Prior Meeting ReCap

January 17, 2024

Hearing Aid Specialist Carol Pandis and Hearing Loss Advocate Richard Pocker shared how the Hearing Aid Project is making a difference in our community. The Hearing Aid Project collects and refurbishes hearing aids, then connects low-income adults who cannot afford them to a local hearing aid provider who dispenses the refurbished aids free of charge. Hearing aids used are no more than two years old. Older aids are used to train audiology students or for parts. 

Steering Committee member John Wagner gave an update on the status of the chapter’s governance and the need for volunteers. 

December 20, 2023

The Sarasota/Manatee Chapter held its final meeting in 2023 by holding its annual holiday gathering. Attendees enjoyed a light breakfast while listening to the Afternoon Delight Quartet and singing along to Christmas favorites. A great time was had by all!

November 15, 2023

The theme of our November Rap Session was The Future of Our Chapter. President Valerie Stafford-Mallis canvassed the group on various topics, including what worked well and what could be better, program speakers and subjects, and preferences for meeting dates, times, and locations of 2024 chapter meetings. 

In addition, Valerie informed the group that the chapter bylaws were amended and nominations for the three open positions on the Board of Trustees would close at the end of this meeting. Without nominations or self-nominations to meet the minimum requirements for a board, the chapter leadership will transition from a formal board of trustees to a steering committee effective January 1, 2024.  

October 18, 2023

Christopher Hinrichs, Ethics & Compliance Officer for Sarasota County, provided an overview of the ADA. His informative presentation included the protection the ADA offers to those with hearing loss in various areas. He explained what is considered ‘reasonable’ accommodation and how Title II protects those with disabilities from state and local government discrimination.

September 20, 2023

Having to interact with the police, even during a routine traffic stop, when you have hearing loss can be challenging and frightening. Our September speaker, Chris Littlewood, Instructional Technology Coordinator at St. Petersburg’s College Center for Public Safety Innovation, shared ways to make that interaction less intimidating and more positive. During his presentation, Chris reminded us of our rights and stressed the importance of letting local agencies know you have hearing loss. All enjoyed his presentation!

August 16, 2023

Lynn Rousseau from the Gainesville HLAA Chapter entertained and informed us with everything we ever needed to know about hearing loss and safe travel by air, land, and sea. We laughed and learned at the same time. Brava, Lynn, for a wonderful presentation!

July 19, 2023

InnoCaption CEO Joe Duarte and Marketing Director Matt Goncalves spoke to our chapter about the amazing world of captioning for telephones, how the technology works, and what InnoCaption offers. InnoCaption offers a choice between on-demand telephone call captioning generated by Automatic Speech Recognition or CART writers, completely FREE OF CHARGE to people with hearing loss. The calls can be made from your smartphone or your desktop computer. We had an excellent turnout for this very exciting presentation.

JUNE 21, 2023

Our chapter welcomed the first official day of summer with a rap session. Chapter members shared struggles, triumphs, rants, and raves about our issues as people with hearing loss. The Hearing Loss Association of America Sarasota Chapter embraces HLAA Founder Rocky Stone’s notion that together, we are stronger. People with hearing loss helping people with hearing loss is the most powerful way there is to lighten the invisible load of hearing loss. No topic was off-limits, and we covered quite a few!

MAY 2023

On May 17, 2023, Ed McCrane, Chief of Sarasota County Emergency Management, spoke to our chapter about what we need to do BEFORE HURRICANE SEASON BEGINS to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

APRIL 2023

On April 19, 2023, Speech and Language Pathologist Marilyn Neil MA, CCC-SLP, of Sarasota Memorial Hospital, discussed the various ways aural rehabilitation can improve conversational ability and the quality of life for people with hearing loss.

Her presentation was a mix of informative clinical information and then real-world applications of that information to the challenging listening situations those of us living with hearing loss encounter daily. Our chapter is so grateful to Marilyn for generously sharing her expertise and slide deck with the Sarasota chapter. A good time enjoying information and social support was had by all.