April 2018

The Giving Challenge is an exciting 24-hour online giving event supporting more than 625 local nonprofits that have shown a commitment to transparency by having profiles in The Giving Partner.
       The Board has not asked for any contribution since the 2016 Giving Challenge.
The Board is now asking.
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, with its partner, The Patterson Foundation, will provide for bonuses from $2,000 to $5,000 by competition among local nonprofits and match all contributions 1:1 up to $100 per donor (minimum gift of $25).
You can view our Chapter's profile in the Giving Partner at by clicking



President's Message

I have loved this Easter joke for many years. The bunny with no ears says "what?".
I got to wondering if people can hear when they have no ears. I looked it up and found that children born with a missing or deformed ear, have a disease called microtia and cannot hear on that side, but manage well with the normal ear.  However, if your ears are cut (or bitten) off, you can still hear. As you know, we hear sounds through our inner ear, so people who lose their outer ear can still hear, but not as well as when they had two ears.
Most of us manage to retain our two ears. However, some of us do not retain our hearing. People cannot see that we can’t hear because hearing loss is invisible. We have to be prepared to admit that we have hearing loss and to explain the best way to communicate with us. I know it’s not easy to admit to hearing loss. I hid mine, or thought I was hiding it, until 2009. I realize now that people would have helped me if only they had known. How could I expect them to know? I had not told them.
I joined HLAA in 2009 and met so many people who had trouble hearing. I found I was not the only person in the world with hearing loss. At the first meeting, I noticed many of the members were wearing cochlear implants and, naturally, I wondered if they would work for me. Since joining HLAA and getting cochlear implants, my quality of life has improved tremendously.
You don’t have to be alone with your hearing loss. Attend one of our chapter meetings, and you will find support, education and advocacy from the peer mentors and members.

TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More.

Anne Taylor
Hearing Loss Association of America – Sarasota/Manatee

Website – 
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Hearing.Loss.Association.of.Sarasota





Upcoming Chapter Meeting –
April 11th, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Our presentation in April will be from the Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI). Fabiola Sannon, FTRI Specialist, will tell us about FTRI in a discussion entitled, "What FTRI Can Do for You".  Some phones will be demonstrated and the library has approved a separate room for your hands on use of the phones.
FTRI is funded by telephone surcharges and is a statewide nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that administers the Specialized Telecommunication Equipment Distribution Program for citizens of Florida who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf/Blind and Speech Disabled. They are also responsible for the education and promotion of the Florida Relay System.



The HLAA Sarasota/Manatee Chapter meets each month on the second Wednesday at the Sarasota North Library, which has a hearing loop installed and the Chapter provides CART (Communication Access Real-time Captioning), so "hearing" is not stressful at all.
Members and guests are always welcome – no RSVP required!



March Chapter Meeting Recap


Deputy Karen Hicks of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office was our presenter. She spoke about "Personal Safety Issues and Avoiding Scams".
She first reminded all Sarasota County residents that "Text 911" is now operable. If you have difficulty hearing on a cell phone, you may text an emergency call.
Her presentation started with credit card frauds including "skimmer" cards used to access your credit card information. Using middle gas pumps and confirming the "click" at ATMs was recommended.
Audience participation was active. Advice from Deputy Hicks and the experiences of our own members added to the awareness we all should exercise daily to avoid the "bad guys".



Our President, Anne Taylor, and our Vice-President, Vinell Lacy greeted all by starting the St. Patrick's Day celebration a little early.
Deputy Karen Hicks spoke about frauds and scams.

Treasurer David Donnelly explained the Chapter's sources of income on our financials and the upcoming (Noon May 1 to Noon May 2) Giving Challenge. 

Our Chapter Consultant, Valerie Stafford-Mallis, followed up with additional information on the May 1 Giving Challenge.

Program Chair, Kathy Combs, introduced Deputy Hicks.

Flo Innis prepared a holiday punch enjoyed by all, along with other munchies.



Upcoming After Hours Meeting –
April 3rd at 6:00 PM

“After Hours” is the evening chapter meeting for members and guests who are unable to attend during the day. Of course, all members and guests are welcome!  By the way, cheese, snacks and products of Napa and Sonoma are served!

Chapter Board of Trustees member Mark Selis will present all the latest information on hearing aid technology. His topic, "What's New in the World of Hearing Aids and Accessories" will be of interest to all.
After Hours meets at the Center for Arts and Humanities, 1226 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.





Click on Event Calendar for Upcoming Events



FRIDAY, APRIL 20th, At 5:00 PM

Our Happy Hours are “meet and greet” get-togethers for folks that normally avoid happy hours, since they can't hear any conversation.
Happy Hour, not to be confused with our educational "After Hours", is a quarterly get together.
Stop by after work or on the way to dinner or a show. No reservations required!




Members, friends and guests will gather on Friday, April 20, at 5:00 PM in a private room – without overhead music – at Barnacle Bill's on North 41 at 5050 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.

Some attendees from the last "Happy Hour"

NEW for our April 20 Happy Hour!!
There will be FREE designated driver service from ITN Suncoast.
ITN Suncoast is a nonprofit provider of rides for seniors in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
To introduce the service, they have agreed to provide
FREE rides to our HLAA Chapter to and from the Happy Hour on April 20 and the Giving Challenge Reception on April 27.
You do not have to be a member of ITN Suncoast to take advantage of these
FREE offers.
To arrange a ride, call 941-364-7530. Website is at:
Lip-reading classes at ACE (Adult Continuing Education) will be held at the Technical School on Proctor and Beneva in Sarasota.
Classes begin Wednesday, April 25 and continue through June 6.
Sessions are 10:00 AM to Noon and are FREE thanks to an anonymous grant.


The classes are in Room 205 at the Technical School.  All students must register at the ACE office either by phone, e-mail, or in person. 
Contact the ACE office at 941-361-6590.



The time is 5 PM to 7 PM. The date is April 27. The place is Art to Walk Onat 16 South Palm Avenue near the corner of Main and Palm in Sarasota.


The Giving Challenge Reception is a FREE wine and cheese social the Friday night before the Giving Challenge, bringing to life our theme of “Be the One to Support Healthy Hearing”.
The reception will offer:

FREE hearing screenings via business partner All Ears Hearing Services Van on Palm Avenue in the front of the Art To Walk On venue and party.  
FREE audiologist consultations via business partner Adept Audiology inside to guide people on which devices are best suited for their needs.   
FREE designated driver service from ITN Suncoast to and from the event.
• Time for guests to mingle over wine and bites with our board and discuss our programs in one of the most hearing-friendly social environments in Sarasota as the many hanging rugs help dampen the crowd noise.                                   
  Be The One and Join Us!
Pictured are supporters from last year’s Giving Challenge event:





Please contact Dave Donnelly to educate and advocate for those with hearing loss at the Farmers Market normally on the fourth Saturday of each month.
Consider volunteering for a two-hour shift. On-the-job training is available at any Farmers Market Day.
Let Dave know by contacting
SATURDAY, April 28th, 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM – SARASOTA
Our monthly information and support booth offers an opportunity for people to learn how to address their hearing loss.
There are
FREE hearing screenings each month by one of HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee’s Pro Partners. If you have a friend who needs hearing help and cannot make one of our meetings, please suggest they visit us here.



Have you used our Helpful Links/Resources Page for relevant information regarding hearing loss? Click on: http://hlas.org/helpful-links/

  • Four websites that have up to date information regarding hearing loss
  • LoopFinder 
  • Hearing Aid Financial Assistance for Florida Residents
  • Hearing Aid Financial Assistance for Children
  • Assisted Listening Devices
  • Donate Used Hearing Aids
  • Help the Needy. Get Tax Deduction
  • Hearing Aids
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Auditory Training
  • Other Helpful Links


Get up-to-date information on support, education and advocacy,
and usually no more than one post a day.


Your “Like" of HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee provides much needed support for our goal to open the world of communication providing information, education, advocacy & support for the 145,000 people with hearing loss in Sarasota/Manatee counties. 

1102 LIKES and counting!


LIKE the Giving Challenge messages this month
on the Facebook page

Shares and Comments will help get the word out regarding the Giving Challenge 24-hour fundraising event, May 1-May 2.
Remember, all contributions from $25 to $100 are matched AND the Chapter has a chance for bonuses if we increase our number of contributors – a $25 contribution might be the one to trigger a bonus –





With funding from the National Institutes of Health, Gallaudet University is conducting a national study that investigates health and quality of life outcomes in deaf and hard of hearing populations (PROMIS-DHH project). To date, the University has collected data from more than 1,000 adults who are deaf or have a hearing loss who use American Sign Language. The next step is to include at least 250 more adults who are deaf or have a hearing loss and who use spoken English in this study.

The University is inviting those who became deaf or hard of hearing prior to turning 13 years old and prefers spoken English to communicate to participate in the survey project. Each participant will receive a $25 American Express gift card as a gratuity. Download the study flyer for more information.

Your help with sharing this survey project would be greatly appreciated! If there are any questions or concerns, please email deafhealth@gallaudet.edu. Gallaudet University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) has approved this study.

Gov. Rick Scott  signed a bill that will allow deaf and hard of hearing people to voluntarily identify themselves as hearing-impaired when they register a vehicle.

Now, HLAA members and friends can request this designation on their vehicle registration to alert law enforcement of hearing loss prior to their approach to a vehicle. Also, recent legislation allows the international symbol for hearing loss to be placed on your driver's license.

Under the new legislation, the information about being hearing-impaired will be included in a driver and vehicle database and in a criminal database that police routinely use.

The goal of the bill is to provide information upfront to police officers to prevent communications issues with deaf drivers that could inadvertently lead to confrontations.

Interest in protecting deaf and hard of hearing drivers came from an event where a  North Carolina man was shot and killed near his home after he didn’t pull over for police.

Under the new law, Florida drivers can voluntarily identify themselves as hearing impaired when they register cars. That information would be included in a driver and motor-vehicle database and a criminal database that police officers routinely access. 

House sponsor Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee, said giving police access to the information upfront would help “to eliminate any potential communication issue” between officers and hearing-impaired drivers. 
The new law, 2018-042 can be found at http://laws.flrules.org/node/7618.

The bill, which passed unanimously in the House and Senate and was signed by Governor Scott on March 21.

The state estimated that it would cost less than $25,000 to capture the information and include it in the driver and vehicle database as well as the criminal database used by police. 

The measure was the second bill the Legislature has passed since 2016 to address deaf and hard of hearing drivers. The other bill allows deaf people to add the international symbol for the deaf and hard of hearing to their driver’s licenses for an additional $1 charge. 


Technology to Help Hearing

LISTEN! UP has featured ADA, FCC and DOJ rules and court cases on captioning from time to time. HLAA has prepared a short summary of situations where captioning is used.


TV: Most TV programs and commercials have closed captioning which means written words of the text are displayed on the TV screen. The captions are accessed either directly by the TV’s remote or going into the menu and finding the caption options. The Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990 mandates that since July 1993, all televisions manufactured for sale in the U.S. must contain a built-in caption decoder if the picture tube is 13" or larger. Closed captions on television programs most often have a black background and white text, although different combinations are possible. 

Movies: Movies on DVD are captioned as TV shows are. Captions are turned on by turning on the captioning through the menu. 

Movie Theater Captioning: Some movie theaters offer open-captioned movies (where the word appears on the screen for everyone to see) or offer closed captioning through devices the customer must ask for. To see where captioned movies are playing in your area, go to www.captionfish.com. 

Live Theater Captioning: Some theaters offer captioned performances of live shows. 

Captioned Telephones: Show written captions of everything the caller says. The written text appears in a built-in display screen. 

CART – Communication Access Real-Time Translation: The verbatim, near instantaneous conversion of spoken language into text. A stenotype machine, notebook computer and real-time software are used to produce the text. The text is usually displayed either on a screen by a projector connected to the notebook computer, or on a notebook computer or computer monitor. People with hearing loss who use spoken language as a primary mode of communication usually use CART.


Thanks to your support during the past three Giving Challenge fundraising events our chapter has provided:
(1) Four Hearing Tech Expo & Clinics in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 attracting 2,200 residents from the Sarasota-Manatee area.
(2) 48 monthly educational programs at chapter meetings covering topics as varied as hearing aids, assistive listening devices, personal safety, effective communication strategies, and emotional well-being for 4800 community members with hearing loss.
(3) A Veteran’s Clinic that connected over 150 veterans and their families with hearing health providers, services, and assistive technology.
(4) 36 organized dinners, 12 Happy Hours, 8 wine-and-cheese receptions, and 36 live-theatre outings to looped performances at the Players' Theatre of Sarasota for 1,500 area residents with hearing loss. An additional 50 people per year attend special performances at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall benefiting our chapter.
(5) A return to the movies for over 720 individuals who took advantage of Sony caption glasses at Regal theatres and CaptiView caption devices at AMC theatres.
(6) Supported over 6,000 people at community outreach events such as the Sarasota Farmers’ Market, Chamber of Commerce gatherings, special educational presentations to service clubs and other business organizations, and similar community events.
(7) Provided 56 free hearing screenings to over 948 people at events such as: Hearing Tech Expos & Clinics, Sarasota Farmers Markets, Age-Friendly Sarasota event, Man Health Fair in Bradenton, Sertoma Hearing Health event, and other health-related functions.
(8) Advocated to, and convinced, 150 community venues (churches, theatres, restaurants, retail establishments, Sarasota City Council Chambers, Lakewood Ranch Town Hall) to provide better communication access through the installation of an induction hearing loop system that makes sound clearer to those with tele-coil switches in their hearing aids and cochlear implants.
(9) Supported over 250 people to participate in various community advocacy events supporting greater access in the community. Presenters included notable hearing loop advocates, Executive Directors of the Hearing Loss Association of America, representatives of local government, and authors of books about living well with hearing loss.


HLAA Webinars are scheduled with short notice so check for the latest schedule. http://www.hearingloss.org/content/schedule.
On March 20, Juliette Sterkens, HLAA's Hearing Loop Advocate inspired looping advocates with a presentation entitled, "Hearing Loops Don't Just Happen".



Hearing Loop Advocate Juliëtte Sterkens informed members on how to foster hearing loops in their community. This webinar reviewed how to locate supportive hearing care providers and trained hearing loop installers, how to rally support in the community for loop technology, how to “find” and leverage funding, and how to spread the good news once hearing loops are installed using social and local news media. 
You can view this and past webinars at any time. Link to:



Anne Taylor is a Bilateral Cochlear Implant user, a Gallaudet Certified Peer Mentor for the Hard of Hearing, and President of the HLAA Sarasota/Manatee Chapter.

Hang on to your Hearing!
Hearing enhances your life in so many ways.
How about listening to music, going to the movies and plays?
How about relationships with family?
How about your job?  
How about safety?

Difficulty in hearing affects all aspects of life.
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, approximately 48 million Americans have some level of hearing loss, with only 20% doing anything about it. In Sarasota/Manatee counties alone, there are approximately 145,000 people with hearing loss.
Hearing Loss is Not Always Age-related
Some of our soldiers are coming home from the wars with many life-changing injuries. Many of them say that the most challenging injury is hearing loss (most often caused by excess noise).
About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 babies in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. More than 90% of deaf or hard of hearing children are born to hearing parents. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing

Personally, I lost most of my hearing at five years old. I contracted mumps and had a tonsillectomy a few months later. My ears became infected and medication was used. Very likely, my inner ear was damaged, causing hearing loss. READ MORE!




The upcoming HLAA Convention is in Minneapolis on June 21 – 24 and the host hotel is the Hyatt Regency.


  • The opening night “Get Acquainted” party will include light fare, entertainment, and a cash bar.
  • The National Awards Breakfast & Ceremony will be held on Thursday morning.
  • The State and Chapter Awards Ceremony & Reception will be held on Wednesday evening. The awards ceremony is being split into two separate events. This ceremony will highlight state/chapter awards, while the national awards will be presented on Thursday morning.
  • The Research Symposium, Hearing in Noise, will be on Friday morning. 
  • Educational workshops will focus on: Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT), Advocacy, Living with Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids & Cochlear Implants, and Hearing Loss in Health Care Settings. 




The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the country’s leading membership and advocacy organization for people with hearing loss. As a member of HLAA, you are part of an organization with a mission to provide information, support and advocacy to people with hearing loss. Through HLAA's advocacy work at the federal level, it represents 48 million people with hearing loss in the United States.

If you prefer to mail-in or fax your membership form, please download the membership form [PDF] for your convenience.

Chapter Members, please note:
HLAA sends only one notice for renewal and many members have unknowingly not renewed. 
You can check whether your membership is current by logging in at:
https://17291.thankyou4caring.org and if not, please renew (or join) by linking to: http://www.hearingloss.org/content/join.
                                          THANK YOU!


If you have any questions on membership, please feel free to contact Anne Taylor at http://hlas.org



Enjoy the movies again with "Caption Glasses"!
Join us at our next "meeting" on Tuesday, April 24.
The Club will meet around 4:00 to 4:30 PM at the Hollywood 11 (new name as they remodeled losing 9 screens) on Main St. in Sarasota.
A roundtable "review" – and other conversation – follows at a restaurant within a short walking distance of the theatre.

HLAA members are entitled to a FREE movie ticket with their first outing with the Movie Club. Those interested should contact Anne Taylor (anne7257@gmail.com) to be included in the monthly club mailings.
It is also important that you RSVP to Anne, as we need a count to reserve a pair of caption glasses.

This is another “Members Only” perk, a great benefit of our nominal membership dues.



Illusionist Rick Thomas … Nothing Happens Until You Dream!
Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 – 8:00 PM
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Hearing Loss Association of America Sarasota/Manatee Chapter has been invited to participate in in the Van Wezel Foundation Community Outreach Grant Ticketing Program. 
The Sarasota/Manatee chapter is fortunate to be able to offer 50 tickets at discounted prices!Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis for $10, which includes a $5 charitable deductible donation to HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Chapter.

Only $10 each ticket!
Nearly a sellout, check with Anne Taylor at
TheatreClub@hlas.org if you wish to attend. Make checks payable to HLAS.


Thanks to HLAA Sarasota/Manatee Chapter and The Selby Foundation, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is looped! 
This is another “Members Only” perk, a great benefit of our nominal membership dues. 


838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

If you attend a performance, thank them for the loop.
If you use the box office in person, thank them for the loop.


The 2017-2018 Players Theatre Broadway Series is over but check Listen!Up next month for FREE summer series ticket information. Players is looped!



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Hearing Loss Association of Florida

The Hearing Loss Association of Florida, Inc. (HLAA-FL), a Voluntary non-profit organization, is dedicated to the well-being of the more than 3-million Floridians of all ages and communication styles with hearing loss.

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