Posted by: hlacentralma | September 28, 2017

MFA and Shubert Theater Events

FREE Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) tour on October 15th. 
Please be sure to follow the RSVP instructions to ensure a spot, and in addition please specify if you need a loop (vs. earbuds) for the FM system used by the tour guide.
Happy Fall! (think cool even if temperatures are in the 80s)

The Sunday, October 15  tour will focus on the Contemporary Collection.

1.  To register, email Ronit Michom at RMinchom@mfa.org or call 617-369-3189.
2.  In the subject line, put the name of the tour  (Contemporary Collection),  the date (October 15),  and the time of the tour  (10:30).

3.  Indicate whether you want a neckloop or a head set.
4.  Please arrive 15 minutes early to get your neckloop and headset and to make sure that they are working.
5.  Remember that there is a limit of one guest with you.  You must register your guest whether or not an ALD is needed.
6.  Tours will leave from the Linde Family Wing Entrance, which is on Museum Road.
7.  Email access@mfa.org  if you register and are then unable to attend.

8.  Registration closes on October 6 unless the tour fills up before that time.If you have registered and are unable to attend, please let our tour leader Karen Moss (karmoss@hotmail.com) and Ronit Minchom (RMichom@mfa.org) know via email even if it is the day of the tour.

mfa-contemporary

The Color Purple          Shubert Theatre

ASL Interpreted / Open Captioned Performance

Tuesday, November 28 at 7:30 pm

 Click her for more information about The Color Purple-2

 

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Posted by: hlacentralma | September 18, 2017

Living With Hearing Loss – Storrs, CT

Posted by: hlacentralma | September 18, 2017

New England Hears! HLAA Newsletter – September, 2017

News from HLAA in Bethesda – Over the Counter Hearing Aids:
Now the Real Work Begins.

The bipartisan Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 was passed by both houses of Congress this summer, and the bill was signed into law on August 18. Next efforts will lead to the publication of a set of Food and Drug Administration rules requiring the FDA to regulate this new category of OTC hearing aids, ensuring that they meet the same high standards for safety, consumer labeling, and manufacturing protection that all other medical devices must meet. Such rules will specify how the law will be implemented, including requirements for labeling, limits for gain and output, and user warnings, among other provisions. By law, the FDA will have up to 3 years to publish their proposed directive in the Federal Register, after which the public will have an
opportunity to comment prior to the issuance of the final rule.

Representatives Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) co-sponsors of the House and Senate versions of the bill.


As these rules are crafted, HLAA’s work on behalf of consumer protection continues in full force, currently focusing on two issues: first, ensuring that FDA rules adhere to high safety standards and labeling about appropriate use of devices, and second, implementing additional recommendations of the NAS report in collaboration with co-sponsors of the NAS study on hearing healthcare in America. HLAA is taking the lead on a Public Awareness Campaign (NAS report, recommendation #11,) The bipartisan Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 was passed by both houses of Congress this summer, and the bill was signed into law on August 18. Next efforts will lead to the publication of a set of Food and Drug Administration rules requiring the FDA to regulate this new category of OTC hearing aids, ensuring that they meet the same high standards for safety, consumer labeling, and manufacturing protection that all other
medical devices must meet. Such rules will specify how the law will be implemented, including requirements for labeling, limits for gain and output, and user warnings, among other provisions. By law, the FDA will have up to 3 years to publish their proposed directive in the Federal Register, after which the public will have an opportunity to comment prior to the issuance of the final rule.

As a result of the market innovation and competition that OTC legislation will encourage, a wide range of stakeholders anticipate lowered costs for all hearing aids (including those for people with moderate to profound hearing loss) and greater availability of the life changing components of aural rehabilitation in hearing healthcare.

For a hearing healthcare professional’s perspective on this issue, see otologist Justin Golub’s July 27 piece in The National Review.

HLAA and the Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) are working together to better serve your needs and raise awareness of the effects of hearing loss. To get to know you better, HLAA and HHF have collaborated on a survey to learn a little more about you and your hearing loss. The survey takes less than five minutes and your answers are completely anonymous. You can take the survey online at hhf.org/survey.

Included in the survey are questions related to over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. Given that this is such a hot topic right now, offering your feedback is extremely important, so take just a few minutes and give your input!

 HLAA Get in the Hearing Loop Task Force
The HLAA Get in the Hearing Loop Task Force is hard at work advocating for high quality loop installations in public places across America.

HLAA Loopers
Task force member and HLAA New Mexico chapter member Steve Frasier invites HLAA loop advocates to sign up for the HLAA Loopers list serve. Consumers, hearing healthcare professionals, and other interested parties holding any category of HLAA membership (individual, family, professional, non-profit, corporate) are eligible.

The purpose of this group is to provide a clearinghouse for information on HLAA sponsored hearing loop campaigns, a place to ask and answer questions about loop and telecoil technology and to share printed material and promote the HLAA Get in the Hearing Loop Campaign.

To join the HLAA Loopers list serve, contact Steve at HLAANM@juno.com.  You can visit the Loop New Mexico website online for a look at Steve’s untiring and inspiring work.

Google Maps and Hearing Loops
Google Maps is introducing a new way to add accessibility details about places to Google Maps and Search. The accessibility attributes you can choose from include wheelchair-accessible entrances, wheelchair-accessible elevators, wheelchair-accessible seating, and wheelchair-accessible parking. It would be GREAT if Google included hearing loop access alerts for hearing aid and cochlear implant users! Anyone who would like to see this happen can take a minute to email Google Maps and weigh in with your voice. Open
Google Maps and click on “Send feedback.” (See the blue arrow on the screen shot, below.)

Guide for Effective Communication in Health Care

In fact, for people with hearing loss of all ages, communication breakdown during healthcare encounters can be a significant concern. In order to provide an effective tool for ensuring accurate communication during visits to the doctor and hospital stays, HLAA Board member Toni Iacollucci and ASL interpreter Jody Prysock have created a
Guide for Effective Communication in Health Care, available for download from the HLAA website. Included in this tool are sets of guidelines for patients and healthcare professionals and a helpful Communication Access Plan (CAP.) Toni and Jody presented a workshop on this important resource at the June, 2017 Convention in Salt Lake City.

You can click the link for power point slides on Changing Culture, Changing Practice….Effective Communication in Healthcare.

New England Walk4Hearing!

Why we walk…. from Sandy Spekman, Chair of HLAA Plymouth Chapter and Walk Team Leader for the “South Shore Strollers”:

“South Shore Strollers walk to create awareness of hearing loss, and, importantly, to build our chapter’s financial resources. The proceeds that we receive from the Walk will provide much-needed funds that will allow us to grow and to continue to provide CART at our bimonthly meetings. Our chapter started from scratch in September, 2015. At the beginning, hardly anyone in the South Shore area knew
about HLAA, and now, at every bimonthly meeting, people are becoming more aware of the resources available to help those with hearing loss. The chapter has used its modest financial resources to host meetings with dynamic speakers and has been growing, with 99 names on the email list and from 8 to 25 people attending each meeting
and drawing from some of the largest retirement communities in Massachusetts.
Members have become more aware of ADA requirements in the community. One can read about our success in this regard in the Hearing Loss Magazine, July/August 2017, on page 13. The Plymouth Chapter received an award as an ‘Up and Coming Chapter’ on June 23, 2017 at HLAA’s National Convention in Salt Lake City.”

Why We Walk … from Lisa Nihan-Demeule, Certified Realtime Captioner and Walk Team Leader for Team MCRA:
“Years back while working at The Caption Center, I responded to a flyer asking for CART
providers in the area who would be interested in working at HLAA’s annual convention,
being held in Boston; (at that time it was called SHHH – Self Help for the Hard of Hearing.)  I covered only one session, but had the very good fortune of meeting Deanna Baker, who arranges CART for HLAA’s national conventions. Since that time, I’ve covered many more conventions, have met a ton of great people, and became acquainted with members of my local HLAA group (while deplaning after a national conference!) Recently, I’ve also had the good fortune of being asked to join the board of the Mass. Court Reporters Association (MCRA). There, too, I’ve met a ton of great people.
When I walk with my team mates in the New England Walk4Hearing, I hope to bring my court reporter colleagues into the fold of the deaf and hard of hearing world to meet, get to know one another, and create their own friendships, bonds and working
relationships!.”

HLAA Eastern Connecticut Chapter
Living with Hearing Loss, with Sam Trychin, Ph.D.
Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM
University of Connecticut campus in Storrs CT.

You are invited to a very special occasion as Samuel Trychin, Ph.D., visits UConn and
the Eastern Connecticut Chapter. Dr. Trychin is a noted psychologist who has
dedicated his life to educating people who are hard of hearing and their families and
friends. He is a familiar – and much loved – presenter at the annual HLAA convention
and a faculty member of the Ida Institute. Coffee and pastry will be served. (Watch
the chapter website for location information at UConn.)

Music after Hearing Loss with Stu Nunnery

Get inspired and see how technology and dedication can change your life at presentations hosted by two New England chapters. Using voice and instruments, Stu Nunnery will tell the story of his musical comeback after a career of writing and performing some of our nation’s top pop hits. CART provided at both of these events.

HLAA – Plymouth Chapter:
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
6:00 – cookies and conversation,  6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Plymouth Public Library, 132 South Street, Plymouth, Mass.
(Contact: Sandy Spekman at sspekman@gmail.com.)

HLAA – Rhode Island Chapter:
Sunday, October 1, 2017
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT
Brooklyn Coffee & Tea House, 209 Douglas Avenue, Providence, RI 02908
(Contact: DaveASubscriptions@icloud.com)

Congratulations to the Rhode Island chapter on their new chapter blog!

Help spread the word about the Plymouth Chapter by “liking” the new chapter Facebook page now under construction!

HLAA – Boston Chapter
HOPE- Hearing Our Personal Experiences
September 10 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Watertown Public Library, 123 Main St., Watertown, MA

This meeting will include sharing and peer support as well as planning for the coming year’s events. (Refreshments, remote CART, Loop, parking, and public transportation will be available.)

HLAA Central MA Chapter
Highlights from the HLAA National Convention
September 9th, 10:00 AM – 12:00
Northborough Public Library, 34 Main Street, Northborough, MA

HLAA Central MA chapter steering committee person Beth Wilson participated in the national convention June 22-25 in Salt Lake City. She will share highlights from the workshops, plenary sessions, research symposium, and technology demonstrations she attended. Beth also spent time exploring the exhibit hall to see what is new in technology and services. She will share information and discuss materials gathered fromthe vendors. CART (computer aided real time captioning) will
be provided.

HLAA North of Boston Chapter
The regular “Third Wednesday of the Month” gathering with support and
friendship will take place on Wednesday, September 20. Meetings begin at
11:00 AM and take place at the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library (2nd floor) 345
Main Street in Wakefield.

LOOKING FOR A QUIET RESTAURANT?
IHearU.co was developed by advocate, educator, audiologist and neuroscientist Kelly Tremblay, Ph.D. Dr. Tremblay serves on the Advisory Board of the HLAA Washington State Association, on HLAA’s national Board of Trustees and Get in The Loop Task
Force, and on the Guideline Development Committees of the World Health Organization. She is a professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science at the University of Washington in Seattle.

IHearU.co is a mobile app that uses crowd-sourcing to help you find locations with noise levels that suit your needs – on a day and a time that meets your schedule. If you’re looking for a quiet eatery, bar or cafe then iHEARu GPS will help you find it!

 

Posted by: hlacentralma | August 27, 2017

President Signs Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 Into Law

On August 18, President Trump signed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) User Fee Reauthorization Bill into law. One of the attachments to the bill is the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017. The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act had been passed by the House of Representatives on July 12 and the Senate on August 3. Now that the bill is signed into law it will go to the FDA, who will begin drafting the rules and regulations for it. While the FDA has three years to complete that process we are hopeful that it will be done much sooner.

 

Hearing Loss Magazine

HLM September/October 2017 cover

The September/October issue of Hearing Loss Magazine will be out in just a few weeks. Our annual children’s/young adult issue is loaded with great articles and information. You’ll read about up-and-coming musician Zoë Nutt; Clark and Caroline Davis, a brother and sister whose love for ice hockey is greater than the obstacles they face with hearing loss; information on features and benefits to consider when purchasing hearing aids and much more!

 

We Need Your Input – Take the HLAA/Hearing Health Foundation Survey!
HLAA and the Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) are working together to better serve our constituents’ needs and raise awareness of the effects of hearing loss. To get to know you better, HLAA and HHF have collaborated on a survey to learn a little more about you and your hearing loss.

The survey takes less than five minutes and your answers are completely anonymous. You can take the survey online at hhf.org/survey. If you would prefer to mail it in, that’s fine too. Simply print the survey, fill it out, and mail it to:

Hearing Health Foundation
363 Seventh Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10001

Included in the survey are a few questions related to over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. Given that this is such a hot topic right now getting your feedback is extremely important, so take just a few minutes and give us your input today!

 

Fall Walk4Hearing Kickoff Dates Announced

Walk4Hearing logo

The 2017 Fall Walk4Hearing is about to get underway! Prior to attending the Walk, take the first step and attend a Walk kickoff event. The kickoff is a great way to get your fundraising materials, learn how to build a successful team, and network with others who are affected by hearing loss. For more information and to RSVP, visit the Walk4Hearing locations page and choose the Walk you are participating in.

 

Are You up for the Walk4Hearing #HearingLossChallenge?

ear plugs for hearing loss challenge

HLAA is challenging you to experience hearing loss at a Walk4Hearing with the #HearingLossChallenge! Only people with hearing loss know what it’s like to live in a world without sound, so grab a pair of ear plugs at the Walk4Hearing in your city and experience what it’s like for the 48 million people living with hearing loss. Visit walk4hearing.org to learn more.

 

Convention Photos Now Available!

The HLAA2017 Convention was yet another educational and enjoyable time for all who attended. You can take a look at the photos in the Convention Archives.

 

Drum Roll Please!

Mandy Harvey

HLAA is so excited to announce that HLAA has signed on America’s Got Talent Contestant Mandy Harvey to perform at the HLAA2018 Convention! Be sure to vote and follow Mandy on her journey on this season’s America’s Got Talent!

 

Why Patients Need Hearing Loops

Juliëtte Sterkens

In a new Hearing Journal article, HLAA Hearing Loop Advocate Juliette Sterkëns, Au.D., discusses the importance of loops for people with hearing loss. A telecoil along with a hearing loop is one of the most effective ways to improve the ability to understand speech over distance or in noise. It is estimated that seven in 10 hearing aids sold today either comes with a built-in telecoil or a wireless accessory that has a telecoil (a.k.a. a streamer). While there are other one-on-one workarounds such as wireless Bluetooth microphones and FM systems, none of these offer the telecoil’s easy and direct-to-hearing-aid-compatible solution for hearing in looped public venues.

Posted by: hlacentralma | August 8, 2017

Hearing Loss Central MA-Convention Highlights

Next Meeting: Saturday September 9, 2017, 10:00 am to noon *            

   * Please note the morning time*

Where:  Northborough Public Library, 34 Main Street, Northborough, MA

Speaker:  Beth Wilson, member of HLAA Central MA chapter steering committee

Topic:  Highlights from the HLAA National Convention

Beth Wilson participated in the national convention June 22-25 in Salt Lake City.  She will share highlights from the workshops, plenary sessions, research symposium, and technology demonstrations she attended.

Beth also spent time exploring the exhibit hall to see what is new in technology and  services. She will share information and discuss materials gathered from the vendors.

CART (computer aided real time captioning) will be provided.

Parking lot is accessed by Patty Lane

map3

 

Posted by: hlacentralma | August 8, 2017

Senate Passes the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 3, 2017

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CONTACT:
Barbara Kelley
Executive Director
bkelley@hearingloss.org
301.657.2248

hlaa in action

Senate Passes the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 Bringing Affordable and Accessible Hearing Health Care Closer to Reality

Bethesda, MD: The U.S. Senate today passed the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017. The bill was already passed by the House of Representatives on July 12. With this groundbreaking legislation Congress has sent a message to America that people with hearing loss need – and deserve – more affordable and accessible hearing health care.

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) has supported the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act since it was introduced in the Senate by Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in March of this year. The companion House bill was introduced by Representatives Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

“Senators Warren and Grassley and Representatives Kennedy and Blackburn – among many others – have worked tirelessly to ensure passage of this bill,” said Barbara Kelley, HLAA executive director. “It is no secret that passing any type of legislation can many times be a long and laborious process because of party disagreements. However, this bill has moved quickly through Congress because both sides of the aisle realize how critically important and badly needed affordable and accessible hearing health care is to consumers.”

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 would make certain types of hearing aids available over the counter to adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. In addition, the proposed legislation would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate this new category of OTC hearing aids to ensure they meet the same high standards for safety, consumer labeling and manufacturing protection that all other medical devices must meet. This will give consumers the option to purchase a safe, high-quality FDA-regulated device at lower cost.

Creating a new category of OTC hearing devices was one of the 12 recommendations in the report, Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability, issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) in June 2016, which HLAA fully supported.

Since this new category has not yet been created it is unclear how the devices will be defined. However, they should not be confused with products already on the market called PSAPs (Personal Sound Amplification Products). PSAPs cannot legally be marketed to people with hearing loss as a “hearing aid,” only to those with normal hearing as an amplification device.

Kelley continued, “Our consumer voices are powerful. HLAA has led the way for affordable and accessible hearing health care and applauds this historic effort. While it could take several years before the first products come to market we feel it’s important for the FDA to take the time they need to write regulations to ensure safety, efficacy and consumer protection.

“For years, our number one request has been from people who want hearing aids but can’t afford them. This legislation is a step in the right direction and offers hope that the cost of all hearing aids will go down with the anticipated market innovation and competition it will bring. Everyone who needs hearing aids should be able to have them to stay connected to family, remain on the job, and enjoy a high quality of life.”

Now that the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 has been passed by both the House and Senate it will go to the president to sign into law. Once the bill is signed into law it will go to the FDA, who will begin drafting the rules and regulations for it. While the FDA has three years to complete that process we are hopeful that it will be done much sooner.

Don’t Wait to Get Your Hearing Checked
If you think you have a hearing loss, do not wait for over-the-counter hearing aids to come to market. First, there will be an extended rulemaking period where anyone can comment after which the FDA has to evaluate and decide on the standards for an OTC device. Second, not everyone will be able to get help from an OTC device. HLAA recommends seeing an audiologist or hearing instrument specialist if you are having trouble on the phone, asking others to repeat, turning up the volume on your television, or showing other warning signs. Untreated hearing loss can cause falls, isolation, depression, anxiety, and it has been shown that there is a link to cognition. Hearing loss should be prevented, screened for, and treated without delay.

HLAA has been working diligently with lawmakers to have the consumer voice heard. We are currently working with the FDA on labeling of OTC products, product safety and consumer protection. The future of hearing health care is changing, allowing people to make informed choices. HLAA will ensure consumers have unbiased and factual information and updates about new products, regulations, and legislation as they develop.About the Hearing Loss Association of America
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), founded in 1979, opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, support and advocacy. HLAA holds annual conventions (HLAA2018 is in Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 21 – 24), produces Walk4Hearing events in 20 cities, publishes the bimonthly Hearing Loss Magazine, advocates for the rights of people with hearing loss, and has an extensive network of chapters and state organizations across the country. The national headquarters is located at 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200, Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone 301.657.2248 or visit hearingloss.org.

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