September-October 2018       212-769-HEAR

Bluetooth and Telecoils:
Hear in Hearing Loops and Beyond
Audiologists Juliette Sterkens and Karen MacLennan will speak about hearing loops. Learn:

• W hy you need both bluetooth and telecoils to hear in situations where hearing aids and CIs alone are unable to deliver.
• W hy orientation and programming of the T-coil are so important.
• H ow to benefit from a loop even if your telecoil is not optimally positioned or your instrument doesn't include one.
• H ow to make your telecoil work with neckloops.
• W hat questions to ask your hearing care provider to ensure the telecoil is programmed to meet your specific needs.

Attendees will receive a handout to take to their provider to enhance telecoil performance and programming.

Tuesday, October 16
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) 

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.
Walk4Hearing a Success!
by Jon Taylor, Walk New York Chairman
Although the sky was a little o vercast, the crowd of hundreds who came to Riverside Park on September 23 for the Walk4Hearing were in high spirits . Children with painted face s ate ice cream and posed for photos with Supergirl and Batman, while cheerleaders formed pyramids. Courtesy of the Center for Hearing and Communication, walkers could get their hearing tested—for free—in a van outside the entrance to the park. The crowd was able to hear the speakers with the aid of a loop, and read their comments through captioningprovided by the peerless Lauren Schechteron IPhones or on a screen.
After National Walk Organizer Ronnie Adler’s and otolaryngologist Lawrence Lustig’s welcoming remarks, prizes were awarded to the three top individual fund raisers, including two members of the NYC Chapter's team, Walk New York! — Katherine Bouton and Shari Eberts. They each raised more than $4,000. In the team category, the Walk (several of whom are featured in the photo above) surpassed the second-place team by more than $10,000. On Walk day we had raised $23,815, and with money still coming in—thanks to the hard work of Katherine, Shari, Jon Taylor, Holly Cohen, Toni Iacolucci, and Ellen Semel, all of whom were among the top ten fund raisers—soon after the walk we surpassed Walk New York!'s goal of $25,000.
Wearing green bandannas and walk t-shirts, dozens of Walk New York! team members did the two-mile walk. The approximately $125,000 of revenue from all the Walk particpants will help HLAA fulfill its mission of service and advocacy. The walk was also a huge success in advancing other important aspects of HLAA's mission: raising awareness of hearing loss, and bringing together people who have hearing loss, as well as their friends and families.
September Chapter Meeting Recap
HLAA National's Executive Director Barbara Kelley (at right, with CART provider Lauren Schechter) talked about HLAA's current initiatives. She began by stressing HLAA’s mission—to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy. The mission is being carried out, Barbara stated, by HLAA’s national organization in Bethesda, Maryland, numerous state organization, and 140 HLAA chapters across the country. Information about numerous initiatives is shared on the recently re-designed website,, and in brochures that are downloadable from the website and available in printed form.

Barbara noted, “HLAA was originally called Self Help for the Hard of Hearing (SHHH). Self-help—peer to peer support—remains today, as do the many initiatives that HLAA continues to pursue." These include the numerous Walks4Hearing, at which people with hearing loss come together to raise money for chapter programs and share stories; advocating for hearing-aid-compatible cell phones, top-quality captioned telephones, assistive hearing technology, looping of meeting halls and theaters, and over-the-counter hearing aids; and pushing to have hearing aids covered by Medicare.

Regarding airline access, Barbara pointed out that few airports have the signage and captioning that people with hearing loss need to discern airport and cabin announcements and enjoy in-flight entertainment. According to Barbara, HLAA is on a task force that aims to mandate airport and in-flight hearing accessibility.

In her concluding remarks, Barbara said, “Don’t be shy about being an advocate for yourself. HLAA founder Rocky Stone once said to me, ‘Just say yes to the future.’ I want to give that positive message. Technology and information for people with hearing loss keep getting better and better. Say yes to the future.”
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 We will compile responses and share in a future issue of News & Views.
Plan Your 2019 Smithsonian Folk Life Festival Trip Now!
By Marc Safman
Imagine having a severe hearing loss, walking into a huge public event like the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, and being handed a list of events featuring CART (real-time captioning).
I had not been to this free annual event, held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., since I was a kid, and decided it was time to go back. The 2018 festival celebrated Armenian and Catalonian culture and heritage through traditional arts, music, dance, workshops, and food. I have had low vision since my twenties. And because my hearing has not improved since an acoustic neuroma was removed from my right ear in 1986, I have come to appreciate the way CART brings cheer to life.
It can be difficult to access CART, even with prior planning, but this was not the case at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival. Every volunteer knew what I was talking about! Before a program about Armenian shadow puppetry, I chatted with Tara Stromberg, a longtime festival volunteer and owner of DC-area CART provider Hotkeys, LLC. After listening to my request, she emailed me a link to access CART on my phone, since I cannot see the screen. For the next hour I enjoyed a delightful presentation about musical instruments and history of Armenian shadow puppetry. It was refreshing to encounter so many helpful strangers!
After I returned home, I exchanged emails with Tara and with Diane Nutting, a Festival accessibility coordinator. Diane explained the Festival offers American Sign Language interpreters and Real-Time Captioning services at as many events as possible. 
The 2019 Festival, which will focus on “The Social Power of Music,” will be held June 26 to 30 and July 3 to 7 . Contact an accessibility coordinator in advance at 202-633-2921, or to make arrangements for a specific event, even if it's not on the accommodations list. For general information click here , and for accessibility information click here.
Enjoy your trip!
Upcoming Chapter Meetings
Topics Subject to Change
Tuesday, October 16
Bluetooth and Telecoils Hear Better in Hearing Loops and Beyond

Tuesday, November 20
Accessibility Opportunities in Restaurants, Theaters, Museums, Hospitals, Botanical Gardens, Zoos, and Elsewhere in New York City.

Tuesday, December 18
Ask the Audiologist —A bout Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants, and Tinnitus

Tuesday, January 15
Shared Stories About Living with Hearing Loss

Tuesday, February 19
Our Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act in the workplace, housing, the courts, hospital settings, and elsewhere.

Tuesday, March 19
Building Resilience

Tuesday, April 16
Research for a Cure. Learn about current research on the search for a medical cure for hearing loss, and for better hearing devices.

Tuesday, May 21
How to Help Family and Friends Help Us

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

Jerry Bergman Is Newest Member of the
Hearing Aid Advisory Board
HLAA-NYC member Jerry Bergman (left)  has been appointed to serve on the New York State Hearing Aid Dispensing Advisory Board (HADAB). He joins Florence Butler of HLAA’s Mid-Hudson Chapter on the 13-member committee within the Department of State’s Division of Licensing Services. HADAB advises and makes recommendations for rules and regulations pertaining to:
• The rights of hearing aid consumers.
• Registration, licensing, and continuing education of audiologists and other hearing aid dispensers.
• Procedures to increase public awareness of how to properly purchase, fit, adjust and use a hearing aid.
Remembering George Hof
by Mary Fredericks
George was one of the founding members of SHHH-MEETH, the name by which our chapter was known in the 1980s. He was always the first to help wherever needed, including laying down the early audio loop for each meeting, serving as recording secretary, and baking his marvelous cheesecake for each of our parties. George passed away suddenly on August 31 in Maryland on his way to a vacation in Georgia. Condolences may be sent to Diane Sussman 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 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, then 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, click here.
Watch Movies with Captions at
AMC and Regal Theaters
Our Favorite Hearing Loss Blogs
Discount Prices for
Open-Captioned Theater Performances
through TDF
Website for Theatergoers with Disabilties
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

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: Torch Song ( beginning October 9)
Irish Repertory Theater: Wild Abandon
Westside Theatre (Upstairs Theatre): Vitaly
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 .
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.