September 2018

The Sarasota/Manatee Chapter of HLAA
Kicks Off a New Season!

Lunch is being offered at 11:45 AM for $5 or you may bring your own lunch.
Noon, Wednesday, September 12 – Flo Innes, charter Chapter member and former owner of Advocates for Better Hearing, attended the HLAA Convention and will update us on “Assisted Listening Devices – Do They Work?”.
Noon, Wednesday, October 10 – Chris Goodier will speak about “Hearing Assistance Dogs”.  Chris will co-present with “Raylene”, who was trained at Dogs for Better Lives.
Noon, Wednesday November 14 – Sharon Rende, Au.D., Director of Audiology at Silverstein Institute, titled presentation is “The Latest in Surgical Options for Hearing Loss”.  She will address Cochlear Implants, Baha implants, the Maxim, the Soundbridge, and the Earlens options.
Noon, Wednesday, December 12 – Annual HLAA Holiday Party with Betty Comara and “Songbirds of Jazz”.
*Due to youth programs, the library has moved our time back to noon. 
President’s Message

Do allergies cause hearing loss?
Many of us are affected by seasonal allergies caused by various tree, flower and plant pollination. You know the symptoms – watery eyes, sneezing, throat itching, nasal itching, eye and ear irritation.
A severe bout of allergies can trigger hearing loss as your ears fill up with fluid and feel stuffed or swollen. Swelling may block the opening to your middle ear, prevent the Eustachian tube from draining properly, thereby, increasing the pressure and fluid – hence, the feeling of fullness. You may notice your hearing decreases even more than it already has!
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, the average loss of hearing from fluid in the ears is 24 decibels (wearing ear plugs) and can be as high as 45 decibels (the level of conversational speech). Of course, this additional loss is challenging to all of us especially, those of us who have permanent hearing loss.
Fortunately, this extra loss caused by allergies is usually temporary. Most often, your hearing returns to what it was before. If you continue to have trouble hearing well past the allergy symptoms, then see your hearing care professional.

TEAM Together Everyone Achieves More!

Anne Taylor
Hearing Loss Association of America – Sarasota/Manatee
Website –
Facebook –




Upcoming Chapter Meeting –
Wednesday, September 12th at Noon

Flo Innes was an early Chapter member, back when HLAA was SHHH. Flo owned and operated Advocates for Better Hearing, a unique storefront on Route 41 just past Bee Ridge Road where she offered every hearing assistive device imaginable.

Flo attended the HLAA Convention in June held in Minneapolis. She spent three days interacting with the 60 or so vendors and will update us on “Assisted Listening Devices – Do They Work?” 



The Chapter thanks the Sarasota Library for their continuing support of our monthly meetings. In the 2018-2019 school year, a youth program in our meeting room will necessitate an adjustment in our starting time.



Meetings will run from Noon to 1:30 PM.

The Chapter will open the room by 11:45 AM and encourages members to come early, as the Chapter will provide sandwiches, chips and cookie at a charge of $5.

It’s OK to bring your own lunch as well!


July & August Chapter Meeting Recap

“Rap Session” is a summer staple of the Sarasota/Manatee Chapter.
There is no guest speaker, just an open session to focus on your individual needs.
Attendance was good this year and sessions were facilitated by Dr. Vicki Moore of The Hearing Spa and Dr. Sharon Rende of the Silverstein Institute.

In July, our facilitators fielded numerous questions regarding criteria of Cochlear Implants. Also, what to tell your audiologist or HAS when you’re having trouble with your instruments, auditory rehab, and hearing in noisy situations.

They were both gracious to be there with our group on their own time.

Flo Innes, our September speaker, did a demonstration of an alarm clock that was unintentionally the hit of the meeting as Flo could not get it to work … and then a few minutes after she had given up, the thing went off like a rocket!

In August, the discussion ran overtime as the attendees shared knowledge and concerns about a variety of topics: selecting an audiologist; the new amplifier hearing aids; movie caption preferences; when to get a hearing aid (if you need to ask, NOW), lip reading classes; hearing aid assistance for the underprivileged; rechargeable hearing aids (may not have telecoil); recycling hearing aids; features of advertised aids and big box aids; relearning to hear apps and much more!


Upcoming After Hours Meeting –
Tuesday, October 2nd 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!

Dr. Lyndsey Nalu, Au.D. of Adept Audiology addressed “How to Make Hearing Devices Affordable” during our August 7 meeting.
Attendees learned ways to save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on hearing aids.

Dr. Nalu spoke about “Hearing Care Solutions” which can be supplemental coverage on your insurance policy or separately contracted. HCS provides access to the top manufacturers and offers large savings on the purchase of hearing instruments. Advantages and limitations were discussed. Similar to this is Tru Hearing that provides savings with audiologists that are members of the Tru Hearing plan.
She explained the Federal employees are eligible for up to $2500 off on their plan and, of course, the VA provides hearing aids and service to veterans. Attendees discussed the VA experience, as well. Dr. Nalu advised some insurance companies such as Aetna have a hearing aid plan, and many offer a reduced cost, brand limited plan for its insures.
Hearing aids are offered for those with low income through the Vocational Rehabilitation Office of which there are three in our two-county area.



Our speaker will be Elissa Moran, Outreach Manager for Florida Telecommunications Relay (FTRI), who will speak about the latest FREE technology offered by FTRI to Florida residents.
After Hours meets at the Center for Arts & Humanities
1226 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 




Click here to view the Event Calendar for Upcoming Events




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


7:00 AM to 1:00 PM – SARASOTA

Consider volunteering for a two-hour shift. On-the-job training is available at any Farmers Market Day.
Let Dave know by contacting

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: you ever wonder, “I think I read that a couple of months ago in Listen!Up”?
Well, problem solved–use the updated website to review any and all issues of Listen!Up in the past, just go to:

The Chapter’s Facebook site is limited to important medical, legal, and technical information about your hearing, and calendar reminders of upcoming events.
“LIKE” us like 1000+ others do!

On September 19 from 8:00 – 9:00 PM HLAA will present its monthly Webinar.  This month’s topic is Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI).
The Webinar can be linked live at:
Ravi N. Samy, M.D. will be the presenter. He successfully implanted a cochlear implant (CI) in the right ear and an auditory brainstem implant (ABI) in the left ear of a patient named Jessica, making her one of the few patients in the country to have both. Dr. Samy is Chief of the Division of Otology/Neurotology at the University of Cincinnati / Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He is also the Program Director of the Neurotology Fellowship and Auditory Brainstem Implant and Cochlear Implant Program.
The ABI was implanted with the CochlearTM Nucleus® 7, the first made-for-iPhone sound processor approved by the Food and Drug Administration. With the combination of the ABI and the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, Jessica can stream phone calls, video, music and entertainment.Tune in to learn about Jessica’s unique case and as well as the CI/ABI program at the University of Cincinnati/ Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.You can view this and past webinars at any time. Link to:





Manatee Technical Institute 
9AM to 4PM is the time
Saturday, October 27 is the date

The 7th Annual Hearing Tech Expo is the largest consumer hearing fair in Florida and perhaps the country outside of the HLAA national convention.
There will be over 50 exhibitors covering all aspects of technology and support,
workshops on a variety of topics and a lot of FIRSTS you don’t want to miss!

  • A clinic where one can try and compare hearing aids for FREE.                                           
  • Several breakthrough technologies among the 50+ exhibitors making their debut
  • NeoSensory will offer FREE trials of Buzz, their wristlet device that transmits sound though skin conduction.                                            
  • Envoy Medical’s Esteem, the world’s first implantable hearing aid, and Listen Technologies new Listen Talk devices providing guided tours.A special program for children with hearing loss and their parents.                                   
  • Spanish translations for the exhibits, workshops and guided tours.                                                                                            
  • A very special silent auction with bargain prices on hearing devices, services, entertainment and travel packages.      




Next Board Meeting – September 10, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Center for Arts and Humanities, 1226 N. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota

Room is LOOPED and with CART captions.


·       Nominations are open for Board elections for the 2019-2020 term.

·       The nominees will be announced at the November Chapter meeting.

·       The annual election will take place at the December Chapter meeting.



Due to term limits, several seats on the Board will be filled.

If you wish to be considered to serve as a Trustee for the next two-year term, please contact Governance Committee Chair, Richard Williams at

Dr. “Cliff” presented the HLAA Webinar on July 18 about the pros and cons of the Costco hearing aid purchase and experience.  That Webinar may be accessed at:
Dr. Cliff Olson, Au.D. recently wrote an article in “Hearing Health Matters” on this subject. He stated:
“Depending on who you talk to, pursuing hearing treatment at a Costco is either a terrific idea or a horrible one.  You hear success stories where their hearing aids are virtually indistinguishable from hearing aids that cost twice as much. You also hear horror stories about how poor their hearing aids perform compared to ones that are fit in an audiology clinic.  

Considering Costco has very similar hearing aids to those that you can find online or in an audiology clinic, you may be wondering why so many views of Costco hearing aids are on opposite ends of the spectrum.  Ultimately, it really comes down to what things are most important to you and how well those hearing aids are fit and programmed by the hearing care professional at that Costco location”.
A short video by “Dr. Cliff can be seen at this link that was prepared for “Hearing Health Matters”:

At the August “Rap Session”, many members and newcomers asked about a recommendation for an audiologist or Hearing Instrument Specialist.             
The HLAA policy is to not recommend any specific product, ENT, audiologist or hearing aid dispenser.
Although the Chapter follows this policy, we have identified professionals who endorse our 501 (c) (3)’s mission to help others through information, education, advocacy and support. They are listed on our webpage at  
Members are encouraged to review this list of professionals when considering professional services.
Additional information is also available on HLAA’s National website through its
“SEARCHABLE HEARING HEALTH CARE DIRECTORY”, a searchable hearing health care directory that enables you to look for hearing products and local hearing aid providers.
To access, click on:


The Fall classes will be held at ACE (Adult Continuing Education) Suncoast Technical School at 4748 Beneva Road in Sarasota.
Classes will be held on Wednesdays, beginning Oct. 3rd and end Dec.12th. No class will be held Nov. 21st due to Thanksgiving break.

Classes will be held at:

Suncoast Technical College
4748 Beneva Rd., Sarasota

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.



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.

Out of this World – Part 2

It was a sobering experience working at the education office in Ripley, Derbyshire. I knew I had really impressed the people who interviewed me for the job of junior clerk and was hoping that I would be able to figure out enough of what was said on the telephone to get by. No way!  Hearing on the phone was impossible and, very quickly, the small staff realized what a problem they had just acquired. Needless to say, it was extremely embarrassing and humiliating for me especially, when I was declared ‘disabled’ at 16 years old.
As a junior clerk, my duties were filing, copying, typing, mailing and making the afternoon tea at precisely 3:00 PM. No problem there as I did not need to hear to perform these duties. The fact that the senior clerk had to take the phone calls made me feel awful as that was supposed to be part of my job. The decision was made by the staff of the education office to fit me with a hearing aid.  READ MORE!



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.


Chapter Members, please note: 
HLAA sends only one notice for renewal and many members have unknowingly not renewed. 

Please check whether your membership is current by logging in at: https://17291.thankyou4caring.organd if your membership has expired, please renew (or join) by linking to:

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




 Enjoy the movies again with “Caption Glasses”! Summer is over and the Club will meet again on Tuesday, September 25.
The Club will meet around 4:00 to 4:30 PM at the Hollywood 11 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 to be included in the monthly club mailings (
It is important that you RSVP to Anne, as we need a count to reserve a pair of caption glasses.
Also, do take advantage of anywhere in North America to not only see what movies are captioned, but which device the theatre uses. 
Attorney John Waldo is a regular presenter at HLAA Conventions and is counsel to the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), a nationwide support and advocacy group. He has won major court victories to force movie theatres to caption movies. John has written a four-part series on movie captioning and Listen! Up is posting these in Private Eyes.
Part 1 and Part 2 are on the website at:


Movie Theater Captioning, Part 3 of 4: A National Requirement

The U.S. Department of Justice, which is empowered to enact regulations implementing the ADA, had shown a mild interest in movie captioning as early as 2008, when it indicated that it might enact regulations at some future time. Then in July 2010, very shortly after the Harkins decision came down, DOJ proposed regulations that would require theaters to provide captioning in 50% of their auditoriums.  READ MORE!


The 89th season of the Players Theatre begins this month.
The first show in the Broadway Series is “Annie Get Your Gun”. Our FREE tickets are for Tuesday, September 18, at 7:30 PM.
The Players offers 25 to 30 tickets to us. Reservations can be made with Chapter member John Wagner at
This is a perk of your membership – Members Only for this freebie!

Sure-shootin’ Annie Oakley can win prizes with her marksmanship, but she can’t get a man…or can she? This slice of magical American musical theatre will thrill you with the classic tunes of the legendary Irving Berlin. This revival version will have you singing right along, because we all know, “there’s no business like show business!”
Remember, only the first 12 rows at Players are looped!



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.

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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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