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December– 2017

Hearing Loss Friends, 

It is an exciting time of year. The stores sparkle with lights. People are going to parties and family events. People are cooking for friends and family.  

While it is an exciting time, the holidays can be especially stressful for those of us with hearing loss. Parties and family gatherings are particularly challenging as there are many people talking at the same time and often music in the background.  

Sometimes our hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assisted listening devices are not enough – we still miss things. Let’s agree to focus on what we can do, not what we can’t do.  We won’t let hearing loss hamper our holiday happiness. 

The mission of Hearing Loss Association is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, support, and advocacy. 

As a team, we help each other live well with hearing loss, as well as try to reach out to the 145,000 people with hearing challenges in our two counties.  

Happy Hearing and Happy Holidays! 

Anne Taylor 

Hearing Loss Association of America-Sarasota/Manatee

Website –

Facebook –

November – 2017

happy thanksgiving
Hello Everyone,

Hearing technology has come a long way in the last few years.

I, for one, am very thankful that we do not need to use the old trumpet-horn, which could not have been helpful. Do you remember the three-piece body aids which made rustling noises? Many of us wore bulky analogue hearing aids which were somewhat helpful, but limited. They needed to be adjusted with a screw driver.

Now we are privileged to live in an age where digital hearing aids are smaller and work effectively for many of us. The digital hearing aids have many features such as multi-directional microphone systems, digital noise reduction, impulse noise reduction, feedback management systems, telecoil, FM compatibility, Bluetooth compatibility and can be computer-adjusted.

What can we say about the miracle of cochlear implants? Cochlear implants bypass the damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Signals generated by the implant are sent by way of the auditory nerve to the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound. Cochlear implants do not cure deafness, but – by giving a sense of hearing – have brought the profoundly deaf people back into the hearing world.

The mission of HLAA is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through education, support and advocacy.

Together, we members will continue to reach out to the 145,000 folks with hearing loss in our community.

We are a team. TEAM. Together Everyone Achieves More.

Anne Taylor


October – 2017

Today, I regretfully announce my resignation as President of the Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota/Manatee Chapter.

This was not an easy decision to make as my passion for the past years has been to advocate for and assist people with hearing loss.  My life has taken a different direction, and it is time to move on to new opportunities and challenges.

The past few years have been very rewarding, and it has been a pleasure working with so many incredible board members and HLAA members. I am proud to have been part of such an outstanding team and I wish HLAA-S/M only the best in future endeavors. Our HLAA-S/M team is making hearing loss visible in Sarasota County!!

I intend to stay active in HLAA-S/M and I will attend as many meetings and activities as time permits.  Anne Taylor, our Vice President, has stepped up and will take over the leadership role. Having known and worked with Anne for the past few years, I know she is ready for such a challenge and will make a terrific President. I intend to be there in a supporting role in the transition process.

Remember to advocate for yourself! HLAA-S/M provides adults and children with tools for self-help; sensitizes the general population about the special needs of people who have hearing loss; and promotes understanding of the nature, causes, complications, and remedies of hearing loss.


JoAnne DeVries has devoted a lot of time and energy to the HLAA/Sarasota/Manatee chapter. She did an outstanding job of being the president and will be a hard act to follow.

As many of you know, she recently was appointed the chair of the Sarasota Democratic Party. She finds herself spread too thin and simply does not having the time to do both.

I am humbled and honored by the faith you have in me to act as your president.
I know I can depend on all of you to take on one or more of the many necessary tasks. We need to work together as a team to keep this great chapter successful and able to follow its mission of opening the world of communication to people with hearing loss through education, support and advocacy.

TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More.

I thank those members who have stepped up to the plate and have given generously of their valuable time to the chapter.

I hope JoAnne will accept out heart-felt thanks for her efforts to make this chapter as great as it is.

We wish her well in her future venture.

Anne Taylor, President
Hearing Loss Association of America-Sarasota/Manatee
Website –
Facebook –


September – 2017 

Dear Members and Friends,

The U.S. Senate 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 has been working diligently with lawmakers to have the consumer voice heard. Their heartfelt thanks to all Hearing Loss of America -Sarasota/Manatee members who were responsive to their requests when they needed help to push this bill forward. HLAA couldn’t have done it without you!

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.

Thank you to our membership for your work on this – and all the work you do day in and out for people with hearing loss!
July – August 2017

Dear Members and Friends,

And the winner is …”The Hearing Loss Association of America – Sarasota/Manatee Chapter!” How sweet it was to hear those words and the resulting applause as our Chapter was announced as the recipient of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Healthcare & Wellness Organization of the Year award.

As board member Dave Donnelly stated, “The good does not come easily; numerous outreach events, farmers markets, monthly membership meetings both daytime and evenings; movie, theatre and book club activities.”

As everyone knows, it is truly a team effort – the dedication of our board and volunteers made the difference that brought this outstanding achievement.

Organizations nominated for an award had to complete an application, describe who their workers are, and provide examples of contributions to and/or programs available to the local community. A panel of judges comprised of their peers interviewed the finalists.

Selected from among 3 finalists in one of six categories, the mission of the Hearing Loss Association of America-Sarasota/Manatee chapter is to empower the more than145,000 locals with hearing loss to lead more active lives by providing information, education, advocacy and support.

HLAA-S/M launched locally in 1988, teaching members how to self-help and self-advocate for their hearing needs. HLAA-S/M continues to be instrumental in making hearing loss, often described as the “invisible condition”, very visible in the community. Monthly chapter meetings offer emotional support to those impacted by hearing loss, including hearing family & friends, and provides information & techniques that enables individuals to function independently & productively despite communication challenges.

Hearing loss is a major public health issue that is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease. HLAA-S/M refuses to be “invisible” in its determination to raise awareness and to help those impacted by hearing loss find solutions that will enable them to communicate better, hear better and live successfully with hearing loss.

We will continue our work and continue to keep the public informed about HLAA-S/M – we are making a difference! It’s very gratifying for our organization to be recognized and rewarded by the Sarasota business community.

June 2017

Do you know what to do and how to advocate for yourself in a medical setting? Fortunately for those of you that attended our monthly meeting in May, you received some helpful tips from our wonderful guest speaker, Valerie Stafford-Mallis. Valerie shared some great information with us and we have added this important information to our chapter’s website at

HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America) has prepared The Guide for Effective Communication in Health Care for patients, families, caregivers, all members of the health care team, administrators, and support staff. It provides information, resources, and tools to help improve communication.

The complete patient guide has a wealth of information and can be downloaded here:

If you are like many hard of hearing people, going to the hospital is scary. Not only are you anxious about your health problems, but you are worried that you won’t hear critically important information as doctors and nurses bustle in and out of your room mumbling instructions as they fill in your chart and hurry away. The secret is to be prepared ahead of time for your stay in the hospital. You can make things much easier for yourself if everyone you meet knows that you are hard of hearing and how best to communicate with you.

A hospital kit can help.
It contains signs and information to help you make your needs known. It provides information, resources, and tools to help improve communication. Several chapters around the country have created some resources for you to download.

The Lane County, Oregon Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America has developed several tip sheets and signs that you can print off yourself to make your own hospital kit. If you print them on colored paper, you’ll have an eye-catching set of hearing loss information for use in the hospital. You can now print out the parts of the hospital kit that will alert the hospital personnel to your needs at the following link:

HLAA-WA (Seattle Chapter) has made available on-line several accessibility aids. They can be accessed at:

We hope this information will give you some tools and resources to advocate for yourself in a medical setting.



May 2017

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce has chosen the Hearing Loss Association of America-Sarasota/Manatee Chapter as one of the finalists for its 2017 Frank G. Berlin Sr. Small Business Awards. We are extremely honored to be receiving such an important nomination along with all the nominees.

This prestigious honor recognizes local member businesses and individuals in six categories. Finalists are chosen based on innovation of product or service, business growth and contributions to the community, among other criteria. The mission of HLAA-S/M is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, support and advocacy. Our chapter is a vital advocate in making sure that the issue of hearing loss remains visible in our area. HLAA-S/M is extremely grateful for the recognition for their outreach efforts in the community.

On Friday, June 2, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce will honor six businesses at the 2017 Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Small Business Awards at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota from 11:30 AM to 1:15 PM.
We would love to have an HLAA-S/M presence at this event! If you are interested in supporting our organization and sitting at our table at the luncheon, please contact me ASAP (seating is limited) at to reserve your seat! Tickets are $50.00 per person.

An enormous thank you to the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce for their recognition of our organization. Although hearing loss is called the “invisible condition”, HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee will continue to rise to the challenge and refuses to be invisible in its determination to raise awareness regarding our mission of education, information, advocacy and support for people with hearing loss in our community.

April 2017

Dear Members and Friends,

This Chapter is amazing!

I am so thankful so many people stepped up to make the “HEARING TECH CLINIC” a resounding success last month. I have been on two trips. The opportunity to tour Asia for six weeks was a “must trip”, but it came with a “guilt trip” as I was unable to participate in the Clinic and other Chapter activities.

I cannot thank Ed Ogiba enough for bringing the Clinic together with the vendors, the panels and the publicity. Dr. Lyndsey Nalu developed the concept and Mark Selis did outstanding work with the hearing screenings. Also, thank you to the Community Foundation and John Annis for donating the facility.

Jill Simons recruited and organized our volunteers. Without our caring member volunteers, this event would not have been so successful. Allow me to use my monthly space to thank each volunteer (and some of their friends) for giving up a Saturday and providing help and support to the hearing loss community. They are:
thank you expo
March 2017

Dear Members and Friends,

On Saturday, March 11, the Chapter will present an unprecedented opportunity to try as well as compare ALL the latest hearing technologies without purchase or obligation.

This year’s “EXPO” event is entitled “HEARING TECH CLINIC”.

We have gathered vendors with the understanding that they are demonstrating and not selling. We want our members and friends to feel at ease in sampling the latest in hearing technology.

We, the not-for-profit Sarasota/Manatee Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America, are carrying out our mission to educate, advocate and support the hearing loss community. We hope you will support us by attending this free event.
We will be demonstrating and/or discussing the following:

• Hearing aids
• Cochlear implants
• Assistive listening devices
• Community access
• Hearing loops
• Captioned phones
• CART/captions
Free hearing screenings
Free product demonstrations
Free product trials
Free individual counseling
Free panel discussions
Free exhibitors

Join us between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM at the Community Foundation located between Tuttle Avenue and Shade Avenue. It is one mile east of 301 and four miles west of I-75.


January- 2017

Happy New Year!

I hope each of you has been able to have a better hearing holiday by utilizing the communication skills for the hard of hearing that HLAA promotes. This and the advocacy for captions on TV and movies, as well as looping of public venues, are HLAA National and local initiatives to improve the quality of life for those of us with hearing issues.

Currently, I’m planning on continuing my term as President of the Chapter in 2017 – but will need our Board and members’ help and support. You may have read I was recently elected as Chairwoman of a major community organization. I have been active over the years dedicating my time to both the political process and HLAA-S/M. I will continue to do this. Board members are stepping up to take on some of the outreach and organizing responsibilities that I love to do. As always, if you have an interest in getting more involved in our organization do not hesitate to contact me.

The Chapter has 12 Board members, each of whom takes on responsibilities that require their time and this is appreciated. Our meetings and outreach do not just happen; they require a lot of dedication by those who wish to help others. They dedicate their time to make them aware of the assistive devices and communication strategies that are so important to continuing active lifestyles despite the hearing limitations that three million of us in Florida live with every day.

Happy New Year from the entire HLAA-S/M Board. To all – have a great 2017!

December- 2016

When you or a family member has questions about hearing loss, where do you turn?  If you’re like many of the people with hearing loss in our

community, you reach out to the Hearing Loss Association of America-Sarasota/Manatee chapter. Why? Because you know you will receive the

information you need to answer any hearing loss questions you may have.

Please consider sending a donation today. Your gift is extremely important because it offers resources that are directed to our mission to open the

world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy.

Or consider giving a gift of membership. This is the holiday bargain of the year!  Membership applications can be found at the chapter website, and a gift of HLAA membership at

HLAA-S/M gives back all year —

  • Provides timely and reliable information about hearing loss through HLAA’s website, Hearing Loss Magazine, HLAA e-News, the Hearing Loss

Support Specialist Training, message boards/chat forums and the HLAA Convention

  • Advocacy at the national level to affect legislation that impacts people with hearing loss, whether it’s funding for hearing aids, cochlear implants,

communication access in public places or other important issues

  • A nationwide network of chapters and state organizations providing peer support
  • Support for parents of children with hearing loss at
  • Outreach to veterans returning with hearing loss
  • Our chapter and its volunteers give back every month
  • Captioning and hearing assistive technology at HLAA chapter meetings to make them accessible
  • Scholarships to the National HLAA Convention
  • Free membership and programs for Veterans
  • Installation of loops in public places, such as theatres, community rooms, Publix and public libraries
  • Seminars on coping with hearing loss for yourself and families

Every Sarasota/Manatee board member joins me in thanking you for your generous support. Your donation is helping to make hearing loss visible in our community.

Happy Holidays!

November- 2016

Our HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee local chapter “Dream Team” is so proud to be a part of The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) Walk4Hearing. The HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Dream Team will be in Jacksonville on Saturday, Nov 12th, representing our chapter and supporting our national organization.

The funds that are raised assist us in our mission of education/information, advocacy and support for the over 145,000 people with hearing loss in Sarasota/Manatee counties. Your donation helps to pay for items such as: captioning and hearing assistive technology at HLAA chapter meetings, our yearly Hearing Loss Expo, information packets we distribute at over 100 outreach events throughout the community, and so much more!

Please consider becoming a HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Dream Team member and join us for the Walk OR, if you can’t walk, please consider making a donation. Click on the link below and help us raise awareness of hearing loss in the community.

We are determined to make hearing loss visible in Sarasota/Manatee counties! Thank you for your ongoing support!

Make a Dream Team Donation!!

October – 2016

Thank you so much for all your gifts! The generosity from 80 HLAA-S/M supporters during the Giving Challenge contributed $4,668 which earned matching funds of $7,261 (from the Patterson Foundation) for the grand total of $11,729. An enormous Thank You to the Community Foundation for your ongoing support.

Every year during the Giving Challenge, we get hooked to our screens, phones, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County Facebook page, reaching out to our supporters, our friends, and our family. A combination of emails and social media outreach got the word out some, but word-of-mouth effort from everyone that believes in our mission, from the board on down and a “very active, very engaged” support community made the real difference.
This year we collaborated with the Ear Research Foundation and HearCare Connection, two hearing loss non-profits in our community. A very special thank you to our hosts for our Hearing Loss Reception, John & Eileen Hampshire for opening the doors of the beautiful Art To Walk On (16 S Palm) to support healthy hearing! We have made some new friends in the hearing loss community!

Have you wondered how your donations are used? Your donations have contributed to the foundation of our 2017 programs. We will continue to keep you updated on how your donations are put to work. Your continued support is critical to helping us achieve our goals. We will not waver from or forget that our ultimate goal is to make a difference in the lives of people with hearing loss. in Sarasota/Manatee!
Thank You for your ongoing support!

September – 2016

giving chal photo

It’s that time of the year where we have an amazing opportunity to bring awareness to the over 145,000 people with hearing loss in Sarasota/Manatee counties. The annual Giving Challenge event has become our chapter’s largest fundraiser and from noon to noon on September 20 to 21; all donations will be matched from $25 to $100 by the Community Foundation. The Chapter is hoping to gain the funds to make many major improvements to better serve you. One project is to build our Assistive Listening Device demo table to appear at every chapter meeting to keep you up to speed on all the advancements and to offer members the opportunity to try selected devices for a month.

We will be holding a Hearing Loss Happy Hour Kick-Off on Friday, September 16th from 5-7PM at Clasico Restaurant, 1341 Main Street, Sarasota.

There is also a Happy Hearing Party on Monday, September 19th from 5:30-7:00PM at Art To Walk On, 16 South Palm Ave, downtown Sarasota. This free, fun soiree promises to be most entertaining with an open wine and appetizer bar. At this gorgeous downtown store we will display some of the latest devices for people with hearing loss and there will be a gathering of HLAA board members in attendance to answer your questions. The beautiful hanging rugs will not only add a splendor to the occasion, but will dampen some of the crowd’s sounds so you will be able to hear and chat with others. This is a great event to bring any family member or friend who needs to do more about their hearing.

We are collaborating with the Ear Research Foundation and HearCare Connection, two local nonprofit organizations dedicated to advocating for hearing loss in our community.

The Giving Challenge will bring an enormous amount of community awareness to our organizations as well as increased visibility regarding hearing loss   Although hearing loss is called the “invisible condition”, we refuse to be invisible in our determination to raise awareness regarding our mission of education, information, advocacy and support for people with hearing loss in our community. Working together, our organizations can Be The One to Promote Happier Hearing and YOU can make a significant community impact through YOUR involvement with The Giving Challenge.

July/August- 2016

It is always such an amazing experience to attend the national HLAA convention.  People travel from across the country wanting to learn about hearing loss and what they can do about it.  HLAA remains the one organization that is the voice of consumers with hearing loss who want to stay in the hearing world.  HLAA is based on self help—finding out all you can about your hearing loss, making choices that keep you optimistic and, in turn, helping others do the same. 

For me, the national convention experience is always a new one—meeting new attendees, hearing a new story or idea, trying new technology, seeing a new city, and so much more!  The Convention was outstanding this year and included educational Chapter Building Workshops, a research symposium (Novel Approaches toward Addressing Hearing Loss—Ideas on the Cutting Edge), and a variety of hearing loss related seminars/presentations.  The Convention is a unique educational experience that provides opportunities for peer interactions and mutual sharing with others facing similar issues.

At our September 14th, 2016 monthly meeting all of the Sarasota/Manatee convention attendees will share some of the highlights of their experience. What a great experience we had—we can’t wait to share it with you! 


June- 2016

Washington D.C. is one of my favorite cities in the world to visit. Where else do you have the possibility of running into the President of the United States, see the Declaration of Independence, and eat any cuisine in the world. You will be proud to be an American. Washington, D.C. is a city where history happens!

Perfect timing in this presidential election year to visit The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building or Capitol Hill, is the seat of the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government.

Our incredible Flo Innes Welcome Party — the tradition continues for this special welcome to the HLAA National Convention in DC ia don’t miss get re-acquainted/re-connected gathering!

Head over to the National Mall to tour the monuments and Smithsonian museums. The best thing about them? Admission is FREE! To be honest, you really don’t even need to be big into history to appreciate everything that’s going on inside.

All New for Convention 2016: The Experience Room. Stocked with products offered by exhibitors, the Experience Room is the place to come to try out the latest technology for people with hearing loss in an environment much like your family room – comfy furniture, TV, card/game table, and more.

Special Events planned! Scavenger Hunt in DuPont Circle on Friday evening or see the Monuments by Night. Get your picture taken at the Jefferson Memorial. It faces the Washington Monument and the White House.

Sat, June 25th. Research Symposium: Novel Approaches toward Addressing Hearing Loss – Ideas on the Cutting Edge. The symposium will be a mix of research in the basic science/hair cell area as well as novel ideas in the area of service delivery.

Georgetown in itself is a reason to visit D.C.! The small university town is like a breath of fresh air outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, with views of the Potomac River and more shops to stroll in and out of than you can shake a stick at.

Attend the incredible Educational Chapter Workshops divided into four tracks – Advocacy; Assistive Technology & Large Area Systems; Hearing Aids & Cochlear Implants; and Living Your Life

State/Chapter Development Workshop Schedule – EVERYTHING you need to know on how to build a successful HLAA chapter!

And last but not least! Connecting with old HLAA friends and making news ones from across the country!

The City of Magnificent Intentions (first coined by Charles Dickens) because the city reflected the desires of its creators with symbols of liberty, and innovation etched and represented by the monuments of fallen heroes.

Enjoy the HLAA Washington D.C. Convention! See you there!

May 2016

Each May, Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM) provides an opportunity to raise public awareness about hearing loss. The HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee chapter mission is to continue to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy.

Better Hearing and Speech Month is a time to raise awareness and our local chapter can help you to continue to improve your hearing with the information and support you need. We encourage you to continue your journey to better hearing by attending our monthly chapter meetings and becoming a member of HLAA. We share communication options that can improve the quality of life for those who experience hearing loss.

may pres message

Hearing loss is sometimes referred to as an “invisible disability,” because it’s not always obvious when people have hearing loss, and it’s not often talked about. Studies show that only 1 in 5 people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one, and on average, people with hearing loss wait almost 10 years before they do something about it. Helen Keller once noted that of all her impairments, she was perhaps troubled most by her lack of speech and hearing. She elaborated that while blindness separated her from things, her lack of speech and hearing separated her from people — the human connection of communication.

Join us in raising public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of hearing loss.

April – 2016

The HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee chapter is committed to help consumers advocate and educate for their hearing loss. Our recent Hearing Loss Expo was our opportunity to share with the community the many advances in technology regarding hearing loss.  The Expo was a great, free opportunity to test-drive some devices that could bring relief to family, friends and coworkers. 

Through events such as the Expo, the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Sarasota/Manatee Chapter strengthens its commitment to its mission of empowering people with hearing loss to lead more active lives in the community by promoting education/information, hearing loss advocacy and support. 

We hope you will permit HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Chapter to continue to be a part of your hearing journey. Our monthly chapter meetings offer tips and techniques for living with hearing loss, emotional support and technical information about hearing assistance devices. Don’t miss our  April 13th meeting on Loops/T-Coils  “How and Why They Work and Why They Sometimes Don’t.” a review of the basics of Looping, proper Loop installations and a discussion about the challenges various venues present to using the Loop effectively.

An enormous THANK YOU to our exhibitors, attendees, Board of Trustee’s and wonderful volunteers who made the Expo so successful! 

March – 16

The theme for this year’s expo is “What’s New.” The theme reflects the huge strides being made in technologies to help the hard of hearing. The 5th annual Hearing Loss Expo, featuring over 35 exhibitors and educational seminars, takes place Saturday, March 5 from 9am to 3pm at the Manatee Technical College, 6305 State Road 70 East in Bradenton, one mile west of I-75 exit 217B

The HLAA Sarasota/Manatee Chapter announces the creation of the Technology Solution Center, a series of user-friendly, experiential product stations where consumers can try and compare a range of new products for specific needs. Each of the six stations is designed to address one of consumers’ most problematic situations, such as struggling to have a conversation in a noisy restaurant, by trying and comparing the latest relevant wireless device options.

The Technology Solution Center will debut at the 2016 Hearing Loss Expo, Florida’s largest hearing care fair for consumers, on March 5.

We have lined up exhibitors and a roster of expert speakers for the 2016 Sarasota/Manatee Hearing Loss Expo. This event is free to the public and our way of reaching out to our community in need. 145,000 locals have hearing loss and 116,000 are not getting the treatment and support they need to lead less isolated lives. In addition, to take advantage of the robust number of educational outlets that will be available at the Expo, we are rolling our Veterans Hearing Awareness Forum into the Expo in 2016. There are 85,000 veterans living in Sarasota/Manatee and 17,600 of them suffer with hearing loss.

We greatly appreciate your generous and consistent past support of our efforts. And we are grateful for your continued support of this very worthy event. Invite your family, friends and neighbors! See you on March 5th at the Hearing Loss Expo!

February – 2016

Save The Date- March 5th!  The theme for this year’s expo is “What’s New.” The theme reflects the huge strides being made in technologies to help the hard of hearing. We have already lined up exhibitors and a roster of expert speakers for the 2016 Sarasota/Manatee Hearing Loss Tech Expo which will be held on March 5, 2016.

Seminars will feature an insiders’ look at many of these new innovative technologies, such as captioned phones, new hearing aid and implant technologies.  This EXPO is free to the public and our way of reaching out to our community in need. Over 145,000 locals have hearing loss and 116,000 are not getting the treatment and support they need to lead less isolated lives.

To take advantage of the robust number of educational outlets that will be available at the Expo, we are rolling our Veterans Hearing Awareness Forum into the Expo in 2016. There are 85,000 veterans living in Sarasota/Manatee and 17,600 of them suffer with hearing loss.

The Hearing Tech Expo is open to the community and sponsored by the Hearing Loss Association of America-Sarasota/Manatee Chapter. The event takes place on Saturday, March 5 from 9 am to 4 pm at Manatee Technical College (MTC) 6305 State Road 70 in Bradenton, just 1 mile west of I-75 and exit 217B.

For more details, click:

We look forward to meeting you at Expo 2016!

January – 2016

Greetings Friends!

The holidays are always a busy and special time for many of us. As I look back over the past year I can’t help but think what a wonderful year it has been for HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee. This past year has been an exceptional one for us. We have managed to accomplish a lot.

We couldn’t accomplish the mission of HLAA-S/M — information, education, support and advocacy — without all of your support.

It’s also that time of year when we reflect and say thank you to those who have work diligently throughout the year on behalf of people with hearing loss and HLAA-S/M. Thank you for your financial support and for your ongoing support of our local HLAA chapter over the past year

We have an exciting upcoming year planned. We invite you to join us on Tuesday, Jan 26th at 10:30AM at North County Library for a Volunteer Appreciation gathering. We will share with you some of our activities and special meetings that we have planned!

Best wishes for the happiest of holidays.

December – 2015

It is our mission to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy. In order to meet our mission and provide services in our community, we rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses for support. Without the assistance of community-minded individuals just like you, we wouldn’t be able to serve those in our community each year.

We continue to strive to expand our programs and offerings to the community. We hope that you will be able to take part in one or more of the many exciting events/meetings that we are offering in the upcoming year and experience firsthand the pride we take in supporting our cause.

Did you know that this past year we have touched the lives of many through our participation in 100+ outreach events, leading chapter meetings in Sarasota and Venice, and hosting an annual Hearing Loss Expo. The Chapter offers free hearing & health screenings and the latest products & services by reaching out to the more than 145,000 people with hearing loss in Sarasota/Manatee counties. Your generosity will make a difference in our community by allowing us to continue in our work.

Your support of HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee ensures we can continue our efforts to find, educate and motivate these individuals to seek treatment, while providing chapter members with emotional support and the most current information available. Although hearing loss is called the “invisible condition”, HLAA Sarasota/Manatee refuses to be invisible in its determination to raise awareness regarding our mission of education, information, advocacy and support for people with hearing loss in our community.

Your donation is helping to make our community healthier. Right here. Right now. We are so grateful to you for helping to create and support our mission. Please click on the link to make a donation. Remember that every donation makes a difference, regardless of size.

Happy Holidays

November – 2015

Walk with your friends and family, meet others who live with hearing loss, and support the efforts of the Hearing Loss Association of America and the Sarasota/Manatee Chapter to raise awareness about hearing loss. Join the Sarasota/Manatee Dream Team on Saturday, November 7th, in Jacksonville!

Why Join the Sarasota/Manatee Dream Team? To meet others who live successfully with hearing loss and to support HLAA’s advocacy efforts that makes life better for you. Raising awareness, sharing information, and connecting with others – this is what HLAA is all about and what the Walk4Hearing supports. Be a part of the HLAA community by joining me – and many others – at the Florida/Jacksonville Walk4Hearing.

Why is your support so important? Hearing loss is the third major health issue in the country, affecting 48 million Americans (145,000 in Sarasota/Manatee). Your donation to the Walk helps fund HLAA’s mission to provide information, education, advocacy and support to people with hearing loss at the Sarasota/Manatee Chapter and at the national level.

Joining the Sarasota Dream Team is easy! Register here and click on “Join Team.”

If you’re not available to walk but would like to donate to the Sarasota/Manatee Chapter Dream Team please consider making a donation

This is your opportunity to connect with people who live successfully with hearing loss. All donations are gratefully appreciated. Thank you for your support!

August/September – 2015

The 2015 HLAA St Louis Convention was a fabulous event!
Everything regarding hearing loss was under one roof to leave you inspired and filled with new ideas. The Convention offered a wide variety of workshops divided into four tracks: Advocacy; Assistive and Other Technology; Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants; and Relationships and Communication. And, it wasn’t just about what you could learn or discover, it was about being surrounded by people who understand your hearing loss in a place where it’s okay not to hear well.

Our HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Chapter Board Members represented our chapter at many of the seminars. Joan Haber moderated the Newcomers Orientation, Communications Strategies, and How to Run a Rap Session. Dr. Lyndsey Nalu presented Untreated Hearing Loss: Effects on Physical, Cognitive, and Social Well Being. Anne Taylor sat on a panel regarding the Gallaudet Peer Mentoring program. I participated in Social Media, Fundamentals of Loops and planning Community Event workshops. The first-of-its-kind Symposium, moderated by HLAA National and HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Board of Trustee member Valerie Stafford-Mallis, was presented from the perspectives of the employer and the employee with hearing loss. And, former President Ed Ogiba organized all of the workshops for the State Chapter Development room. I was so proud to be a member of the Sarasota/Manatee chapter and have our team be such an active participant in the convention.

We are already making plans for HLAA Convention 2016, June 23 – 26, at the Washington Hilton, Washington, DC. Save The Date!!

July 2014 – 2015 Spirit of HLAA Award

The Hearing Loss Association of America honors people who are not only actively involved in HLAA but who also set an example for others as 898936_1138640866162472_1387936620_opositive role models of the self- help philosophy and who also embody the attitude that “it’s not the difference we have, it’s the difference we make.” It is such an honor to be one of three recipients across the country to receive the 2015 Spirit of HLAA Award at the recent HLAA National convention in St Louis.

The statistics are alarming. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 20% of our population has some level of hearing loss. Locally, that translates into approximately 145,000 residents in Sarasota-Manatee counties. We have put tremendous efforts in the past years to reach, educate and motivate these individuals to seek treatment. What makes us unique and our goals challenging is that the majority of the population we are trying to reach is in denial regarding their hearing loss.

Every year we focus on finding new and different ways to reach out to people with hearing loss, so we can arm them with the information they need that will lead to better hearing and quality of life.

Attendance at monthly chapter meetings is strong due to the variety of topics presented by guest speakers, the exchange of knowledge, encouragement, and the sharing of experiences. Our Movie, Book and Theatre Clubs continue to grow as members learn about and take advantage of the latest technology that enables them to again participate in activities they put aside due to their hearing loss.

Although hearing loss is called the “invisible condition”, HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee will continue to rise up to the challenge and refuses to be invisible in its determination to raise awareness regarding our mission of education, information, advocacy and support for people with hearing loss in our community.


Previous President’s Messages

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015