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

September 2019 Newsletter

Newsletter Topics

  • Welcome Message by Chapter President
  • Amazon Smile Reminder
  • MEEI Earfit Program
  • Upcoming Events
    • Board Meeting
    • MFA Tour
    • September HLAA/Plymouth Meeting
    • Walk4Hearing
  • Open Caption Performances
    • Priscilla Beach Theatre
    • Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University
    • American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University
    • New Repertory Theatre
    • Huntington Theatre Company

WELCOME MESSAGE by Sandy Spekman, HLAA Plymouth Chapter President

Welcome to the HLAA Plymouth Chapter’s September Newsletter.

We’re starting our fifth year of providing meetings to educate you on topics of interest.  We have asked at meetings for participants to fill out a survey what topics interest them.  What interests YOU? Petie Blanchard, our treasurer, has compiled the results from these surveys which can be shared with anyone interested. Please consider coming to an upcoming board meeting on September 20 if you’d like to become more involved.

The topic of our first meeting, on Wednesday, September 25 from 7-8:30 pm at the Plymouth Public Library, will be Communications  Access in Emergency Situations. Jonathan O’Dell, Assistive Technology and Training Specialist at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, will be presenting.  Two years ago he presented to our chapter on assistive technology.  He’s very knowledgeable about emergency management and the information you’ll learn from him might one day save your life!

The following meeting (we meet bi-monthly) will be on November 20.  Kevin Franck, Ph.D, MBA, CCC-A, Director of Audiology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, will present on the topic of Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids. Kevin is also the treasurer on HLAA National Board of Trustees.

Our national membership is growing!  We have at least 20 paid national members now.  HLAA National cannot do what they do without your support, so please become a member if you can! See https://www.hearingloss.org/make-an-impact/become-a-memberrenew/

I hope to see you at our first meeting on September 25.

In the meantime, enjoy the fall!

Sandy

MEEI EARFIT PROGRAM

A new program is being sponsored by Mass Eye and Ear to provide opportunities to try out new hearing assistive technology at their Longwood Office and in a restaurant setting.
For more information follow this link to their website: https://www.masseyeandear.org/patients-visitors/programs/earfit

 

AMAZON SMILE Reminder
Our chapter raises funds, part of 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.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Board Meeting – There will be a board meeting on September 20th at 1:30 pm at Roger Berg’s house, 11 Hall Street, Plymouth.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

ALDA/HLAA Accessible tour at the MFAThe MFA and Boston Collectors: 19th Century to Mid 20th Century Paintings on Saturday, September 21

To register, email Ronit Michom at RMinchom@mfa.org or call 617-369-3189.  In the subject line, put the name of the tour  (MFA and Boston Collectors),  the date (September 21), and the time of the tour  (10:30 a.m.).

Indicate whether you want a neckloop or a head set. If you need only an ALD receiver, please specify .  If you plan to use your own equipment and want the guide to wear an additional microphone, then please specify. Please arrive 15 minutes early to get your neckloop and headset and to make sure that they are working.

Remember that there is a limit of one guest with you.  You must register your guest whether or not an ALD is needed. Tours will leave from the Linde Family Wing Entrance, which is on Museum Road.  Email access@mfa.org  if you register and are then unable to attend. Registration closes on Friday, September 13 unless the tour fills up before that time.

September HLAA/Plymouth Meeting – September 25 – See information in Welcome Message.

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.  Petie Blanchard will be forming a team for the walk, the Plymouth Pilgrims.


OPEN CAPTION PERFORMANCES

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

–   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 10 at 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

–   New Repertory Theatre

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

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

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

–  Huntington Theatre Company

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

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

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

July 2019 Newsletter

 Newsletter Topics

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

HLAA National Convention by Sandy Spekman, HLAA Plymouth Chapter President

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

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

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

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

OPEN CAPTION PERFORMANCES

Priscilla Beach Theatre

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

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

–   New Repertory Theatre

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

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

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

–  Huntington Theatre Company

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

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

May 2019 Newsletter

Did you know that May is Better Hearing & Speech Month?

Newsletter topics:

  • MEETINGS
  • AMAZON SMILE
  • HLAA NATIONAL
  • OPEN CAPTIONED THEATRE – SPRING/SUMMER

MEETINGS

The last meeting of HLAA/Plymouth Chapter for the year is on May 22. Topic is:  Reach Out!  Helping Yourself and Others.  It’s being held at the Stonebridge Club, 55 Stonebridge Rd. in the Pinehills.  They recently added a loop to their rec room, and this meeting will be to test it out.  It will be held from 7 to 8:30 pm.   Click HERE for meeting info

Future meetings:

  • July 23: Chapter Board meeting. Anyone is welcome to join our board.  Future meeting topics will be decided at this meeting.  If you have an idea for a meeting topic, please let a board member know about it. Thank you.
  • August 6: Pool party in Duxbury at a member’s home.  More information to follow.

All our welcome to join and attend our meetings.

AMAZON SMILE
Our chapter raises funds, part of 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.

HLAA NATIONAL
HLAA National dues are now $35 but as of July 1, they’re going up to $45.  Join now before they go up.  You can sign up as a national member at the meeting on May 22.  Bring a check made out to:  HLAA.  $35 for individual membership and $45 for a couple.  For more details about membership, go to:   HLAA Membership Information or see page 18 of the May/June Hearing Life magazine.  Veterans get a free one-year membership.

Top Five Reasons to Roc in Rochester
HLAA2019 Convention

  1. Free Exhibit Hall and Trade Show open to the public.
  2. Research Symposium: The Latest on Genetics and Hearing Loss – only $30 for this morning session geared toward consumers.
  3. Free admission for veterans and their caregivers attending for the first time.
  4. Drive to Rochester from many points on the East Coast – the convention won’t be on the East Coast for several more years.
  5. Be with people like yourself in a hearing-friendly place with captioning and hearing loops

OPEN CAPTIONED THEATRE – SPRING/SUMMER
Priscilla Beach Theatre, Plymouth

The Priscilla Beach Theatre is now showing open captioned performances!  The first open captioned performance was on Sunday, May 5.   Other OC dates are on June 2, July 7, August 4, September 8, and October 6.  The first Sunday matinee of each production is open captioned.  You need to request OC access but can sit anywhere in the theatre.  Thanks to Bob Malone for setting this up!  The PBT is the first theatre on the South Shore to provide hearing access on a regular basis, so please thank Bob personally if you benefit:  www.pbtheatre.org

American Repertory Theater, Cambridge

We Live in Cairo – Open Captioned: Saturday, June 8 at 2 pm and Thursday, June 13 at 7:30 pm

Huntington Theater, Boston

For more information, call Meg O’Brien at 617-273-1558 or email mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org

Yerma – Open Captioned:  Sunday, June 23 at 7 pm and Tuesday, June 25 at 7:30.

Boston Opera House, Boston

For more information, go to: https://www.bostonoperahouse.com/accessibility/

Miss Saigon – Open Captioned:  Saturday, June 15 at 2 pm

Dear Evan Hansen – Open Captioned: Saturday, July 13 at 2 pm and Saturday July 27 at 2 pm