Know Your Rights to Access! Legal Advocacy Presentation (Virtual) Jan. 22nd 4-6pm

HLAA- Boston’s January 22nd presentation will feature Dr. LeWana Clark from the Disability Law Center whose mission is “To provide legal advocacy on disability issues that promote the fundamental rights of all people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of Massachusetts.”
LeWana will tell us a little about the organization and what she does there.  She’d like to get questions and feedback, and ideas on how they can be of help.
And, if time allows, our own Carol Agate will talk about problems she has run into with advocacy, including early voting, jury discrimination, CART, and requests for ALDs at events.
Link to be sent to mailing list members closer to the date.  Newcomers – please email

Medicare Coverage for Hearing Aids – Write to your Senator

News from HLAA National Office…

HLAA is thrilled to announce that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act of 2021 (H.R. 5376) on November 19, 2021. The Build Back Better Act of 2021 includes the expansion of Medicare to cover hearing aids and services.

HLAA has spent years supporting the idea of Medicare coverage of hearing aids and hearing health services. This year, HLAA spent our time since the spring in talks with members of Congress and key committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate, encouraging them to vote YES! to expand Medicare to include hearing aids and services. That would mean for the first time, seniors who rely on Medicare to pay their medical bills would also be able to turn to Medicare to cover the cost of hearing aids and related services. We are happy to report that the U.S. House of Representatives listened!

Proposed Coverage

The provisions for hearing aid and hearing health care coverage include:

This legislation also contains certain limitations, such as covering hearing aids – one per ear – not more than once during a 5-year period, only for hearing aids that are not over-the-counter hearing aids, for people with moderately severe, severe, or profound hearing loss. These hearing aids can be furnished by a written order of a physician, an audiologist or a hearing aid specialist.

What Can You Do?

The Build Back Better Act does not become law until both Houses come to agreement on the final language. Write to your U.S. Senators to urge them to include Medicare coverage of hearing aids and hearing health care services with a bill that mirrors the one passed by the House.  There is still time to push this to the finish line! We can get this done!

Drawn from article on HLAA national website:

U.S. House of Representatives Expands Medicare to Cover Hearing Aids



Virtual Meeting With Special Guest Geoff Plant, Nov. 20, 2021


Boston Chapter HLAA Virtual Meeting

Special guest Geoff Plant from Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation.

The major focus of the Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation (HRF) is to support people with hearing loss who have cochlear implants and hearing aids. Although these technologies have improved greatly over the past twenty years, many people with hearing loss still experience difficulties understanding speech.

HRF is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization established in 1996 to provide and promote speech communication training for adults and children with hearing loss.
From the website

Saturday, November 20th from 4-6PM via Zoom

Link to be sent to mailing list members closer to the date.  Newcomers – please email

Join us to learn about aural rehab, and socialize with peers living with hearing loss.

Open Captions in Theaters are Back! And Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Update

Theaters are opening for live audiences again! The first open captioned performances in our area start this weekend.  There is also good news to share on the OTC hearing aids.

Boston Opera House OC Performances

The following performances have been identified as OC:

  • Hadestown: 11/6/2021
  • Pretty Woman: 1/22/2022
  • To Kill a Mockingbird: 4/9/2022
  • Ain’t Too Proud: 4/23/2022
  • Wicked: 6/11/2022
  • Anastasia: 8/20/2022
  • Hamilton: 1/21/2023 and 3/4/2023

The times and links for tickets are on their website:

  Trinity Rep OC Performances

The following performances have been identified as OC:


  • A Christmas Carol: 11/7, 12/1, 12/2, 12/3, 12/4, and 12/5/2021
  • Tiny Beautiful Things: 1/16, 2/9, 2/10, 2/11, 2/12, and 2/13/2022
  • Gem of the Ocean: 2/27, 3/23, 3/24, 3/25, 3/26, and 3/27/2022
  • Sueno: 4/10, 5/4, 5/5, 5/6, 5/7, and 5/8/2022
  • Fairview: 5/22, 6/15, 6/16, 6/17, 6/18, and 6/19/2022

Trinity Rep also has new assistive listening devices.  They offer the RF option where you borrow the new receiver with a headphone or neck loop.  They also offer a new option using the Listen Everywhere app on your own smartphone.  You can see more information about this and the times for the OC performances on their website:

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids

The FDA released proposed rules for over-the-counter hearing aids that made national news.  The idea is that people with a mild-to-moderate loss can purchase a low-cost hearing aid that safely amplifies sound with simple tuning across the frequencies.  HLAA supports this effort to improve access to hearing aids and encourage technology innovation that will lower the cost of hearing aids.  There is more information on this ruling and background information on OTC hearing aids on the HLAA website:

PATIO PICNIC PARTY! Saturday September 18, 2021


Saturday, September 18th from 4:00 -6:00 pm

The patio is behind 175 Harvey St. at Cornerstone / Cambridge

Join us for BBQ, socializing, and learning from peers living with hearing loss. Hamburgers/hot dogs, watermelon and beverages provided.

If your last name begins with A-N, please bring a dessert; if M-Z, please bring an appetizer.

 For the safety of all, COVID vaccinations are required.

By car: Please note #175 isn’t on the street. For parking- ignore the “permit parking only” signs because the city has granted an exemption on Harvey and Jackson. Walk up the driveway and the common house is to your right. The patio is on the left side of the common house. From Route 2, the Cornerstone buildings are straight ahead at the end of Jackson.

By the MTA:  Take the red line to Alewife, the last stop. There are exits on both ends of the platform: take the Russell Field/North Cambridge exit. Walk straight so the exit door is behind you and turn left before the field house. Follow the path around two sides of the field to the exit. When you exit onto the street Cornerstone is across the street on your left. Walk down the row of townhouses and turn left on the driveway between #181 and #173. The common house is on your right. It’s about a five-minute walk.

By #77 bus: If heading north toward Arlington: Get off at Cameron Ave. Cross Mass Ave at the light. If heading south toward Harvard Square: Get off at Cedar. You are now at Harvey St. Walk down Harvey St. almost to the end.

You will see two townhouses on the right (#171 and #173). Just past the two townhouses, turn right into the driveway. Our building, #175, is the four-story one to the right.


Would You Enjoy a Book Club With Other Book Lovers with Hearing Loss?

Do you love to read?  Do you love to discuss books?  And, would you love doing it in a setting that is comfortable and safe with others sharing a common bond of hearing loss?

Did you know that the HLAA Boston chapter has a book club that has been meeting monthly, excluding summers, for approximately the last 7 years and we are looking for more members for fall 2021.
We are 7 members now and would like to keep our numbers relatively small (no more than 10), but there is always the possibility of a 2nd group.   Currently, we’ve been meeting remotely, but this could change in the fall depending upon vaccination status.  We choose the books we plan to read for the year in September to make it easier for everyone to obtain the book and we rotate meetings at various members’ houses (carpooling, if necessary).
If you are interested, please contact Sue at

2021 HLAA Virtual Convention

HLAA 2021 virtual convention

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow at HLAA’s Virtual Convention where will learn more about the latest in hearing health, and how to live well with hearing loss.

Click here to register!

Please view the following tips for accessing the Showcare virtual platform to guarantee the best viewing experience.

  • If you are registered for the Virtual Convention, check for an email from HLAA Virtual Convention 2021 with instructions on how to access the HLAA Virtual Convention platform. The virtual platform is run by Showcare.
  • The Virtual Convention platform is where you access all sessions and visit the virtual exhibit hall.
  • We highly recommend you activate your account and familiarize yourself with the platform BEFORE the Virtual Convention begins on Thursday, June 24. There will be step-by-step instruction pop-ups when you log in for the first time. We strongly encourage you to follow these instructions.
  • Please note that the virtual platform only supports CHROME, FIREFOX or SAFARI. Microsoft Edge is not supported.
  • For the best experience and to avoid connection issues, it is best to be hardwired (via an ethernet cable to a router), or at least have a strong, reliable Wi-Fi internet connection. It is also recommended that you disconnect from any VPN (i.e., Citrix), as this can block your access to the platform.
  • If you need any help before or during the convention, please email Amanda Watson at

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

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

Boston Chapter Meeting – Sat., June 12, 2021 4:00 – 6:00 pm

COMING UP!  Boston Chapter HLAA meeting

Saturday June 12th via Zoom*

4:00 – 6:00 pm 

*Link to be sent to mailing list members closer to the date.  Newcomers – please email

  Join us for socializing and learning from peers living with hearing loss.

Possible presentation by Commissioner Sotonwa from the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  

More details to come!  Mark your calendars!