July-August 2018       212-769-HEAR

Sunday, September 23
With temperatures approaching triple digits in recent weeks, cooler fall weather may seem far off. But it isn’t too soon to save the date for this year’s NYC Walk4Hearing, September 23 at 9:00 in Riverside Park, starting at 97 th Street.
Join our community of friends, family, and neighbors to help spread the word about HLAA. The theme for this year’s walk is “Get Your Hearing Screened!” The Center for Hearing and Communication will offer free screening in its mobile hearing van. For information, go to the Walk page and select the NYC walk on September 23. Or you can email
Our chapter's team - Walk New York! - already has 14 members and has raised $3,800, but we are hoping to raise far more in support of local and national HLAA activities. If you would like to join the team and/or make a donation, c lick here to go to the team page, then click the green “Join Team” box at the top right and follow the prompts.
What HLAA National Does for You
Our September guest speaker will be Barbara Kelley, the Executive Director of HLAA, visiting from HLAA headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. Barbara will talk about some of HLAA National's current initiatives, including over-the-counter hearing aids and FAA in-flight communication regulations. We will also hear about HLAA’s new brand, reflected in the magazine's name change to Hearing Life , a new logo, and a redesigned website. As Barbara points out, HLAA national and chapters share the same mission. She will discuss how our chapter can best serve national, and vice versa.

There will be time for questions and comments. Members of other chapters are invited to attend.

Tuesday, September 25
6-8 pm
Socializing and refreshments, 5:30-6 pm
The Community Church of New York Assembly Room
40 East 35th Street
 (between Madison and Park Avenues) 

If you would like to bring a snack or drink to share, email .Those contributing refreshments should plan to be at the meeting by 5:30.

CART (real-time captioning) provided by Lauren Schechter of  TotalCaption .  In addition, the meeting room is equipped with an induction loop that transmits sound directly to hearing aids and cochlear implants equipped with telecoils. An ASL interpreter will be provided with five business days notice.

by Katherine Bouton
There’s one event a year where my hearing loss is not a factor in my ability to communicate. That’s the Hearing Loss Association of America’s annual convention.

This year’s convention was held in Minneapolis from June 21 to 24. Virtually every attendee was deaf or hard of hearing – or accompanying someone deaf or hard of hearing. A few audiologists also attended; it’s great to see their interest in what people with hearing loss want and need.

The convention is a mix of lectures, workshops, parties, seeing old friends, and making new ones. The larger events – the keynote address, the research forum, the awards brunch – offer three forms of hearing accommodations: a hearing loop, CART captions, and ASL interpreters. The smaller workshop gatherings provide CART; some offer looping as well, and an ASL interpreter was available on request. It’s thrilling to be in a place that offers so many different ways to hear.

This year’s keynote speaker was Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association. Consumer electronics are playing an ever larger role in correcting hearing loss. Shapiro’s talk was a guide to this exciting new field of hearing instruments.

The three-hour Friday morning research symposium consisted of a panel of four experts who discussed listening in noise. They explained why it is so difficult for hearing aids and cochlear implants to correct for background noise, and they talked about technological innovations that might solve this problem.

As always, there was a large exhibit hall where we could try new devices, find out how to get a hearing dog, and learn how to add an app to make voices easier to understand on your smartphone. My cochlear implant manufacturer, Advanced Bionics, even made a minor adjustment to my cochlear implant at the convention, adding a small magnet to my headpiece, which had been slipping.

The themed Get Acquainted Party is always popular with newcomers and old hands alike. This year’s theme was the 1970’s, complete with Go-Go dancers and hilarious costumes. On Friday evening, Mandy Harvey, a deaf singer-songwriter who was also an America’s Got Talent winner, gave a concert for several hundred people, some of whom could not resist getting up to dance.
Saturday night, many convention attendees went to the famed Guthrie Center for a performance of the classic musical West Side Story.

Workshops on four educational tracks—Advocacy, Hearing Assistive Technology, Living with Hearing Loss, and Hearing Loss in Health Care settings—occupied the daytime hours. The health care track, a new one for HLAA, addressed how people with hearing loss can make sure an encounter with the health-care system includes clear communication between professionals and patients.

In between events, friends met for meals, strolled through beautiful Minneapolis, or took a trip to the Walker Art Museum and the adjacent outdoor sculpture park. Big nametags with large print made it easy to strike up conversations. As someone who is bad at hearing names and bad at remembering them—which makes it hard to initiate a conversation with someone new, and sometimes even with people I know quite well—I find nametags one of the most gratifying aspects of the convention.

The convention is fun—and it's also something of a relief to be the norm for a change. Next year’s convention is in Rochester, NY, home to what may be HLAA’s largest chapter as well as the Rochester Institute of Technology and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. If any city in America can be said to specialize in hearing loss, Rochester is it.
by Ruth Bernstein
On Sunday, July 15, I marched with HLAA-NYC Board members Carol Karasick, Barbara Bryan, and Rick Savadow in the fourth annual Disability Pride Day Parade, arranged by the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD). For the first time, it was cool, making it a pleasant walk. The parade, which went from Madison Square Park to Union Square Park, involved multiple groups representing New York City’s disability community. It was a lively affair, with several loud bands and much dancing and singing. At the end of the parade, the participants gathered under a tent at the north end of Union Square Park to listen to speeches by MOPD Commissioner Victor Calise, MTA President Andy Byford, Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer, and other officials. There was also enjoyable entertainment, including a singing group. HLAA-NYC thanks the MOPD for providing an assistive listening system, looping, CART, and ASL interpreters at the tent. Everyone in the hearing loss community could hear everything! We look forward to participating in the fifth annual Disability Pride Day Parade in 2019.
How a Little Boy Understands Hearing Loss
By Myra Schreibman
My three and a half year old great nephew, Aksel, is very bright, creative, and curious. After learning a new word or idea, he incorporates it into his vocabulary. 

Recently, Aksel discovered my hearing aids and wanted to know what they were. He asked his father, who explained hearing aids help people to hear just like glasses help people to see. He asked: Why don’t they have “seeing aids?”  A few days later Aksel saw his grandma (my sister), and told her "Aunt Myra has poor hear sight.” Now, instead of saying we have a hearing loss, we can say we have “poor hear sight.

No meetings in July or August

October 10
Bluetooth and Telecoils To Hear in Hearing Loops and Beyond

November 20
Accessibility Opportunities in Restaurants, Theaters, Museums, Hospitals, and Elsewhere.

December 18
Ask the Audiologist--About Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants, and Tinnitus

Location : Community Church of New York, 40 E. 35th Street (between Madison and Park Avenues)

Do you know that every department of NYC government now has someone designated to facilitate assistance to people with hearing loss and other disabilities? HLAA-NYC helped get the Local Law 27 enacted to make direct access available to all branches of city government.
The facilitators can help you to obtain CART (real-time open captioning) or confirm the availability of an assistive listening system at a meeting or event. To find the name, telephone number, and email address of these Disability Service Facilitators:
• Go to, c hoose Disability Service Facilitators from the “Resources” drop-down menu.

• Logon to the website of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD).

• Contact Eli Fresquez of MOPD at 212-788-2548, or at
 Those who are hard of hearing or deaf, have low vision or are blind, who cannot climb stairs, who require aisle seating or wheelchair locations, who are on the autism spectrum or have other developmental or cognitive disabilities, can find out everything they need to know to choose a show, buy tickets, and plan their trip to Broadway by visiting TheatreAccessNYC . I

A hearing loop is a wire that circles a room and is connected to a sound system. The loop transmits the sound electromagnetically to the telecoil (t-coil) in a hearing aid or cochlear implant. 


Thanks to advocacy efforts by HLAA-NYC members, more and more venues in the metropolitan area are now looped. Click here to see the latest list of looped sites. The list was compiled by HLAA-NYC members Alexandra Lutz and Ellen Semel.
From the Nederlander Organization
Gershwin: Wicked
Minskoff: The Lion King
Richard Rodgers: Hamilton
Lunt-Fontanne:  Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
From the Shubert Organization
Bernard B. Jacobs: The Ferryman (beginning October 2)
Lincoln Center
Vivian Beaumont: My Fair Lady

Second Stage
Helen Hayes Theater: Straight White Men (until September 9)
Irish Repertory Theater: On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (until September 6)
Westside Theatre (Upstairs Theatre): Vitaly
As the nation's leading organization for people with hearing loss, we provide information, education, support, and advocacy for the millions of Americans coping with hearing loss. Join online  or download a  membership form .
Searching for the perfect way to observe a loved one's birthday, anniversary, or special occasion, OR to honor the memory of someone special? Please consider making a gift to HLAA-NYC Chapter to support our efforts.  

You can donate  online  or by mailing a check (payable to HLAA-NYC) to HLAA-NYC Chapter, P.O. Box 602, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101. Include name and address. An acknowledgement will be mailed. Donations are tax deductible.