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News & Views

September 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, September 15, 2009 5:30 – 7:30 PM (Socializing at 5:30; program begins at 6:00.) Tinnitus SPEAKER: Susan Adams, M.S., CCC-A MEETING LEADER: Ellen Semel
Susan Adams, M.S., CCC-A, is the Clinical Supervisor of Audiology and the Coordinator of the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Center at the Center for Hearing and Communication. She will be speaking on tinnitus and hyperacusis treatment (including Tinnitus Retraining Therapy), how to overcome focusing on noises we hear that are not in our environment, and current research on these auditory system conditions.

Editor’s Corner – Elizabeth Stump
Welcome to the September 2009 issue of the HLAA-Manhattan News & Views! Now that summertime is over, the monthly Chapter meetings and N&V will resume. But before we dive into the beginning of fall, let’s take a step back and reflect on this summer’s milestones. What stood out for you? Two significant accomplishments related to our Chapter immediately spring to my mind: the success of our Advocacy Committee at encouraging outdoor film festivals to caption their films; and the bestowal of awards on three Chapter members at the annual HLAA convention in Nashville this past June! Read more about these winners on pg. 6. It was also a meaningful summer for national HLAA and for legislation related to hearing loss. Congress released the long-awaited health care bill H.R. 3200, Americas Affordable Health Choices Act, and hearing health is mentioned under Minimum Services to be covered. The Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit (HR 1646) reached the co-sponsorship threshold of 100 Congressional representatives before the start of the August recess. The New York Times interviewed HLAA for an article about purchasing hearing aids (read the article here: ?_r=2&ref=health). To view the HLAA Consumer Check List - Purchasing a Hearing Aid mentioned in the article, go to There’s more: After celebrating its 30th birthday at the annual convention, HLAA celebrated the 19th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 on July 24. Brenda Battat, HLAA executive director, attended a ceremony at the White House for

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, Oct. 20, 5:30 PM Topic: Noise — Impact on Hearing Loss and Health Speaker: Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D.

2 the occasion. At the event, President Obama authorized the signing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Our collective achievements toward furthering hearing loss awareness that were made this summer deserve a grand round of applause. To add your voice into the mix and become more involved with Chapter advocacy, e-mail For more information on national hearing loss legislation, go to Don’t forget that this month is our last chance to rally more walkers and fundraise for the second annual NYC Walk4Hearing, taking place on October 18th. Turn to page 4 to learn how you can help us reverse the stigma associated with hearing loss. See you at the Chapter meeting on September 15 !

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 Elizabeth O’Leary Anne Pope, Immediate Past President, HLAA Board of Trustees; NYC Walk4Hearing Co-chair

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.

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

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.

and Communication (CHC) HLAA E-news: Do you subscribe? It provides HLAA latest news every other week electronically. To sign up go to:
Laurie Hanin, Ph.D, CCC-A Exec. Director, CHC Joseph Montano, Ed.D., Director, Hearing & Speech, Weill Cornell Medical College


June 2, 2009, was a most inspiring evening. It was time to honor the three winners of HLAAManhattan’s scholarship awards made possible by our wonderful Walk4Hearing last year. The competition was facilitated through NYC’s Board of Ed Hearing Education Services (HES) and, this year, included Eastern Suffolk’s Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES). Each winner spoke about her/his experiences as a student with hearing loss. All wear hearing aids with T-coils, and all are familiar with, and/or use, CART, FM systems and note-takers. After the students’ presentations, audience members asked questions about the source of their motivation, what they would advise a younger person with hearing loss, whether they went through a period of not wanting to wear their hearing aids. Here is a little information about each, and excerpts from their discussions. Aldo Rufino Almanzar: Harry S. Truman HS; accepted at Rochester Institute of Technology. Aldo came to this country at the age of 13; his hearing loss had been diagnosed but not treated. With the excellent support at Truman HS, and his love of books, he learned the richness and power that words can have – this has enabled him to write and think in a remarkable way. Aldo knows (as all of us at HLAA know) that being deaf or hard of hearing is not an easy task. As he says, ‚I have learned that there are some experiences in life that we must learn the hard way so that we are able to value them later on.‛ … ‚In the not too distant future I see myself as an orator. It will be my duty to seek the eradication of wrong by delving into its past, its origin and, with that purpose in mind, create its future solution. I will speak out for those who are voiceless … ‚ Navena Felicia Chaitoo: Stuyvesant HS; accepted at Fordham University. Navena has a good ability to advocate for herself. She has extended this ability into the community in legal and political groups to help others with issues not related to hearing loss. According to Navena, ‚Hearing loss to me is like being under water. You hear sounds but not words.‛ Her way of coming up to the surface was through hearing aids, an FM unit, and captioning. Growing up with a hearing loss has a lot of challenges, and that has caused her to persevere, to find solutions for each and every challenge. She quoted Helen Keller,

‚One can never consent to crawl when one has the impulse to soar.‛ Navena has had a ‚passion for law‛ since sixth grade and hopes to prepare for a law career, specializing in international law. Jacqueline Brittany Drexler: Connetquot HS; accepted at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jacqueline has learned that there is no challenge that she cannot confront and address and take charge of. She is first violinist in the school orchestra; when she feels the vibrations and pays attention to them, she knows what kind of tone she is producing. She studied two foreign languages, participated on the track team, was involved in student government and experienced an exchange program. Jacqueline says, ‚I believe I am a role model for others to follow because I do not let anything stand in my way. If there is something I want to achieve I go for it regardless of my disability.‛ Jackie plans to major in communications. She intends to become an audiologist because ‚there is nothing better than knowing that I will be giving people the ability to hear.‛ All expressed gratitude to their families, teachers and counselors, and thanks to HLAA-Manhattan for providing the awards.

Member Recognition  Thanks to Letty Al-Damaluji, Lucia Morabito, and Anne Pope for their generous donations to the Chapter! Congratulations to new Planning Committee member Elizabeth O’Leary! Elizabeth would like to get more involved in our Chapter Treasury. Congratulations to Chapter Advisory member and former Chapter President Lois O’Neill, who was married this summer. She will be staying with her last name, O’Neill. Congratulations to Joe Montano, one of our Chapter Professional Advisors, who has been named to the national HLAA Board of Trustees. Our condolences to Ronnie (Armel) Adler, National Walk4Hearing Manager, whose mother passed away this summer. For many years Ronnie was a very active and well-liked member of our Chapter, said Secretary Mary Fredericks.


Meet Gail Weiss, 2009 Kickoff Chairperson
Chapter member Gail lives in Merrick, Long Island, and works as a freelance editor and writer. She has had a moderate to severe hearing loss from age six, but didn't begin using a hearing aid until age 12, ‚when my parents finally conceded that no doctor could ‘fix’ my hearing,‛ she says. What attracted you to HLAA-Manhattan? ‚I initially contacted HLAA because I wanted to write a magazine article that would give people who hear normally some idea of what it's like to be hearing impaired, and I was looking for hearing impaired folks who were willing to share their experiences.‛ What do you find most enjoyable about the Chapter, and what are the challenges to advocating for hearing loss awareness? ‚The best thing about being involved with the chapter is getting to know so many bright and interesting people--all of whom are obviously determined not to let hearing loss diminish their quality of life. As Kickoff chair, I'm amazed by the dedication and diligence of the walk's prime movers, Toni Iacolucci, Anne Pope, and Suzanne D'Amico, among others. They're the ones tackling the main walk-related challenges. I'm learning as I go along. Advocating for hearing loss is empowering in that it, at least to some degree, takes the word ‘loss’ out of the equation and focuses on what we can gain by insisting on accommodations that will allow us to participate more fully in all aspects of life.‛ Do you plan to stay involved with our chapter after the Walk? ‚Yes, I plan to stay involved with the Advocacy Committee, especially in the committee's efforts to encourage city parks to caption their summer film festivals, and to encourage city agencies to caption announcements on buses and subways.‛ Why are the Walk and HLAA important to you? ‚I spent many years attempting to ‘hide’ my hearing loss. I made sure my hair concealed my hearing aid, I never removed the aid in public (even to change the battery), and my hearing situation was something I almost never discussed, even among family and friends. Joining HLAA and walking for hearing, represents, for me, a public acknowledgment that hearing loss, far from something to be embarrassed about, is one of many aspects of the human condition, and we have the right to ask people to do what they can to include us in the conversation.‛

Metropolitan Calendar
Tuesday, September 8: NYC Walk4Hearing Kickoff, at the Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park, 6-8 PM Tuesday, September 15: HLAA Chapter Meeting Thursday, September 24: 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, October 18: NYC Walk4Hearing, in Riverside Park; Enter at W. 83rd St.; 9AM registration Tuesday, October 20: HLAA Chapter meeting

*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. This is our big chance to spread awareness and help removing the stigma of hearing loss. Last year we made a tremendous show, and we need to do it again! Keep spreading the word among your family and friends. 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 (chairs will be provided) — we need all the support we can get for our fun autumn event!


Meet Walk4Hearing Intern Nicole Raia
Nicole, 22 years old, is about to start her second year as a doctoral student in Audiology at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ. What are your duties as a Walk intern? ‚My responsibilities are in public outreach. I e-mail, call, and sometimes pound the pavement trying to recruit students and audiologists to walk, as well as gain their support in trying to reach New Yorkers with hearing loss that are not members of the HLAA. I have also been working to post the walk information on as many public calendars and social networking websites as possible.‛ What attracted you to interning for the Chapter? ‚Dr. Joseph Montano thought I would be a good fit with the Walk committee based on my previous volunteer experiences. Dr. Montano sparked my interest in Audiology when I was an undergraduate. He helped me realize that hearing loss impacts individuals with hearing loss and their families in different ways, and the importance of listening to my patients’ goals in dealing with their hearing loss. As a future audiologist I think it is essential that I remain actively involved in the HLAA. It will help me understand and try to meet the needs of individuals with hearing loss.‛

Walk4Hearing Testimonial — Suzanne D’Amico, Walk Day Chair
As the mother of a 7-year-old hearing-impaired child, I was desperate to find support for Anna Bella and my family. Last August, Anna Bella was at the audiologist and I saw a poster for the NYC Walk4Hearing. I had found what I was looking for. The Walk was thrilling for me and my family! Hundreds of people united together in support of people with hearing loss, and I was inspired. At one point during the Walk my husband looked at me and said, ‚This seems like just the kind of project where you could really make a difference." He knew I had found the vehicle I was looking for to support Anna Bella and others like her. That winter I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to serve as the 2009 Walk Day Chairperson, and I promised to make this the best Walk ever! So here’s what I have planned: FUN, FUN, and more FUN! For the kids: A children’s activity tent was generously donated by WIDEX. It will include clowns, face painting, balloon animals, and more. Tell your children to keep a look-out for surprise giveaways before and after the Walk. For the adults: Don’t think just because you are an adult you have to miss out on all the fun. We will have live music and fun giveaways for you, too. If we are lucky we may even have a celebrity join us as the honorary Walk Chairperson to cut the starting ribbon. Don’t forget the food tent. It promises to have good eats and hot coffee. Ultimately the goal of the Walk4Hearing is to raise funds and awareness for people with hearing loss. We will make this happen and have lots of fun along the way. Step Up! You’ll be glad you did! 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

Meet Walk4Hearing Intern Sonia Hon
Sonia is a 21-year-old junior at New York University, majoring in Speech Language Pathology. She is originally from Hong Kong, and this is her fourth year in the States. What are your duties as an intern? ‚My major duty is to help out committee members who need assistance. I have consolidated contact info. of team captains, hospitals' audiology departments, sponsors, and the like. I have distributed flyers to hospitals and private audiologists located on the West side of Manhattan, introducing Walk4Hearing to the audiologists and encouraging them to form teams and join the Walk.‛ Why is the Walk important to you? ‚The Walk is important to me because it gives me an opportunity to help organize a non-profit event. As a future speech pathologist, I wanted to have more interaction with people with hearing loss, and I want to continue my relationship with the Walk and Chapter after my duties end. I truly appreciate being able to help.‛

6 If you would like a copy of the DVD, ‚30 Years in Pictures,‛ shown at the 30th Birthday Celebration on June 19, please send a check for $12 made payable to Hearing Loss Association of America: Attn: Nancy Macklin 7910 Woodmont Ave., Suite 1200 Bethesda, MD 20814 There were several significant record occurrences at the convention. Out of 1,100 attendees, 65 were young adults – more than the number at any previous convention. Related to young adults, HLAA’s goals include continued recruitment of young adults to join and begin Chapters, investigating the concept of a young adult member joining the HLAA Board of Trustees, and branding the young adult social networking Web site Hearing Loss Nation with HLAA. If you know of any young adults in our Manhattan area who would benefit from getting involved in our Chapter, reach out to them. One of the events at the HLAA Convention in Nashville was a night at the Grand Ole Opry, which is the longest running radio show since 1925. On June 20, the Opry was real-time captioned for the first time in its history. Several members of the Manhattan Chapter attended the annual convention for the first time. One such member, Roberta Alterman, had this to say: ‚It was a wonderful experience. The workshops were helpful with information we needed to hear, even though they should have offered the presentations at additional times so we could go to more of them. The patient and helpful exhibitors demonstrated their products (Captel phone, alarm systems, CART), and there was always something to learn. It was amazing to see plenty of hearing dogs. The convention was a big success because everyone understood that everyone else is also hearing impaired.‛ *See the Metropolitan Calendar (pg. 4) for more information on next year’s HLAA annual convention!

HLAA Annual Convention 2009, Nashville, TN

This year’s national convention was held on June 1821, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. In case you weren’t there to witness the awards ceremony, you should know that three members of our Chapter were honored for their outstanding contributions to HLAA! Congratulations to Chapter members Joe Gordon, Ellen Semel, and Elizabeth Stump for their respective awards! This is a record — three national convention award winners — for our Chapter. Elizabeth won the 2009 Best Chapter Newsletter Award for her first year as editor of the HLAAManhattan News & Views. Ellen received the Spirit of HLAA Award for her hard work on behalf of our chapter, including being Chair of last year's Walk, her work on the two previous area Walks, and being Chair of the Chapter. She also won an award for being a 2008 Walk4Hearing Chair, along with all the other Walk Chairs around the country. Joe’s award was the ‚Nancy Wessner‛ Outstanding State Chapter Coordinator Award. If you missed the convention, check out the HLAA Convention 2009 Blog written by Abbie Cranmer ( or the September/October issue of Hearing Loss Magazine for a summary of events and presentations. Find slides from the workshops and the Research Symposium here: The Opening Session, which included the keynote address by Vinton Cerf, Ph.D, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, is here: docs/OpeningSessionTranscript_6-18-09.pdf. Dr. Cerf received the 2009 HLAA National Access Award during the Opening Session for having significantly improved communication access for people with hearing loss. Photos are here:


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] Superior Donuts (10/3, 2 PM); The Lion King (10/31, 2 PM) OPEN-CAPTIONED MOVIES –
For updated listings, 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.

Employment Tool Kit
An employment tool kit for those in the workforce who have hearing loss is available online here: dvocacy/ p#jobtoolkit. HLAA acknowledged our Chapter's generous support for making this tool kit possible.

Head of the Class
With the kids going back to school, parents and teachers should review the "To-Do List for Your Child's Education," compiled by the Center for Hearing and Communication. View it here: may_08.html#article1. Contact your hearing health care provider or the Center for Hearing and Communication if you have questions about items on the list.

Good News from Netflix
In June, it was announced that next year Netflix will add subtitles to its video streaming library, meaning that hearing-impaired viewers can finally take advantage of the ‚Watch Instantly‛ feature! The lack of subtitles has been one of the biggest complaints Netflix has received about the service's "Watch Instantly" option. Read the article at 18221.cfm.

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


c/o Barbara Dagen, 141 E. 33rd St. (3B) New York, NY 10016


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_$_______________ TOTAL ENCLOSED_$____________________

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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.