HLAA Plymouth Chapter Has Full Line-up of Planned Presentations

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 7 PM at the Plymouth Public Library

Please come and join us for this smaller meeting HLAA Plymouth Chapter upstairs in the board room to talk about our chapter and share ideas for the future!


photo of Kevin FranckTuesday night, March 21, 2017 at 7 PM at the Plymouth Public Library

Join us to hear from Kevin Franck, an HLAA National Board Member from Concord, Mass to speak on What National HLAA Does For You. 

Here’s a chance to learn about Hearing Loss Association of America and what’s going on at the national level: advocacy, hearing aid benefits, movie captioning, HLAA staff, Hearing Loss Magazine, and HLAA membership.  For more information, go to: HLAA membership benefits


photo of Jonathan O'DellTuesday night, May 23, 2017 at 7 PM at Plymouth Public Library

 Jonathan O’Dell returns to Plymouth HLAA to talk about technology and answer our questions about hearing loss management. 


For information about upcoming events and opportunities to become involved with HLAA Plymouth Chapter, contact Sandy Spekman at sspekman@gmail.com.

Wheelock Theatre

picture of Wheelock Family TheatreWheelock Family Theatre
180 The Riverway, on the campus of Wheelock College in Boston’s Fenway district

The Wheelock Family Theatre is a professional, non-profit theatre associated with Actor’s Equity, the union of professional actors and stage managers. Wheelock Family Theatre seeks to improve the lives of children and families through the shared experience of live theatre.

All performances are open captioned. FM receiver listening devices are available for use at any seat.

Selected performances of every production are interpreted in American Sign Language (ASL). For additional information or a schedule of ASL-interpreted performances, contact the Box Office at tickets@wheelock.edu.


Prices for Wheelock Family Theatre productions are based on where you decide to sit:
Section A (center orchestra or front mezzanine) $38.00
Section B (side orchestra or mid-mezzanine) $32.00
Section C (far right/left front orchestra or back mezzanine) $26.00
Section D (rear mezzanine) $20.00
ADA $20.00 – $38.00


Wheelock Family Theatre is a five-minute walk from the Fenway or Longwood T stops on the Green Riverside line (D train). Bus stops on Brookline Avenue and Longwood/Beth Israel are only five minutes away.


Located in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood on the campus of Wheelock College, Wheelock Family Theatre is easily accessible from Rt. 9, Rt. 2, and Storrow Drive. The theatre is located on the Riverway, between the intersections of Brookline Ave and Longwood Ave.


Wheelock Family Theatre patrons are offered discounted parking at the MASCO garage at 375 Longwood Avenue, between Brookline Avenue (Longwood Medical Area) and The Riverway. The garage is located behind Temple Israel and is only a short walk to the front doors of Wheelock Family Theatre.

To receive your discount at the MASCO Garage, Wheelock Family Theatre patrons should ask for the discounted parking ticket at the Box Office on the date of attendance.

To learn about upcoming performances and purchase tickets, visit Wheelock Family Theater’s website.

Reveal, Don’t Conceal: Ten Steps for Managing Hearing Loss in the Workplace – January, 2017

photo of Holly CohenReveal, Don’t Conceal [Link no longer available, October, 202o] is a 10-step tool for managing hearing loss at work, created by Holly Cohen for the Workplace Issue of Hearing Health, an online publication of the Hearing Health Foundation in New York City.
Holly Cohen is past president of the New York City chapter of HLAA. She is an avid theater goer – and an advocate for captioning in theaters through the Theater Development Fund (TDF), a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts. Holly coaches persons with and without hearing loss on issues related to employment. She presented a workshop on practices to reduce hearing loss stigma at the 2016 HLAA Convention in Washington, D.C.


Living Well with Hearing Loss: Gael Hannan on Tearing Down the Fence of Family Hearing Loss

Gael Hannan

Gael Hannan is a very funny woman. She is also a force for hearing loss advocacy. Among her many roles, she is editor of the blog Hearing Views on Hearing Health and Technology Matters, where she discusses important issues that impact both audiology professionals and the people with hearing loss that they serve.

Does a relative’s hearing loss cause challenges in your family?  If so, you’re a member of a very large club.

No matter how much love there is, when hearing loss interferes with the easy flow of communication, it’s easy to get irritated, annoyed and tired, over and over and over.  And it’s a shock when hearing aids don’t completely remove the problems, because that’s the nature of hearing loss.

But no matter how corny this sounds, from experience I can tell you that with time, effort, strategies and love, family communication can improve.

Ten days ago, I had cochlear implant surgery. Two years ago, I would not have believed that this change was around the corner.  And, because I haven’t yet experienced activation of the technology, I can’t imagine how I’ll be hearing two years from now.

But what I do know is that my family and friends will play a powerful role in how well I adapt to the coming changes. The following is a piece from my book, The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss:

The sharpest sting of hearing loss
Is felt in our relationships.
For some, the sting is momentary,
For others, the blow is powerful enough
To redirect traffic—  (Read on here.)

Two New Hearing Aids Win Awards For Innovation

photo of Resound Enzos deviceThe annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas January 5-8 honored two new hearing aids with awards for innovation.

Both communicate with other smart devices, a technology that already exists in other hearing aids.

But, unusually, these are for those with severe to profound hearing loss, a niche market not often addressed.

Both of these hearing aids, the ReSound Enzo pictured above and the Oticon Opn, won CES innovation awards for their ability to connect to a user’s other smart devices, including phones, tablets and even household devices such as smoke alarms. The Oticon Opn, according to the manufacturer, “can be programmed to talk directly with doorbells, smoke detectors and other smart devices.”

Actually, it’s the other way around: These devices talk to the hearing aid. Your smart doorbell, smoke alarm, lighting, safety equipment and appliances can be programmed to send a signal through your hearing aid to let you know, for example, that someone’s at the door or that the smoke detector has gone off. As Victoria Woollaston wrote in Wired , “Missing vital sounds like smoke alarms can be a matter of life and death.”  [Full story]

Learning to Live Well

Shari Eberts

I have read about the five stages of grief — denial & isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance — and they remind me a lot of the stages of hearing loss. This makes sense, because for many, myself included, the loss of hearing is something to be mourned, to be missed, to be fought. We hide it, we hate it, we ignore it, we are sad about it, and eventually we accept it, or at least the lucky ones of us do. But for people with hearing loss, these are not the only steps.

With hearing loss, it is a process of not only grieving, but also of learning to live again in a new and different way. There is fear. There is reliance on other people like doctors and audiologists. There is technology to learn, new habits to create and accommodations to request. There is acceptance, but even with acceptance there is the constant battle of self-advocacy. It is exhausting, but it is worth it.

Here are my stages of hearing loss. What are yours?  [Full story]

Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Health Foundation and Hearing Loss Association of America. In 2015 she was named a HearStrong Champion for her work to change the stigma surrounding hearing loss. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing loss. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

The Role of Volunteers in Running Strong Chapters

photo of Valerie Stafford-Mallis

Webinar: The Role of Volunteers in Running Strong Chapters, Valerie Stafford-Mallis

Date & Time: Jan 20 2017 – 2:00pm – 3:00pm


Chapter and State Organization leaders realize that our greatest need is for our members to actively participate in the responsibilities of running a chapter of state organization.  One person cannot run a strong HLAA affiliate, at least, not for long!   Many chapter and state leaders have shared great ideas and success stories in recruiting volunteers to keep the organization going in their newsletters, emails, and updates.  This webinar will share some of those tips, ideas, and suggestions with you.  You might even recognize yourself! While we can’t guarantee that EVERY suggestions will work for EVERY chapter EVERY time, the odds are very good that at least some of them will help increase member engagement in chapter-life. Please make your plans to join us for a 40-45 minute presentation with 15-20 minutes of time allocated to discussion.  The webinar will be captioned and it will be archived on the HLAA webinar portal for those unable to participate in real-time.

Your Voice in Shaping Public Policy

"Change" graphicCompetition, innovation, and consumer protection issues in hearing health care workshop to be held in April by the Federal Trade Commission.

Thursday, 01/05/2017

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it is hosting a day long workshop in Washington, DC on April 18, 2017 to examine several crucial issues raised by hearing health and technology, particularly hearing aids and devices with similar functions and features.

You can view a live webcast of the workshop on the day of the event and offer comments on the topics covered in the workshop.

The workshop will bring together researchers, health care providers, industry and consumer representatives, policymakers, and others to examine changes in hearing healthcare stimulated  by the groundbreaking NAS study, Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Access and Affordability:

  • ways in which enhanced competition and innovation  might increase the availability and adoption of hearing aids by those consumers who need them
  • how to balance consumer health and safety issues with consumer interests in greater competition and innovation and ensure consumers have access to truthful and non-misleading information about hearing health products and services.

Further information on the workshop and the public comment process, including a list of suggested questions open for comment are available on the workshop website.

A link to the webcast will be added on the day of the workshop.

The daylong workshop is free and open to the public and will be held at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St. SW, Washington, DC 20024.