien at 617 273 1558 or email mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org.  For more information, see https://www.huntingtontheatre.org/visit/accessibility/#Open%20Captioning