You are on page 1of 9

News & Views

October 2009 E-mail:
Hearing Loss Association of America exists to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy, and support.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 5:30 – 7:30 PM (Socializing at 5:30; program begins at 6:00.) Noise — Impact on Hearing Loss and Health SPEAKER: Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D. MEETING LEADER: Mary Fredericks
Dr. Bronzaft will address how noise affects our health, concentration, communication, and learning ability. She will talk about pending legislation in this area we should support, how to advocate for lowering the decibel levels around us, and why a quieter society is a healthier, more respectful one.

Editor’s Corner – Elizabeth Stump

Welcome to the October 2009 issue of the HLAA-Manhattan News & Views! On October 18, the Manhattan Chapter will be having its second annual Walk4Hearing. Come for the beautiful scenery (Riverside Park), the camaraderie, and the chance to demonstrate that hearing loss is to be taken seriously. The funds we raise will go toward education and advocacy so that we can spread awareness and help reverse the stigma of hearing loss. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to do your part! (See pg. 4 for the Walk location/time and to read about several participants.) Two days after the Walk4Hearing, we’ll be convening as a Chapter for our monthly meeting. Arline Bronzaft, Ph.D., Noise Committee Chair of the Mayor's Council on the Environment of New York City and Professor Emerita of Psychology at Lehman College, will explain the impact of noise on our mental and physical health. In a discussion of the Federal Noise Control Act, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency's responsibilities regarding noise, and the NYC Noise Code, she’ll tell us how we can lessen the noise in our environment. Dr. Bronzaft has conducted significant research on noise and learning, and is a prolific author of both academic and non-academic articles and books. She was involved in the rewriting of the revised 2007 NYC Noise Code. She is the author of a children's book, Listen to the Raindrops, which teaches young children about the beauty of sound and the dangers of noise. The book has been reprinted by the Department of Environmental Protection of NYC and will be distributed to NYC schools this fall. Speaking of reading material, see the ‚Bookworm

Location MUHLENBERG LIBRARY BRANCH 209 West 23rd St. (between 7th and 8th Ave., closer to 7th) 3rd floor—elevator available

NOTE: Assistive listening help is provided at our meetings through live CART captioning and a room loop for those whose hearing aids have a T-coil. Headsets are also available.

Next Month’s Meeting: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 5:30 PM Topic: How to Survive the Holidays with Hearing Loss Speaker: Arlene Romoff

2 Corner‛ on page 5 for several interesting picks. Note the feature box on resources and news for cochlear implant recipients on page 3. As always, page 7 is filled with information on theater shows, films, and museums with captioning, so don’t forget to take advantage of these entertainment sources. Lastly, the Chapter is looking for volunteers to help mail the monthly issues of News & Views. If interested, please contact the Manhattan Chapter at (212) 769-HEAR (4327) or See you at the Walk4Hearing on the 18th and the Chapter meeting on October 20th!
C H A P T E R P L A N N I N G C OM M I T T E E HLAA Manhattan Chapter Phone Number: (voice) (212) 769-HEAR (4327) Barbara Bryan, Chapter Social Activities Barbara Dagen, Newsletter Committee Mary Fredericks, Secretary (212) 674-9128 Joe Gordon, Chapter Advocacy Consultant Toni Iacolucci, NYC Walk4Hearing Co-chair; Advocacy Committee Chair
Shera Katz, Web Site Coordinator

Manhattan Chapter Annual Dues
Reminder: Please renew your Chapter dues! Mail or hand the completed form on the back of the N&V, along with your check for $15 payable to HLAA-Manhattan, to Mary Fredericks. It covers your one-year membership for the period September 1, 2009, to August 31, 2010.

Elizabeth O’Leary Anne Pope, Immediate Past President, HLAA Board of Trustees; NYC Walk4Hearing Co-chair Ellen Semel, Planning Committee Chair (212) 989-0624 Susan Shapiro, Treasurer Dana Simon, Liaison for NYPL Elizabeth Stump, Chapter Newsletter Editor Diane Sussman, Posters and Flyers

National Dues Reminder
We hope you will also join or renew your membership in our national organization. Your separate $35 check for annual dues (see back page) is vitally needed to help support the educational and advocacy work we do at the national level. Your membership also includes a subscription to Hearing Loss Magazine.

GoodSearch Helps HLAA Search the Internet and donate to HLAA at the same time! This is possible by using the site ‚GoodSearch‛ — just like Google or Yahoo, it allows a user to type in a keyword and gives you instant results. However, only GoodSearch donates money to the non-profit of your choice each time you utilize the site, and it costs you nothing. Go to to get started. Make it your homepage so you won’t forget to visit it regularly!

Advisory Members Amy McCarthy, Lois O’Neill, & Robin Sacharoff Professional Advisors: Josh Gendel, Technical Director, Center for Hearing

and Communication (CHC)
Laurie Hanin, Ph.D, CCC-A Exec. Director, CHC Joseph Montano, Ed.D., Director, Hearing & Speech, Weill Cornell Medical College


tinnitus, and this is another area of research. Adams recommends sufferers avoid silence at all times to minimize the phantom sounds. Even when the auditory nerve is severed, tinnitus can continue. And, tinnitus can occur or disappear after a cochlear implant. There have been reports that resveratrol (present in red wine) can be helpful in preventing hearing loss from noise – but it would require the consumption of hundreds of bottles per day! For more information, contact Susan Adams in the audiology department at CHC: 917-305-7751.

Susan Adams, the Coordinator of the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Center at the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC), spoke on tinnitus and hyperacusis, which are conditions of the auditory system that have challenged professionals for decades. They are both sound tolerance problems. Tinnitus is a phantom auditory perception (you hear a sound not audible to others and it bothers you). Hyperacusis is a reduced tolerance to sound where there is normal hearing or only a mild loss. Another problem is recruitment, which is a reduced tolerance to sound where there is hearing loss; the hair cells are dysfunctional due to sensorineural hearing loss. When tinnitus arises, the first step should be to see an otologist (ear doctor) and an audiologist with expertise in the condition. Don’t panic; in most cases there is no serious medical condition or anything anatomically wrong with the auditory system. The auditory system is trying to compensate for information not coming into the auditory cortex. Tinnitus does not usually worsen with age; it does not cause hearing loss but is often a side effect of hearing loss. There are no cures for these conditions, but they can be treated. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) has been in use for about 12 years and is offered at CHC. Neuromonics is relatively new and not yet available at CHC. Some potential causes of tinnitus are noise exposure, certain types of medication, ear wax, middle ear infections, Meniere’s disease, Lyme disease, acoustic neuroma, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, traumatic head injury, stress, TMJ, and even weather changes. High-fat diets, sweets, caffeine, and alcohol often exacerbate the problem. The goal of TRT is to eliminate the annoyance by habituation: you hear the sound, but the brain puts it into the background. This happens with two components: education, and using the sound around you. Other treatments include counseling, acupuncture, behavioral (talk) therapy, and biofeedback. Anything that relieves stress is beneficial to coping with tinnitus. The use of neutroceuticals (dietary supplements) such as EarAid, Lipoflavinoid, and antioxidants is being studied by pharmacologists and audiologists. PET scans have shown that blood flow to the brain affects

Cochlear Implant Corner *The Sound and WAY Beyond CD from Cochlear Americas is a new interactive rehabilitation program for cochlear implant (CI) recipients, enabling them to practice recognition of words and sentences at varying skill levels. The CD is available to all CI recipients but is offered at a reduced price for Nucleus recipients. Go to for more information. *The FDA has approved the Nucleus 5 CI System from Cochlear Americas for adults and kids with severe-to-profound hearing loss. For more info., go to *The new Connect the Mentor Web site from CI manufacturer Advanced Bionics allows CI candidates to contact volunteer ‘mentors’ — parents of kids with CIs, relatives of recipients, and adult recipients — and also communicate directly with hearing loss professionals. Share your experiences and ask questions at *Check out Cochlear Americas’ HOPE program — Habilitation Outreach for Educators, Parents, and Adults, at — for tips and resources. Learn how to help your child succeed in the classroom, or take an eseminar for online support. October e-seminars include adult courses and parent/children courses, both live and recorded: courses.asp?cp_pid=6.


Metropolitan Calendar
Sunday, Oct. 18: NYC Walk4Hearing, in Riverside Park; Enter at W. 83rd St.; 9AM registration Tuesday, Oct. 20: HLAA Chapter meeting Sat., Oct. 31: Trick-or-Treat! Happy Halloween! Sunday, Nov. 1: Fall Back! Tuesday, Nov. 17: HLAA Chapter meeting Thursday, Nov. 19: Center for Hearing and Communication Cochlear Implant Support Group 50 Broadway, 2nd Floor; 5:30-7 PM *For more information, call (917) 305-7751 or e-mail Sunday, Nov. 29: HLAA Founder’s Day

Meet Michael Ratner
Michael, a contractor and head of a97-year-old family construction company, is walking with his wife, Marilyn, and 15 friends and relatives in the Walk4Hearing as Team Ratner. ‚I found out I was deaf in my right ear when I was in fourth grade and kids’ hearing was tested in school. Before that, I must have compensated so well that no one noticed. I didn’t wear a hearing aid until I was 30 and found out about a Cros aid that brought the sound to my good ear through my glasses. Because I could never hear anyone while driving in a car, in the 1970s, I bought a right-hand-drive English sports car and was finally able to talk with my family in the vehicle. ‚When MRIs became standard, I found out that I have neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), which is characterized by bilateral acoustic neuromas on the auditory nerves. NF2 probably caused my hearing loss. I had surgery on the right ear a few years ago and now am totally deaf in that ear and my hearing loss is quite severe in my ‘good ear.’ ‚When you can’t hear well, and struggle to communicate with someone who is unaware, they think you are dumb and treat you in a condescending way. But I never let my disability keep me from being active and succeeding in my professional and personal life. As an engineer and a huge fan of technology, I’m tireless in pursuing and acquiring the latest technological assistive devices. In addition to amplified phones and headsets to listen to TV and music, I recently bought a Companion Mic — and it is great in restaurants and on trips. It entails me wearing a receiving device and my companions wearing microphones around their neck. When I go to public places like theaters and the hearing devices offered don’t work or are not really helping, I’m determined to make those in charge understand that this is unacceptable. I believe I have sensitized a lot of people by speaking up. ‚I became involved with HLAA when my wife Marilyn, whose expertise is in nonprofit PR, retired and was looking to contribute to an organization. She assisted in planning the Walk4Hearing last year. My company was a sponsor, and we were able to educate many friends and relatives about hearing loss and HLAA. Our team raised $4,300! We’ve both met

*Save the date for next year’s annual national convention: June 17-20, 2010, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Registration will open at the end of October. Perks include:
—If you register for the full activity package by December 31, 2009, your name will go into a drawing for a free stay during the convention at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center! —There is a discount for first-time attendees.

New York City Walk4Hearing

Our 2009 Walk is on Oct. 18th in Riverside Park (enter at 83rd St.). Registration is at 9AM and the Walk starts at 10AM. If you haven’t yet formed a team (at least two people) to walk, please go to, click on New York, NY, and sign up. We encourage everyone to walk any or all of the 5K (3.1 miles) distance. And if you can't walk, you can support our efforts by sending a check (made out to Walk4Hearing) to Ken Alterman, 28 Stirrup Lane, Roslyn Heights, NY 11577. You can also come be a cheerleader or a volunteer — we need all the support we can get for our fun autumn event! Our fundraising goal is $150,000, and we need your help! Go online to donate and manage your team: Walk?fr_id=1500&pg=entry

5 terrific people in HLAA and admire their dedication and talent. I’m committed to being an advocate for HLAA and its work and to raising more money for the upcoming Walk.‛ Hearing-Impaired Kids Lack Help A recent study by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) found that the majority of hearing-impaired children receive inadequate treatment, primarily due to a lack of or improper intervention by parents, doctors, and teachers. The study, conducted among 225 parents of hearing-impaired children and teens up to age 21, found that one-third of all children in kindergarten through third grade have impaired hearing and listening. Yet only 12% of hearing-impaired children aged 18 years and younger use hearing aids. Three out of four parents reported that their child’s hearing loss negatively affected their development of social skills, speech development, and/or grades in school. One-third of parents said their child resists wearing hearing aids because of embarrassment, teasing, and stigmatization. The study also found that 40% of parents had been misinformed that their child did not need amplification because they had hearing loss in only one ear. In response to the study, the BHI is urging teachers and parents to stay alert to the needs of children with suspected hearing loss. For more on the study and tips on helping kids with hearing loss, go to

Meet the ‚Henry’s Team‛ Leaders
Kelly Dixon and her boyfriend Henry, who is deaf, are walking for their second year. Both are 32 and live in Westerleigh on Staten Island. Kelly, a native New Yorker, has been a NYC public school teacher for 10 years. She is also working on a Masters in Deaf Education. Henry, who attended the Culinary Training Institute on Staten Island, has worked in the kitchen at Meals on Wheels on Staten Island for the past 2 years. Henry was born hearing, but became deaf at age two when he was sick with a high fever. He communicates through sign language (ASL). The couple met in Florida and had their first date in 2006. Kelly had never met anyone who was deaf before. ‚Little by little he started teaching me sign language,‛ she said. Soon after, they moved to NY. While searching online last year for deaf events in the city, Kelly found the Walk4Hearing and created a team of 10 family members and friends. This year, they hope even more people will walk with them. ‚We chose to walk because we feel it is important to spread the word about hearing loss and to help educate others,‛ Kelly and Henry said. ‚Henry's deafness has had a positive affect on my personal goals,‛ Kelly explained. ‚He taught me sign language! Also, after meeting Henry, I instantly knew I wanted to learn how to teach deaf children.‛ The couple goes to deaf events whenever possible and is involved with the deaf community. Kelly and Henry wish those with deafness and hearing loss would understand that there is no shame in having hearing loss and in seeking assistance. ‚Anything is possible if you go after it!‛

Bookworm Corner *I Don’t Believe My Ears! by Val Blakely and Rachel Chaikof. This compilation of stories about kids and adults with hearing loss is sure to tickle your funny bone. Buy it online at Net proceeds will go to the Deafness Research Foundation. *Princess Maggie and the Magic Ears, by Kimberly Bright, was written by a mother for her daughter to cope with her hearing loss and hearing aids. Order online at


News from Around the U.S.:
*Black Hawk County in Iowa is the first county in the nation to implement a text message system at their 9-1-1 Call Center, so that 9-1-1 operators receive and respond to emergencies sent by text messages. This service is groundbreaking for hearing-impaired people, who currently must use a relay center or specialized communications device in order to communicate with 9-1-1 operators. Now hearingimpaired people unable to make a voice call can text message from their wireless phone and directly communicate with a 9-1-1 operator. Contact the National Emergency Number Association's (NENA) Accessibility Committee or your wireless carrier to encourage this service and find out when it will be available in your area. *United HealthCare, a large insurance carrier, now covers bilateral cochlear implants for both children and adults (effective in August). In response to a letter from HLAA, United HealthCare reviewed clinical evidence supporting the use of cochlear implants and changed their policy. Bilateral implantation provides users with greater speech understanding compared to unilateral implantation. *For more news on HLAA Chapters around the nation, visit *For more on what National HLAA is doing on our behalf, check out:

Youth Corner
Take a survey to help the Seattle Quality of Life Group at the University of Washington in Seattle understand the quality of life of children who are deaf or hard of hearing (HOH). Those eligible to participate include deaf/HOH youths ages 11-18 and parents of deaf/HOH children between the ages of 5 and 10. The 45-minute survey contains questions about communication methods in school and with family and friends, and about quality of life. Participants receive $25 for survey completion. For more: visit, call Anne Skalicky at 206-616-6977. Turning Points Workshop, a day of fun and stimulating activities put on by the Center for Hearing and Communication for teens in grades 5-8 who are deaf or hearing impaired, will take place on Sunday, November 15, from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM in NYC. Parents are also encouraged to take part. Learn more and RSVP by contacting Dorene Watkins at or 917-305-7881. If your child is hard-of-hearing, research has shown that the earlier a child is exposed to consistent use of captioned media, the greater the benefits in terms of comprehension, reading fluency, and vocabulary development. It also helps normalize captioning for the child’s family, friends, and teachers. Experts suggest educating your child’s school and including captioning in the IEP or accommodation plan, as well as assessing home and school video collections. Many mainstream film DVDs include a captioning option, but educational videos may lack captions. To the rescue: the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The DCMP includes a gigantic media library encompassing over 4,000 free-loan described (for the vision-impaired) and captioned educational videos, which can be watched online or ordered as a DVD. Order for home use and encourage your child’s teacher to utilize the program. The DCMP offers a clearinghouse of information on captioning, accessibility laws, and assistive technology related to academics. It also offers Internet resources and links to support organizations. Enhance your child’s education today by checking out the site at

*Thanks to Margaret Paine, Catherine Wylie, Barbara Bryan, Barbara Dagen, Katina Demetra, Norman Padnos, Letty Al-Damaluji, Lucia Morabito, & Ellen Werblow for their donations. *Our condolences to Gail Weiss, whose father passed away in September, and Lois Beadle, whose sister passed away. *Best wishes to Hilda Blyn and Pat Young for speedy recoveries following their injuries.


Access to the Arts in New York City

OPEN-CAPTIONED THEATER - Find captioned theater listings nationwide on Theater Access Project (TAP) captions Broadway and Off-Broadway productions each month. Tickets are discounted. For listings & application or 212-221-1103, 212-719-45377 (TTY) *Upcoming OPEN-CAPTIONED Shows: [See TAP for tickets] The Lion King (10/31, 2 PM); The Royal Family (11/14, 2 PM); Radio City Christmas Spectacular (12/9, 5 PM; 12/10, 8 PM); Broadway Bound (12/19, 8 PM) OPEN-CAPTIONED MOVIES –
For updates, go to or REGAL BATTERY PARK STADIUM 11, 102 N. End Avenue–Vesey & West Streets (212) 945-4370.

REAR-WINDOW CAPTIONED MOVIES - For listings go to or Ask for a
special window when buying your ticket. The window reflects the text that’s shown on the rear of the theater. AMC Empire on 42nd Street. (212) 398-2597, call Tues. afternoon for next week’s schedule Clearview Chelsea Cinemas, 260 W. 23rd St., Auditorium 4, 212-691-5519. The Bronx: AMC Cinema Bay Plaza, 718-320-1659.

MUSEUMS WITH CAPTIONED EVENTS & ASSISTIVE DEVICES The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. 212-879-5500 Ext. 3561 (V), 212-570-3828 (TTY) Real-Time Captioning of lectures upon request – This service requires at least three weeks notice. Gallery Talk with ALDs (meet at gallery talk station, Great Hall) The Museum of Modern Art, 11 East 53rd St., Access Programs 212-408-6347 (V), 212-247-1230 (TTY), ALDs are available for lectures, gallery talks, & family programs. Real-time captioning for lectures is available upon request with three weeks notice. Infrared is available in Titus Theaters.

We Need You!
The Chapter is looking for volunteers to help mail the monthly issues of N&V. We’re also always looking for volunteers to help with the Web site, bring refreshments, and greet others at meetings. If interested, please contact the Manhattan Chapter at (212) 769-HEAR (4327) or

Online Resources
After the 19th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 24, the U.S. Department of Labor renamed and re-launched as The site, at, offers information about services and programs for Americans with disabilities, as well as personalized updates, online discussions, and more resources.

Loops in Taxis
The Taxi & Limousine Commission has approved the induction loop technology for voluntary installation in NYC, making it the first city in the U.S. to have induction loops in taxis for hearing-impaired people. (This technology has been used in London taxis since 1998.) The approval follows a 13-month pilot program where 15 taxis tested the technology. Thanks to all of you who participated in the induction loop pilot study this past spring.


Mention of suppliers or devices in this newsletter does not mean HLAA-Manhattan endorsement, nor does exclusion suggest disapproval.

c/o Mary Fredericks, 520 E. 20th St., #8E New York, NY 10009


Please check your address label for the date of your last dues payment and, if you are a National member, there will be an “NM” after the date. Report any discrepancies to Mary Fredericks. Thanks!
Manhattan Chapter Annual Membership Application

Please complete and return this form, with your chapter dues of $15 (payable to HLAA-Manhattan) for the period September 1, 2009, to August 31, 2010 Send to: Mary Fredericks 520 East 20th St. (8E) New York, NY 10009
NAME (please print)_____________________

HLAA Membership Application Please complete and return this form, with your dues payment of $35 for a one-year membership (including subscription to Hearing Loss Magazine) To: HLAA Membership, 7910 Woodmont Ave. Suite 1200, Bethesda, MD 20814.
NAME (please print)

ADDRESS/APT_____________________________ CITY/STATE/ZIP________________________ PHONE (Home or Work?)_________________ E-MAIL ADDRESS_______________________ SEND A NEWSLETTER BY E-MAIL YES  NO  MEMBER OF HLAA NATIONAL? YES  NO  HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT US? ________________________ ADDITIONAL DONATION_$_______________ TOTAL ENCLOSED_$____________________

ADDRESS/APT_____________________________ ____________ CITY/STATE/ZIP________________________ PHONE (Home or Work)__________________ E-MAIL ADDRESS_______________________ ARE YOU NOW A MEMBER OF HLAA NATIONAL? YES  NO  (receiving Hearing Loss Magazine)?______ IF YES, I.D. No.________________ ADDITIONAL DONATION_$_______________ TOTAL ENCLOSED_$____________________

9 HLAA is a volunteer association of hard of hearing people, their relatives and friends. It is a nonprofit, non-sectarian educational organization devoted to the welfare and interests of those who cannot hear well. Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. We are a 501(c)(3) organization.