Special Guest Chapter Meeting – Sat., June 12, 2021

ALDA logo

ALDA and Boston Chapter HLAA present
“Meet and Greet with Jeopardy”
Special guest Commissioner Sotonwa
from the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Saturday June 12th, 2021  from 4:00 -6:00 pm via Zoom.  *Link to be sent to mailing list members closer to the date.  Newcomers – please email hearatboston@gmail.com

Join us for an interactive Jeopardy game (with questions from the Commissioner himself), plus
socializing and learning from peers living with hearing loss.

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.)

Tina Childress: Amplify Your Audiology Appointment, October 15, 2016

With her dual perspective as an audiologist, late-deafened adult and bilateral cochlear implant recipient, Tina shares with  the audience  strategies to best communicate with their audiologists during appointments.   We discuss some terminology, important information to share and resources for continued learning.

Tina ChildressTina Childress, AuD, CCC-A is an educational audiologist in mainstream and residential school settings, technology and social media aficionado, late-deafened adult and bilateral cochlear implant recipient. With her unique perspective and passion for sharing information through social media, she is a sought out international presenter and adjunct lecturer to families, adults and professionals on a variety of topics but especially Hearing Assistive Technology, apps, cochlear implants, advocacy and effective strategies for coping with hearing loss.  Dr. Childress is active on many local and national Boards and Committees where she is a strong advocate for accessibility and disseminating resources.  Among the honors she has received, Tina was a  2013 recipient of the Oticon Focus on People Awards, which honor outstanding individuals who prove that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to live a full, productive, and even inspiring life.

Dusty Jessen: Five Keys to Communications Success

Rehabilitation Audiologist Dusty Jessen will present  on “Five Keys to Communication Success” at Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary on May 1, 2016.

About this program:

Dusty Jessen, Au.D., C.C.C.-A.
Dusty Jessen, Au.D., C.C.C.-A., is a practicing audiologist committed to integrating an aural rehabilitation program of communication management strategies into the services she offers her clients.

Accurate communication exchanges are critical to creating and maintaining quality relationships in the home, the workplace, and the community. After a decade of working with people who are frustrated by hearing loss, Dr. Jessen has found that most of her patients and their family members experience similar communication challenges. While hearing aids and hearing assistive technology has improved drastically over the past decade, they remain only a partial solution to communication breakdowns. Communication is a complex puzzle that can only be solved when all the pieces are placed properly.

In order to make this process easy and effective, Dr. Jessen has developed a simple tool called the “Five Keys to Communication Success.” When used consistently, these five keys can effectively conquer communication breakdowns in nearly any situation and empower those with hearing loss to take a global look at communication, and make the necessary changes to create a situation where communication success is possible.

The Five Keys also empower friends, family members, and co-workers of those with hearing loss to play an active role in ensuring a successful communication exchange.

This presentation will teach the participants how to apply the Five Keys to Communication Success in several of the most difficult communication situations. Special attention will be given to the various hearing assistive technologies (HAT) that are available today, and how those can be utilized in various situations.

The stories, education, and practice provided by this seminar will ensure that each participant is equipped with the Five Keys to Communication Success!

CART provided.  Parking vouchers  available to attendees.

Mike Harvey: Nurturing Resilience In the Face of Hearing Loss, April 5, 2016

An Evening Program with Mike Harvey, Ph.D.: “Nurturing Resilience In the Face of Hearing Loss,” lecture & experiential role playing, on April 5, 2016 at the Brookline Library, Coolidge Corner branch.

Mike Harvey, Ph.D.Mike Harvey is one of our most important resources for learning to skillfully negotiate the emotional impact of hearing loss.  His workshop combines lecture with experiential role playing and focusses on the effects of several dysfunctional, disempowering thoughts as well as the more functional, empowering thoughts that many persons with hearing loss experience.

Dr. Harvey is a clinical psychologist specializing in emotional issues related to hearing loss. He provides consultation and training on hearing loss, vicarious trauma and mental health issues. In addition to his private practice in Framingham, MA, he is an adjunct faculty member at Boston University and a consulting faculty member at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Department of Audiology. Dr. Harvey is a frequent contributor to HLAA’s award-winning Hearing Loss Magazine.

HLAA Boston Launches 2015-2016 Speaker Series at Arsenal Center for the Arts

HLAA Boston launched its 2015-16 Speaker Series at Arsenal Center for the Arts!

New Rep’s Charles Mosesian Theater, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA 02472

HLAA Boston Chapter begins its new season of Speaker Series events with a theater-based hearing loop demonstration project in collaboration with New Rep Theater at Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown.

The project consisted of a schedule of hearing-accessible performances of the Arthur Miller play “Broken Glass” in the Charles Mosesian Theater at Arsenal Center for the Arts. The theater was  looped for the duration of the project. As part of this collaboration, HLAA Boston presented a Hearing Assistive Technologies Workshop on Saturday, September 19 .


Hearing Assistive Technologies (H.A.T.) Workshop

Paul CzechPaul Czech, an experienced user of Hearing Assistive Technology (H.A.T.) and graduate of HLAA’s H.A.T. training program, conducted a workshop on hearing assistive technologies emphasizing devices that work with the telecoil. (The telecoil – or “t-coil” is a small copper coil that is an option on most hearing aids and is built into cochlear implant processors. As part of this workshop, Paul explored the effectiveness of hearing loops in large area listening situations such as those involving theater and other public events.

This exciting workshop included an opportunity for theater patrons and workshop attendees to ask questions and offer comments about the effectiveness of listening in a looped environment.


Mr. Czech is an attorney who suffered a profound hearing loss in 2011 and is now a bilateral Cochlear Implant recipient. As a matter of necessity Paul began exploring Assistive Listening Devices in his efforts to continue his law practice by being able to properly represent his clients in a court room setting. This exploration took him to a number of hearing loss and audiology conferences as part of his quest for the best hearing enhancement systems. He attended a training session in Bethesda, Maryland at the HLAA National Headquarters and is now certified in the use and understanding of Hearing Assistive Technology. Please join us on September 19    at New Rep when Paul will be sharing his acquired insight into these necessary and very useful technologies.

“Broken Glass” by Arthur Miller, directed by Jim Petosa 

Broken Glass graphicThis powerful, Olivier Award-winning, and Tony-nominated drama is presented as part of a national celebration of the centennial of the birth of playwright Arthur Miller. It is November 11, 1938, the day after Kristallnacht, when Sylvia Gellburg loses the ability to walk. Her husband Phillip desperately seeks to find the cause. After consulting Dr. Harry Hyman, it’s determined that her paralysis may have been psychosomatically induced. Hyman’s obsession with curing Sylvia uncovers a complex tangle of egos, resentment, and guilt, as well as Phillip’s own paralyzing struggle with his Jewish identity.

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HLAA Boston Chapter extends deepest appreciation to our sponsor, Shanahan Intelligent Sound & Video Integration.

Listeners with Hearing Loss and Their Communication Partners – How to Make It Work, May 9, 2015

audience at "Listeners with Hearing Loss and Their Communication Partners – How to Make It Work"An audience of 35 attendees joined together  with psychologist Sam Trychin and rehabilitation audiologist Dusty Jessen at our half-day communication strategies symposium.   The gathering provided a rich opportunity for participants to  acquire information and tools for preventing and reducing hearing loss-related communication difficulties and staying in better touch with our communication partners (and ourselves.)

Attendees enjoyed lunch on the patio at Cornerstone Village Co-housing and received a copy of Dr. Jessen’s manual for hearing loss management, “5 Keys to Communication Success.”

About our presenters:

Sam Trychin is a psychologist in private practice who focuses on psycho-social interventions for people who have hearing loss and their communication partners.  Among his many roles as a therapist and educator, Dr. Trychin serves as the Mental Health and Rehabilitation Advisor to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). He has written 15 books, authored several professional book chapters and journal articles, and produced a variety of DVDs focused on strategies for living better with hearing loss. He and his wife, Janet Trychin, an audiologist, frequently conduct workshops and training programs together. Dr. Trychin serves as a faculty member of the Ida Institute of Denmark studying best practices in hearing loss treatment as well as the relationship between persons with hearing loss and their hearing healthcare providers. He has also been Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Living with Hearing Loss Program at Gallaudet University.

Once at the root of the audiology profession, aural rehab has become an often difficult-to-access component of hearing healthcare. Dusty Jessen, Au.D., C.C.C.-A., is a practicing audiologist committed to integrating an aural rehabilitation program of communication management strategies into the services she offers her clients. Her successful “5 Keys to Communication Success” system of materials for patients, their families and friends and hearing healthcare professionals has been widely received as an effective, powerful instrument that can help people with hearing loss to achieve improved communication and well being. Dr. Jessen teaches about her approach to aural rehab at professional conferences and through her writings in the ASHA Leader and has presented a webinar on the HLAA website as well as a workshop at the HLAA Convention.

Thanks to our sponsors:

  • Massachusetts Academy of Audiology
  • Caption Call
  • Hamilton Relay
  • Medel
  • Oticon
  • Advanced Bionics


Living Well With Hearing Loss: Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants – And Other Important Solutions, April 11, 2015

Living Well With Hearing Loss: Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants – And Other Important Solutions

When: Saturday, April 11, 2015

Where: Cornerstone Village Common House, 175 Harvey St., Cambridge, MA

Twenty five participants joined with loops advocate Juliette Sterkens, Au.D., for a breakfast meeting-presentation on all things hearing: hearing loss, hearing aids, t-coils, hearing loops and cochlear implants.

In a 2013  issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, audiologist Juliette Sterkens noted  that her long term goal is to make America more accessible for people with hearing loss and to be remembered as someone who helped her many patients enjoy life because of the audiology services she provided.   Dr. Sterkens is well on her way to achieving those ends.

The recipient of a number of prestigious awards from professional organizations and HLAA, Dr. Sterkens has conducted a wildly successful accessibility initiative in her hometown Osh Kosh, Wisconsin and, now retired from active practice, continues to work as a hearing loops advocate.  Dr. Sterkens travels across the country, working with HLAA chapters and hearing healthcare patient and professional groups to increase awareness about hearing loss the need for expanding the number of hearing-friendly places.

Aural Rehabilitation – The Gold Standard in Hearing Health Care

This program offered an understanding of aural rehabilitation (“A.R.”) and how it supplements and enhances audiologic care that focuses primarily on hearing aids and cochlear implants.  We learned about some of the specific A.R. practices in audiology and how they can help people with hearing loss to increase well being and communication success.

Dr. Cienkowski’s work as an audiologist is distinguished by her commitment to the investigation and development of models for patient centered care.  Currently, she is Associate Professor of Audiology in the School of Communication Disorders at University of Connecticut in nearby Storrs, just an hour south of Boston.  As Director of the Aural Rehabilitation Laboratory at UConn, Dr. Cienkowski explores the development of aural rehabilitation programs that will improve the use and benefits of amplification and studies the psychological and social issues underlying acceptance of amplification. Among her many contributions to the field of hearing loss treatment, Dr. Cienkowski has served in a variety of leadership capacities with principle audiology professional organizations, helping to inform fellow audiologists about the relevance of A.R. as an important component of hearing healthcare.  She is a regular contributor to HLAA New England chapter programs.