July-August 2019       212-769-HEAR

"My hearing is distinct in particular conversation, but confused when several voices cross each other, which unfits me for the society of the table.” Thomas Jefferson, 1819
President's Message
It’s still midsummer as I am writing this, a hiatus from HLAA’s formal program. Summer starts with Convention in June (covered elsewhere in this newsletter) and ends with the resumption of chapter meetings on September 10. Hearing loss itself doesn’t take a break, however, and I’ve used this summer to help spread the word about hearing loss through local advocacy groups, my blog, and by talking about HLAA as often as possible.

We’re excited about our chapter program schedule this year, which features great speakers, provocative topics (over-the-counter hearing aids, anyone?), CART captions, a hearing loop, snacks, and sociability. Click here to see the latest schedule on our website. Our September speaker will be the popular Terrence Williams, assistant director of the Berelson Hearing Technology Center at the Center for Hearing and Communication, talking about hearing devices and assistive technology.

The “sociability” part of our chapter meetings takes place before the formal start. Doors open at 5:30 and all are welcome to join us for snacks and casual chat. If anyone would like to contribute to the snack table, please let us know what you’d like to bring. You can email me at .

September also means the Walk4Hearing, which this year takes place on Sunday, September 22. We gather beginning at 9 AM and the Walk itself gets going with speeches, prizes, and the National Anthem (sung by Broadway veteran Catherine Fries Vaughan) at 10:30. Hearing assistance will be provided via loop, CART captions, and ASL interpretation. Details are on our website,

We’ll have teams from all over the metropolitan area, but if you’d like to help support our chapter, please join or donate to the  WalkNewYork team. Walking, by the way, is not mandatory. If you’d prefer to sit and watch, there are lots of benches along the Walk route.

It’s always a fun day, full of good spirit, dedicated volunteers and sponsors, people with hearing loss and their friends and families, children, great grandparents, and more. There’s even free hearing screening for those who think they may have hearing loss but haven’t been tested.

See you in September!

Katherine Bouton, President, HLAA-NYC
NYC Walk4Hearing
Sunday, September 22
The annual Walk4Hearing will begin at 9 AM on Sunday, September 22nd in Riverside Park at 97 th Street. For those of us with hearing loss, Walk day is a celebratory opportunity to be among others who share the challenges of hearing loss. For families, friends, and others, the Walk raises awareness of our invisible disability. Free hearing screening is available to all. There will be refreshments, cheerleaders, and activities for kids.
The portion of contributions that goes to the NYC chapter is crucial for the continuation of programs. Last year the $26,150 we raised placed our team first among NYC teams, and second in the entire country. We hope to surpass that figure in 2019. Joining the Walk New York! team will help support the activities of our chapter as well as those of the national organization. In addition to our monthly meetings, advocacy by chapter members has benefited thousands of New Yorkers with hearing loss by raising awareness of the need for access in the form of captions and hearing loops.

This is your chance to show your appreciation and help HLAA continue its programs and advocacy. It’s not too soon to sign up and make your donation. Click here to go to our team page, then click the green “Join Team” box at the top right and follow the prompts. To have your contribution credited to a particular walker, click on that person’s name on the team roster.

If you are unable to walk with us, please consider joining our team and making a donation.
Support HLAA - Become a Member
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 .
(note new date)
How to Enhance Your Hearing Aids
Terrence is a hearing instrument specialist with more than 25 years of experience working with the latest devices at the Center for Hearing and Communication. He will offer practical advice on how to get the most out of your hearing aids.

Location: Community Church of New York Assembly Room
40 E. 35th Street (between Madison and Park Avenues)
Enter through door pictured above,
then one flight down; elevator available

Socializing and refreshments, 5:30-6 pm
Meeting, 6-8 pm

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.
HLAA Convention Highlights
Rochester, NY
June 20-23, 2019
The following recap was written by HLAA-NYC board member Ruth Bernstein, pictured above receiving the Spirit of HLAA Award from HLAA-NYC chapter president Katherine Bouton. Jerry Bergman, also pictured above, received this year's Marcia Dugan Advocacy Award. 

Welcome! By describing my experiences at the 2019 HLAA convention in Rochester, New York, I’m hoping I can persuade you to come to the 2020 convention at the New Orleans Marriott from June 18 to 21.

According to HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley, I was one of 800 attendees, presenters, and exhibitors. After the Rochester New York Chapter, the HLAA/NYC Chapter was the largest group attending, with 24 members! The post-convention survey indicated 70 percent of attendees wear hearing aids and 43 percent have cochlear implants. Interesting that in the United States, of all the people who are eligible for a cochlear implant, only 5 percent receive one. Fifty eight percent of this year’s convention attendees had telecoils in their hearing aids and 40 percent in their CIs. Always ask for telecoils in your devices. They are essential connectors to the world of sound. 

I took advantage of the exhibition hall, a cornucopia of hearing equipment and advice. As a CI candidate, I had the opportunity to compare all three CI companies, meet other users, and talk with suppliers. I will receive a Med-El CI Rondo 2 on August 23.

The highlight of the opening session was the presentation by Rebecca Alexander, a dynamic young woman who learned she has Ushers syndrome—a genetic disorder that affects hearing and vision—when she was 19. The story of how she copes earned her a standing ovation. Rebecca’s talk reminded me of how fortunate I am to have all my senses, despite my profound hearing loss. All of us learn how to cope better when we share our stories.

Scott Murray, a United Airlines employee with a CI, suggested that, if you have a problem when traveling, file a complaint with the head of the company and the Justice Department. Travel companies usually respond quickly because they fear being called out in social media. Ask the company that makes your device where to get help if you have a problem. Also ask the company to provide you with a patient ID card to show TSA staff.

Socializing at the Executive Director’s reception allowed me to meet Bert Meijers, Project Manager of the Ida Institute based in Denmark. The Institute’s goal is to provide support for potential and new hearing aid users. This conversation highlighted the advantages of belonging to HLAA and having top notch audiological care (thank you staff at the Center for Hearing and Communication, NYC). The convention allows us to meet and talk with experts and consumers about areas we are interested in.

The Research Symposium: The Latest on Genetics and Hearing Loss highlighted important work being done with animals, individuals, and whole communities. What it means to me, as someone with five generations of genetic hearing loss, is that it is possible my great grandchildren can be treated for hearing loss before it becomes a problem. THAT is something to look forward to! For more details, see Katherine Bouton’s excellent blog post in this issue of News & Views.

Larry Goldberg's talk was titled Captioning: Ask Me Anything. He recommended taking photos of poor television captioning and sending them to the station, as well as complaining to the FCC and the supplier, e.g. . Participants suggested national HLAA create a CART complaints resource list.

All HLAA conventions provide an opportunity to learn more about the city we are visiting. We went to the George Eastman Museum, where we saw a captioned movie about the life of Eastman, the founder of Kodak, strolled the beautiful, flower-filled gardens, and visited the house, which has been restored to its original magnificence. I was thrilled to see my first camera, a Brownie, in an exhibition tracing the history of cameras.

The grand finale for me was receiving the Spirit of HLAA award at the banquet. It feels good to have my work and the work of other volunteers recognized. For more information, see this blog post.

I look forward to sharing new experiences with you in New Orleans in 2020!
Upcoming Chapter Meetings
Except for September meeting, chapter meetings will be held on the FIRST Tuesday of each month.
Tuesday, September 10
How to Enhance Your Hearing Aids. Terrence Williams, Assistant Director of the Berelson Hearing Technology Center, will offer advice on how to get the most out of your hearing aids.

Tuesday, October 1
Hearing Loss in the Workplace: Tips and Strategies for Optimum Functioning on the Job . . . and Beyond. Vanessa Kelly Smith, who is on the steering committee of people with disabilities at the multinational investment firm Goldman Sachs, will offer advice on how to thrive in the workplace with hearing loss.

Tuesday, November 5
Kevin Franck, Director of Audiology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and a member of the HLAA Board of Trustees, will talk about over-the-counter hearing aids and other alternatives to traditional hearing aids.

Tuesday, December 3
Improve Your Hearing Through Auditory Rehab. Elizabeth Ying, a speech-language pathologist with the Center for Hearing and Communication, will discuss ways people with hearing loss can function better in social and workplace environments, as well as with family members.

Tuesday, January 7
Shared Stories. A moderator will conduct our annual interactive meeting, where members share stories about living with hearing loss

Tuesday, February 4
The Psychology of Hearing Loss: Sudden Hearing Loss.

Tuesday, March 3

Tuesday, April 7
The Lighter Side of Hearing Loss. Gael Hannan, speaker and author of The Way I Hear It , offers a humorous look at living with hearing loss.

Tuesday, May 5


Location: Community Church of New York Assembly Room, 40 E. 35th Street (between Madison and Park Avenues).
Having Trouble with Closed Captioning on TV?
Closed captioning (CC) gives people with hearing disabilities access to television programming and provides a critical link to news, entertainment, and information by displaying the audio portion of broadcasts as text on the television screen.

If you're unhappy with the quality of the closed captioning on a specific program, make your voice heard by filing a complaint with the FCC.
It only takes a few minutes. Click here .

After you file a complaint, please let us know at
Access to City Government
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 Local Law 27 enacted to make direct access available to all branches of city government.

The facilitators can help you 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, then c hoose Disability Service Facilitators from the “Resources” drop-down menu.

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

• Contact Eli Fresquez of MOPD at 212-788-2548, or click here.
How to Have the Best Cinema Experience in NYC
Our Favorite Hearing Loss Blogs
Discount Prices for
Open-Captioned Theater Performances
through TDF
Website for Theatergoers with Disabilities
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
Hear Better with Looping
NYC Looped Venues

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 a complete list of looped sites, compiled by HLAA-NYC members Alexandra Lutz and Ellen Semel.

The following theaters offer induction loops:  

Nederlander Organization
Gershwin: Wicked
Minskoff: The Lion King
Richard Rodgers: Hamilton
Lunt-Fontanne: Manilow
Shubert Organization
Bernard B. Jacobs: Betrayal (beginning August 14)
Lincoln Center
Vivian Beaumont
Mitzi E. Newhouse: The Rolling Stone

Second Stage
Helen Hayes Theater: What the Constitution Means to Me

Irish Repertory Theater: Little Gem; Love, Noel

Westside Theatre (Upstairs Theatre)
The Little Shop of Horrors (beginning September 17)

Honor Someone with a Gift to HLAA-NYC  
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.