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News & Views

November 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, November 17, 2009 5:30 – 7:30 PM (Socializing at 5:30; program begins at 6:00.) How to Survive the Holidays with Hearing Loss SPEAKER: Arlene Romoff MEETING LEADER: Joe Gordon
Arlene Romoff will be presenting communication tips for the holiday season. She will be selling signed copies of her book Hear Again - Back to Life with a Cochlear Implant, a chronicle of her first year with a cochlear implant.

Editor’s Corner – Elizabeth Stump

Welcome to the November 2009
issue of the HLAA-Manhattan News & Views! Congratulations to the Manhattan Chapter for the spectacular success of its second annual Walk4Hearing on October 18th! We had more than 70 teams represent us, and the Walk raised over $142,000! For their selfless devotion to the Walk, a special thank you goes to Walk Chairs Toni Iacolucci, Suzanne D’Amico, and Anne Pope. Read more from the Chairs about the special event on page 4. At this month’s Chapter meeting, speaker Arlene Romoff will be sharing communication tips we can utilize while spending time with family and friends during the holiday season. Arlene, who received her first cochlear implant in 1997 and is now bilateral, co-founded the Hearing Loss Association of NJ and currently serves as its President. She co-founded Advocates for Better Communication, the advocacy committee of the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC), and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the CHC. Arlene’s advocacy efforts helped bring opencaptioned live theatrical performances to Broadway, London, and regional U.S. theaters, and in 2008 she was honored by Theater Resources Unlimited with their Humanitarian Award. On Dec. 15, practice the lessons from Arlene at the Manhattan Chapter’s holiday party. (Please note that this party in Dec. will be in lieu of the regular Chapter meeting.) Once again we’ll be toasting each other and the Chapter’s successes at a holiday party at the Olive Garden in Chelsea, where plenty of

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.

*December’s meeting is canceled! Holiday party at the Olive Garden instead on Dec. 15! See more details on pg. 4.

2 delicious food and good cheer will be on hand. (Members will order off the regular menu and receive their own bill.) Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate the holidays with your friends from the Manhattan Chapter. See page 4 for RSVP details. See you at the Chapter meeting on November 17th! Happy Thanksgiving!
CHAPTER PLANNING COMMITTEE 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

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.

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 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.

Help the Chapter Go Green! Would you like to receive N&V by e-mail only rather than receive a mailed version to help us cut down on paper consumption and save money? It costs about $8 a year to provide one member with 10 issues — that’s more than half of one’s annual dues. Please notify to make this change. The Manhattan Chapter thanks you!

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


Our guest speaker was Arline Bronzaft, PhD, Chair of the Noise Committee of the Mayor’s Council on the Environment. She talked about the Federal Noise Control Act and the NYC Noise Code passed by the City Council two years ago. Noise has a negative effect on communication, health, learning, and hearing; it affects people with normal hearing as well as those with hearing loss. Noise is a sound that intrudes on people’s activities and is unpleasant to the ear. It can impact hearing suddenly or over time. It affects us indirectly and can cause stress, which results in physiological damage (such as cardiovascular and digestive disorders) and a diminished quality of life. (Psychology calls this “learned helplessness,” where we can’t do anything about it.) iPods and related equipment can be very damaging to hearing, but many people are resistant to this fact. Loud sounds, whether we like them or not, are going to harm the ears. Noise is a psychological term – it is subjective and depends on who is hearing the sound. Health care is a major topic today and prevention is what we need in health care – what better way to prevent illness than to remove something that creates illness? Pres. Nixon gave us a Clean Air Act. And in 1972 there was an Office of Noise Abatement and Control, part of the EPA, which produced and distributed all kinds of educational material about the dangers of noise. Pres. Reagan shut it down and Pres. Clinton did not revive it (both those presidents had hearing loss). The law is still on the books and our government is in violation of the law; we should be contacting our senators and representatives to give renewed attention to this matter. Dr. Bronzaft’s book Listen to the Raindrops is being distributed to schools throughout the area, with information about noise damage. Everyone complains about the loudness of music at weddings, etc. It was suggested by an audience member that the coordinator should instruct the band if they go above a certain decibel level, they will not get paid! We have a right to expect quiet in our apartments. Unfortunately, there is no such right in restaurants – we need to choose our dining spaces carefully (watch for Zagat’s or reviewers’ comments which sometimes

mention noise levels). The NYCTA now has a noise committee drawing together the previous scattered groups that worked on various facets of subway and bus design and engineering. A healthier environment, in summary, is a quieter one – and one of respect for others. Some interesting Web sites:;;

*Farewell and best wishes to Barbara Dagen, who is moving from NYC to California this month. Barbara will continue to handle the e-mail list for N&V, but her bonhomie, cheerful spirit, and good humor will be sorely missed!

HLAA Founder’s Day: A Brief History The annual celebration of our birthday anniversary is observed by chapters on Founder’s Day in November, because it was on November 29, 1979, that Howard “Rocky” Stone established what was then called Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH) for hearing-impaired Americans. On Founder’s Day we look back on our amazing achievements of the past 30 years. It’s a time to celebrate being a part of this extraordinary organization and to demonstrate a commitment to HLAA’s future. All chapters are asked to express their support by contributing funds to the National office — the funds will assist the chapter development department. Founder Rocky Stone was a retired CIA officer who served as executive director of SHHH until 1993. The following year he suffered significant vision loss due to macular degeneration and also received a cochlear implant. He passed away in 2004. In June 2008, his son Michael became President of the Board of Trustees of HLAA.

4 the Walk was. A wonderful clown, face painters, children’s activities, the Fordham cheerleaders, two troops of Girl Scouts cheering us on, a large contingent of young and enthusiastic volunteers, the screening van from the Center for Hearing and Communication, little Anna Bella D’Amico and Michael Stone, son of Rocky Stone and president of HLAA, to cut the ribbon, purple Walk4hearing hats, balloons galore, and drummers to send us striding off. There are lots of photos thanks to our volunteer photographers, and once they are sorted and organized you will be able to see them at our Chapter meeting. We had an amazing group of more than 70 teams, people with hearing loss and people without -audiologists, teachers, students, schools, parents, children, service providers, and of course our Manhattan Chapter teams. The team captains inspired others to join the Walk (ninety-nine people walking for the Clarke School showed up despite the rain!), developed and managed their teams, and raised very significant amounts of money, as we moved closer to reaching our goal. An astonishing thirty-eight teams raised more than one thousand dollars each. We will have raised more money than ever before – over $142,000 once we have counted all the donations. Most importantly, every team captain and every walker helped expand the reach of our message, as we work to create awareness of hearing loss, remove the stigma that has accompanied it for too long, and fund programs to ensure we will lead fulfilling lives. For all of you who walked, worked, contributed, spread the word, and raised money: a huge THANK YOU. Wasn’t it fabulous fun?! —Toni Iacolucci, Suzanne D’Amico, & Anne Pope

Metropolitan Calendar
Sunday, Nov. 1: Fall Back! Sunday, Nov. 15: Turning Points Workshop, Center for Hearing and Communication, 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM RSVP at or 917-305-7881 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 Thursday, Nov. 26:

Sunday, Nov. 29: HLAA Founder’s Day Tuesday, Dec. 15: No HLAA Chapter meeting! Instead, join us for a party at the Olive Garden in Chelsea at 6pm [696 Avenue of the Americas, between 22 and 23 St.] *Order off the regular menu; each person will receive an individual bill. RSVP by Dec. 1st to Mary Fredericks at or 212-674-9128.

*Registration is open for the 2010 annual national convention: June 17-20, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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

Rain it did on October 18th. But, no one could rain on our parade! The outpouring of spirit and enthusiasm on the part of those who were able to travel to the Walk that day was just incredible. And the e-mails and calls we received at the crack of dawn that morning and even during the Walk from others, who really wanted to be there, were amazing. Those of us who braved the rain that morning know how festive

We are most grateful for the generous support of the following sponsors: The Central Park Boathouse; The Pope Family; Children's Hearing Institute; Mill Neck Family of Organizations; New York Relay Service; Center for Hearing and Communication; Total Caption; Joe Gordon; Arkin Kaplan Rice; Jordache; Mary Cooper;

5 Spirit Cruises; All Risk; Pat and Bob Young; Phone Caption; Widex; Regal Entertainment Group; New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association; Northeastern Technologies; Gabriel Pediatrics; Telepan Restaurant; Starbucks; Cynergy Physical Therapy; Chelsea Moving and Storage; Chelsea Square Restaurant; Eliot Folickman DDS; New York Islanders; New York Rangers; Wal-Mart setting (city streets, a subway stop, and an apartment building) is simulated while a male or female voice talks to the patient. CHC audiologists manipulate the sound of voices and background noise and ask the patient how difficult it was for him/her to understand the voice talking and then make the appropriate adjustments. (The Center does not do cochlear implant (CI) mapping, so CI recipients users can’t use the studio.) This real-life verification the studio offers for hearing aid users will likely cut down on return visits for readjustments, experts believe. For more information:

HearUSA Program for AARP Members Good news if you’re an AARP member: HearUSA launched a hearing care program exclusively for you! In October, the program was made available to members in Florida and New Jersey; eventually it will be expanded nationwide and will boast at least 5,000 credentialed hearing care providers. The hearing care program will offer AARP members access to hearing care professionals, reduced costs, uniform pricing, extended warranties, and personal hearing rehabilitation services. HearUSA will be reaching out to qualified hearing care professionals throughout the U.S. and offering them the chance to participate. All providers will be required to observe the hearing industry’s best practices guidelines. For more information, go to www. or Real-World Listening Studio Hearing-impaired patients often tell audiologists that the calibrated test room environments in which patients get their hearing aids adjusted don’t relate well to their real life experiences. Enter the new listening studio at the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) in NYC—the first physical structure created for hearing aid assessment. It contains a 5.1 surround-sound system, highdefinition videos, and a 52-inch plasma screen. During the adjustment experience, a background

T-Coil Compatible Wireless Headphones My search for an optimized listening environment for the television has come to a wonderful end. I found that experiencing surround sound can be had for as little as $70.00. I have been trying to recreate my experience of listening to my iPod with my neckloop and headphones. I use the iPod with my telecoil (t-switch) on my two cochlear implant processors just like on a hearing aid, and the sound is very clear to me. Almost all headphones are telecoil compatible. Most headphones have magnets in them, including the ones used for wireless television. The headphones I chose — Sennheiser RS120 926 MHz Wireless RF Headphones with Charging Cradle (by Sennheiser) — are available at J&R Music World or can be bought online at They are very wellconstructed headphones, light with large comfortable ear pads, and adjust to fit a smaller head (women). They also have a recharging cradle. Now to the important part: the sound is fantastic! I am able to hear the dialogue so much better when it comes directly into my ears. I found that if I use a mixed telecoil (part regular mic and part telecoil) I get an even louder sound, too. They also have a volume control wheel to adjust the loudness. Some people may have trouble with squealing if they put

6 headphones over their hearing aids, but usually if the hearing aid is on telecoil it should not squeal. The headphones work on radio waves rather than infrared, which means I can leave the room, sit in another room, and hear the whole of Lehrer NewsHour! —Dana Simon under your mattress at night in order to shake you awake when someone calls. See the Ring Alerter at You can always get two Ring Alerters: one to put on your bed table in the bedroom hooked up with the bed vibrator, and one to put out in plain sight in a room where you spend much of your time. This ring alerter also works for landline phones — plug it into the wall phone jack and plug the phone into the Ring Alerter. Some phones have flashing strobe lights built in (check with your phone and service provider). Portable lights that flash for cell phones, available at mall kiosks selling cell phone accessories, fit in place of the antenna on the cell phone. There are also lighted batteries, which come with a transparent battery cover so that the flashing light is visible through the cover. These accessories may only work for a limited number of phones, so again you’ll need to check with your service provider. Quick Tips for Hearing Aid Maintenance: 1. Before you go to bed, place your hearing aids in a hearing aid dehumidifier (take the batteries out first). This device dries out the digital circuitry inside your hearing aids, removing the moisture (sweat, ear wax, humidity) that has accumulated during the day. 2. Remove ear wax from your hearing aids (and ears!). 3. Clean the aid’s microphone screens. 4. Replace BTE hearing aid tubing; most people require tubing change once per year. 5. Avoid extreme heat or cold. *Thanks to Lois Beadle, Bob and Pat Young, Ruth Bernstein, Adlin Loud, and Serafina Messina for their generous Chapter donations. *Speedy recovery to Ed McGibbon, Chapter member and immediate past president, who had spine surgery recently.

Shop Kits for the Hearing-Impaired Next time you’re at the checkout counter, ask the establishment if they utilize Shop Hear and Service Hear kits — a new system that enables retailers, healthcare providers, and businesses to directly assist hearing aid wearers. (If they don’t, speak to the manager about implementation.) Manufactured by Pan-Oston, the kits work with T-Coil technology already built into the majority of hearing aids and integrate with every existing counter or checkout service technology available today. Hearing aid users just need to switch their hearing aids to the “T” position to be able to enjoy direct and clear personal communication — without background noise/music interference — with the counter attendant. For more information, go to

Inaudible Cell Phone Ringing Do you ever miss your cell phone ring, even with the phone’s volume turned up all the way? There are several options for you. Because most hearing-impaired people have a highfrequency hearing loss, they don’t hear higherfrequency cell phone ring tones well. If this is you, choose the lowest frequency ring tone that is available for your phone. You could also set the phone on ‘vibrate’ mode and wear it close to your body so you can feel the vibration when someone calls. If you leave the cell phone on the desk or counter, etc., instead, the vibrate mode won’t help. In that case, use a Super Loud Cell Phone Ring Alerter, which flashes a strobe, greatly amplifies the phone’s ring, and comes with an optional vibrator to put

HLAA E-news: Do you subscribe? It provides HLAA latest news every other week electronically. To sign up go to:


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, 212-71945377 (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!
Want to get more involved with the Chapter and lend a hand to your fellow members? The Chapter is 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) 769-4327 or

Steps to Healthy Hearing
Adults with hearing loss wait an average of 7 years before seeking help. Share the information "3 Steps to Healthy Hearing" — limit noise exposure; get your hearing screened; if your screening suggests a hearing loss, follow up with a complete hearing evaluation — with your family and friends. Created by the CHC, it’s available at: program_services/steps_hearing _help.pdf.

“Bionic Buddy” Kids’ Calendar
Advanced Bionics produces their complimentary "Bionic Buddy" calendar each year for kids (and parents of kids) with cochlear implants. Each month it shows pictures of children with cochlear implants. To get your copy for next year, go to t_Center/Educational_Support/Bion ic_Buddy_Calendar.cfm?langid=1.

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_$_______________ TOTAL ENCLOSED_$____________________

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.