Posted by: hlacentralma | July 23, 2020

Face Masks and Hearing Loss: Practical Tips and Strategies

Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Independent Living Services
invites you to:
Face Masks and Hearing Loss: Practical Tips and Strategies
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
10:00 AM TO 11:00 AM
Speaker: Carolyn Ginsburg Stern
Center for Hearing and Communication
Assistant Director of Outreach and Strategic Initiative

A Zoom Meeting

Communication is hard with a mask on and social distancing!

Join us for a webinar to learn some tips like:
• Demo: how to wear and take off masks comfortably with hearing aids or cochlear implants.
• Communication tips when wearing a mask.
• Easy/low cost apps and listening devices.

RSVP online  at

On the register form you will be asked how you want to be contacted for the Zoom meeting ID.

or contact Denise Paro at:

or telephone 508-556-1600 (VP)

Click here to download the program flyer.

Posted by: hlacentralma | July 21, 2020

Buy a Clear Mask and Make the World a Better Place

Sandy Unger is an American Sign Language (ASL) translator. A friend  made her a clear mask and it helps Sandy in her translations in this masked, COVID-19 world.  Sandy is offering the masks to you for a $10.00 donation. She is donating all the profits to Girls for Girls Uganda, an organization within ChildVoice that is assisting young women displaced by violence.

For more information on ChildVoice please visit To give directly to Girls for Girls Uganda please visit

If you are interested in purchasing a clear mask and make the world a better place please contact Sandy Unger directly at

ChildVoice – Girls for Girls Uganda


Posted by: hlacentralma | June 21, 2020

Compilation – Clear Face Masks

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people with hearing loss are frustrated by masks and face coverings.  Being able to lipread is critical to our communication, especially when navigating the healthcare system.  HLAA CM has collected some information related to this topic to share.

Guide for Effective Communication in Health Care

HLAA has a website dedicated to this topic with resources on how to communicate with medical professionals, recommendations for medical facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and guides for patients and providers.  The webpage is:

You can download the complete the guide:

Hearing Review Article: Urge CDC to Emphasize Need for Clear Face Masks

The Hearing Review article from June 9, 2020 is titled “ASHA Urges CDC to Emphasize Need for Clear Face Masks for the Hearing Impaired.”  You can read the article at:

The full ASHA letter can be found at:

Hearing Life Article on See-Through Face Masks

The March/April 2020 edition of HLAA’s Hearing Life magazine includes an article about communication access showing a doctor wearing a see-through surgical mask.  The article is titled, “Necessity and Invention: New Mom Turns Entrepreneur.”  The subject of the article, Anne McIntosh, founded the Safe’N’Clear company in 2012 and created the “Communicator Surgical Mask.” The see-through medical masks were approved by the FDA and started being used in hospitals in 2017.

The Communicator (See-Through Surgical Mask)

You can read more about The Communicator mask at the company website:

The mask came up for discussion at one of the HLAA virtual meetings and someone complained that they were expensive.  The cost was reported as $60 and later clarified to be for a box of 40.  As you can imagine, the masks have become very popular now and are out of stock.  The company is expecting to have more available in July.

HelloMasks (Transparent Face Mask)

Popular Mechanics ran an article on June 10, 2020 titled “These Transparent Face Masks Might Make You Feel Normal Again.”  It describes a mask developed in Switzerland that is completely transparent.  The company HMCARE plans to start selling the new masks in 2021 directly to medical professionals.

You can read the full article at:

The company is a start-up right now.  It is planning to pursue European certification and eventually will pursue FDA approval.  The company website is:

Posted by: hlacentralma | June 12, 2020

These Transparent Face Masks Might Make You Feel Normal Again

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) have devised a transparent surgical face mask that will “soon be produced on an industrial scale.”
To fabricate them, researchers had to come up with an all-new polymer material.
They say the ability to see facial expressions will lead to more empathic health care providers.

[Read More…]

Posted by: hlacentralma | June 3, 2020

Virtual Webinars for Living with Hearing Loss

We have collected a list of upcoming events for HLAA that are virtual.  These are conducted with captioning, so they are hearing accessible.  The list is in calendar order and then at the bottom are some links where you can check out previous events that were recorded.

Saturday June 6:

HLAA National Virtual Meeting

2-3:30 pm

Topic: Advocacy & Impact:

Effective Communication in Health Care Settings

Saturday June 13:

HLAA Boston Chapter Virtual Meeting

2-4 pm

Topic: Boston Biotech Hearing Research

Akouos and Frequency Therapeutics

Featured in a February Boston Globe article:

Here is the link to the meeting:

Join by phone

+1 347-450-7972 PIN:  580 085 851#

Thursday June 18 and Friday June 19:

Experience HLAA!

Online “Convention” experience

Topics include

  • Opening session (Thursday noon -1)
  • Potential for Regenerative Medicine to Restore Hearing Loss (Thursday 2-3:30)
  • Workplace Gain: A Discussion on Self-Advocacy, Marketing and Navigating the Workplace with a Hearing Loss (Thursday 5-6:30)
  • Research Symposium: The Latest on Tinnitus Research (Friday noon – 1:30, Meet the Scientists and Q&A 2:30-3:30)
  • Hearing Loss and the Health Care System: A Call to Action (Friday 4-5:30)
  • Virtual Exhibit Hall (throughout the Experience HLAA! Event)

There are 3 different sources of virtual HLAA events:

  1. HLAA Educational Webinars and recordings:
  2. HLAA National Virtual Meetings (monthly event)
  3. HLAA Chapter Meetings now being conducted virtually

In addition, there is a special HLAA virtual event June 18-19 to replace the cancelled convention.  The event is free and captioned.

Posted by: hlacentralma | May 20, 2020

HLAA Webinars – Register and Learn

Face Masks and Hearing Loss:
Practical Tips and Strategies

Ellen Lafargue, Au.D. and Carolyn Ginsburg Stern, MBA
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2020
Time: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Eastern Time

Don’t miss Thursday’s free captioned webinar on Face Masks and Hearing Loss: Practical Tips and Strategies, presented by Ellen Lafargue, Au.D. and Carolyn Ginsburg Stern, MBA from the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC).
Click the “Register” button below to attend.Mastering communication while face masks are worn and social distancing is especially difficult for people with hearing loss because of reduced visual and auditory input. We will share practical tips and strategies that can make interactions a little easier and help you feel more in control. We will demonstrate various ways to wear masks comfortably with hearing devices and how to avoid losing them when masks are removed. We will also discuss simple techniques for troubleshooting your hearing aids while in-person hearing care in your area may be limited during the pandemic.

REGISTER for the above webinar.

UPCOMING WEBINAR – To register for this webinar, please click on the topic and follow the directions.

All HLAA webinars are captioned and recorded for future viewing. See a list of all recorded webinars. Just click the “YouTube” button to view the recording.

Registration is required for HLAA webinars. Should you have any questions, please contact

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