Please let us know if there are topics or speakers that you’d like to see in our schedule! You can start a conversation about areas of interest with the membership by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can check in with the steering committee by emailing HLAABoston@gmail.com.
Previous Speaker Series Presentations
–> June 17, 2017
Permanent Loop: Boston Public Library Jamaica Plain Branch
On Saturday, June 17 from 10 AM to Noon the Jamaica Plain branch of the Boston Public Library at 30 South Street in Jamaica Plain will open its doors and host a program to talk about hearing loss and the newest looping technology that they are working to establish in that environment to make them more accessible. Come participate in an open discussion about living with hearing loss and about the best devices and practices. Refreshments will be served and CART will be provided by HLAA-Boston Chapter.
–> March 12, 2017
Auditory Training Online: Programs that Help Us Learn to Listen
Hearing with improved speech comprehension requires us to learn stronger skills for attending and listening. This workshop will be conducted by representatives of Advanced Bionics, Cochlear Americas, and Med El, and will give participants an opportunity to learn about and experience online auditory training options.
Jane Ledingham and Mike Skrip, Advanced Bionics
Gina Greco, MedEl
Mark Campbell-Foster and Lauren Seafert, Cochlear
–> Sunday, November 13
A New England Holiday Gathering
at the historic
Longfellow’s Wayside Inn
(the oldest operating Inn in the country – since 1716)
with special guests
Katherine Bouton and Beth Wilson
72 Wayside Inn Road
Sudbury, MA 01776
(See the luscious Wayside Inn Brunch Menu here!)
My Hearing Loss Journey: from Denial to Activism
A Pre-Holiday Communication Strategies Tune-up
HLAA Boston Chapter
CART sponsored by HLAA Central MA Chapter and Samina Khan, Au.D. of Advanced Hearing Solutions
About Our Presenters
–> Saturday, October 15
MA Eye and Ear Infirmary
Tina Childress, AuD, CCC-A is an educational audiologist in mainstream and residential school settings, technology and social media aficionado, late-deafened adult and bilateral cochlear implant recipient. With her unique perspective and passion for sharing information through social media, she is a sought out international presenter and adjunct lecturer to families, adults and professionals on a variety of topics but especially Hearing Assistive Technology, apps, cochlear implants, advocacy and effective strategies for coping with hearing loss. Dr. Childress is active on many local and national Boards and Committees where she is a strong advocate for accessibility and disseminating resources. Among the honors she has received, Tina was a 2013 recipient of the Oticon Focus on People Awards, which honor outstanding individuals who prove that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to live a full, productive, and even inspiring life.
Amplify Your Audiology Appointment
With her dual perspective as an audiologist, late-deafened adult and bilateral cochlear implant recipient, Tina shared with the audience strategies to best communicate with their audiologists during appointments. We discussed some terminology, important information to share and resources for continued learning.
–>Sunday, June 5, 2016
The Mosesian Theater at Arsenal Center for the Arts
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Celebration ’16: a Collaborative Event Co-hosted with ALDA Boston
with Writer, Actress and Hearing Loss Advocate Gael Hannan
violist Alexander Vavilov
Geoff Plant, President Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation,
Heidi Reed, Massachusetts Commissioner of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and
The Staff of New Rep in Residence at Arsenal Center for the Arts, Recipients of The 2016 Excellence in Accessibility Award
Hearing loss isn’t funny – but Gael Hannan is.
This tour de force solo show was drawn from a lifetime of communication muck-ups. In a compelling and hilarious performance accompanied by acclaimed violist Alexander Vavilov, Gael brought the world of hearing loss out of the shadows, taking us from the horror of childhood spelling tests, to the Diary of a Mad Hearing Aid User, to the comic dangers of bluffing your way through life’s conversations – interwoven with the poignant story of a woman’s struggle to communicate with the people she loves.
For anyone who has hearing loss, or who knows someone who does, or who simply says pardon more than three times a day, HuH? Life with a Cranky Cochlea was a must-see.
With thanks to our generous sponsors: Shanahan Sound, Oticon Advanced Bionics, Cochlear Americas, Maria’s Pastry Shop in the North End of Boston, Hamilton Relay, Caption Call
–> Sunday, May 1, MA Eye and Ear Infirmary
Rehabilitation Audiologist Dusty Jessen on
5 Keys to Communication Success
about this program:
Accurate communication exchanges are critical to creating and maintaining quality relationships in the home, the workplace, and the community. After a decade of working with people who are frustrated by hearing loss, Dr. Jessen has found that most of her patients and their family members experience similar communication challenges. While hearing aids and hearing assistive technology has improved drastically over the past decade, they remain only a partial solution to communication breakdowns. Communication is a complex puzzle that can only be solved when all the pieces are placed properly.
In order to make this process easy and effective, Dr. Jessen has developed a simple tool called the “5 Keys to Communication Success.” When used consistently, these 5 keys can effectively conquer communication breakdowns in nearly any situation and empower those with hearing loss to take a global look at communication, and make the necessary changes to create a situation where communication success is possible.
The 5 Keys also empower friends, family members, and co-workers of those with hearing loss to play an active role in ensuring a successful communication exchange.
This presentation will teach the participants how to apply the 5 Keys to Communication Success in several of the most difficult communication situations. Special attention will be given to the various hearing assistive technologies (HAT) that are available today, and how those can be utilized in various situations.
The stories, education, and practice provided by this seminar will ensure that each participant is equipped with the 5 Keys to Communication Success!
CART provided. Parking vouchers available to attendees.
–> Tuesday April 5th, Brookline Library, Coolidge Corner branch
An Evening Program with Mike Harvey, Ph.D.
Nurturing Resilience In the Face of Hearing Loss:
Lecture & Experiential Role Playing
Dr. Harvey is one of our most important resources for learning to skillfully negotiate the emotional impact of hearing loss. His workshop combined lecture with experiential role playing and focussed on the effects of several dysfunctional, disempowering thoughts as well as the more functional, empowering thoughts that many persons with hearing loss experience.
–>Saturday, March 19 at 1:00 PM at Old South Church, Boston
How to Succeed at Legislative Advocacy in Massachusetts:
A two-part program
Statewide Advisory Council (SAC) Members
Ellen Perkins and Betsy McCarthy
Attendees learned about bills in the Massachusetts legislature that are favorably reported out of committee and sharpened strategies to succeed in getting them passed.
—> Saturday, December 5, 2015: Our Annual Holiday Party
–> Sunday, November 15, 2015 HLAA Boston Chapter Rap Session
At this “Tell Ws What Interests You” meeting, friends of HLAA Boston gathered in the Sloane Teaching Room at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary to discuss chapter volunteer opportunities and topics of interest for upcoming Speaker Series events.
–> September 16 – 20, 2015
HLAA Boston launched its 2015-16 Speaker Series at Arsenal Center for the Arts!
New Rep’s Charles Mosesian Theater,
Arsenal Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal Street
Watertown, MA 02472
HLAA Boston Chapter began its new season of Speaker Series events with a theater-based hearing loop demonstration project in collaboration with New Rep Theater at Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown.
The project consisted of a schedule of hearing-accessible performances of the Arthur Miller play “Broken Glass” in the Charles Mosesian Theater at Arsenal Center for the Arts. The theater was looped for the duration of the project. As part of this collaboration, HLAA Boston presented a Hearing Assistive Technologies Workshop on Saturday, September 19 .
Hearing Assistive Technologies (H.A.T.) Workshop
Paul Czech, an experienced user of Hearing Assistive Technology (H.A.T.) and graduate of HLAA’s H.A.T. training program, conducted a workshop on hearing assistive technologies emphasizing devices that work with the telecoil. (The telecoil – or “t-coil” is a small copper coil that is an option on most hearing aids and is built into cochlear implant processors. As part of this workshop, Paul explored the effectiveness of hearing loops in large area listening situations such as those involving theater and other public events.
This exciting workshop included an opportunity for theater patrons and workshop attendees to ask questions and offer comments about the effectiveness of listening in a looped environment.
Mr. Czech is an attorney who suffered a profound hearing loss in 2011 and is now a bilateral Cochlear Implant recipient. As a matter of necessity Paul began exploring Assistive Listening Devices in his efforts to continue his law practice by being able to properly represent his clients in a court room setting. This exploration took him to a number of hearing loss and audiology conferences as part of his quest for the best hearing enhancement systems. He attended a training session in Bethesda, Maryland at the HLAA National Headquarters and is now certified in the use and understanding of Hearing Assistive Technology. Please join us on September 19 at New Rep when Paul will be sharing his acquired insight into these necessary and very useful technologies.
PROGRAM NOTES, cont’d.:
by Arthur Miller
directed by Jim Petosa
This powerful, Olivier Award-winning, and Tony-nominated drama is presented as part of a national celebration of the centennial of the birth of playwright Arthur Miller. It is November 11, 1938, the day after Kristallnacht, when Sylvia Gellburg loses the ability to walk. Her husband Phillip desperately seeks to find the cause. After consulting Dr. Harry Hyman, it’s determined that her paralysis may have been psychosomatically induced. Hyman’s obsession with curing Sylvia uncovers a complex tangle of egos, resentment, and guilt, as well as Phillip’s own paralyzing struggle with his Jewish identity.
HLAA Boston Chapter extends deepest appreciation to our sponsor!
Previous Speaker Series Presentations
–> May 9, 2015
Listeners with Hearing Loss and Their Communication Partners – How to Make It Work
An audience of 35 attendees joined together with psychologist Sam Trychin and rehabilitation audiologist Dusty Jessen at our half-day communication strategies symposium. The gathering provided a rich opportunity for participants to acquire information and tools for preventing and reducing hearing loss-related communication difficulties and staying in better touch with our communication partners (and ourselves.)
Attendees enjoyed lunch on the patio at Cornerstone Village Co-housing and received a copy of Dr. Jessen’s manual for hearing loss management, “5 Keys to Communication Success.”
About Our Presenters
Sam Trychin is a psychologist in private practice who focuses on psycho-social interventions for people who have hearing loss and their communication partners. Among his many roles as a therapist and educator, Dr. Trychin serves as the Mental Health and Rehabilitation Advisor to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). He has written 15 books, authored several professional book chapters and journal articles, and produced a variety of DVDs focused on strategies for living better with hearing loss. He and his wife, Janet Trychin, an audiologist, frequently conduct workshops and training programs together. Dr. Trychin serves as a faculty member of the Ida Institute of Denmark studying best practices in hearing loss treatment as well as the relationship between persons with hearing loss and their hearing healthcare providers. He has also been Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Living with Hearing Loss Program at Gallaudet University.
Once at the root of the audiology profession, aural rehab has become an often difficult-to-access component of hearing healthcare. Dusty Jessen, Au.D., C.C.C.-A., is a practicing audiologist committed to integrating an aural rehabilitation program of communication management strategies into the services she offers her clients. Her successful “5 Keys to Communication Success” system of materials for patients, their families and friends and hearing healthcare professionals has been widely received as an effective, powerful instrument that can help people with hearing loss to achieve improved communication and well being. Dr. Jessen teaches about her approach to aural rehab at professional conferences and through her writings in the ASHA Leader and has presented a webinar on the HLAA website as well as a workshop at the HLAA Convention.
Thank you to our sponsors:
–> Saturday, April 11, 2015
Cornerstone Village Common House, 175 Harvey St., Cambridge, MA
LIVING WELL WITH HEARING LOSS: HEARING AIDS, COCHLEAR IMPLANTS – AND OTHER IMPORTANT SOLUTIONS
a breakfast meeting with Juliette Sterkens, Au.D.
Twenty five participants joined with loops advocate Juliette Sterkens for a presentation on all things hearing: hearing loss, hearing aids, t-coils, hearing loops and cochlear implants.
In a 2013 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, audiologist Juliette Sterkens noted that her long term goal is to make America more accessible for people with hearing loss and to be remembered as someone who helped her many patients enjoy life because of the audiology services she provided. Dr. Sterkens is well on her way to achieving those ends.
The recipient of a number of prestigious awards from professional organizations and HLAA, Dr. Sterkens has conducted a wildly successful accessibility initiative in her hometown Osh Kosh Wisconsin and, now retired from active practice, continues to work as a hearing loops advocate. Dr. Sterkens travels across the country, working with HLAA chapters and hearing healthcare patient and professional groups to increase awareness about hearing loss the need for expanding the number of hearing-friendly places.
–> Saturday, March 7, 2015, 1:30
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 243 Charles St., Boston. Meltzer Auditorium, 3rd floor
Auditory Training Hands-on Workshop: Can persons with hearing loss learn how to listen more effectively?
with Geoff Plant, President of the non-profit Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation (HRF)
This unique workshop offered participants an opportunity to observe individuals with hearing loss as they worked with Geoff Plant in real-time auditory training sessions. We learned by watching and through group discussion. Geoff offered information about what the research from rehabilitation audiologists tells us about how to use auditory training to achieve positive communication outcomes. We connected with old friends & new aquaintances, and enjoyed some home baked refreshments.
Geoff Plant, President of the non-profit Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation (HRF) in Somerville, MA, is a long time provider of auditory training to children and adults with hearing loss, including those fitted with hearing aids, cochlear implants, and tactile aids. The Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation offers auditory training and listening support to people from all over New England and works internationally to develop innovations in communication training for people with hearing loss.
–> Saturday, December 13
Cornerstone Village Function Room, 175 Harvey St., Cambridge, MA
Hearing Loss and the Holidays: A Pot Luck Luncheon Party and Rap Session
Gatherings with family and friends can be the heart and soul of the winter holidays. Listening in large groups with multiple conversations can test our fortitude. At this warm gathering with delicious food and supportive company, guests talked about their “communication pet peeves” and best strategies for living well with hearing loss – and everyone took home a copy of the excellent communication strategies manual “Cut to the Chase” by Dusty Jessen, Au.D.! We also tried out our new portable hearing loop, which provided an excellent signal to those of us who are able to use t-coils on hearing aids and cochlear implants.
–> Saturday, October 18, 2014
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Hearing Assistive Technology Conference For People with Hearing Loss with Brad Ingrao, Au.D.
Sponsored by HLAA Boston and ALDA Boston
Morning Presentation: Maximizing Hearing Technology for Everyday Listening Success
We are fortunate enough to live in a time where a plethora of hearing technologies exists to address a wide range of types and levels of hearing loss. Too often, however, we stop at hearing aids or cochlear implants and never really utilize all the tools at our disposal. This session demystified Hearing Assistive Technology and provided a map for adapting HAT tools to the full range of listening situations in everyday life.
Afternoon Presentation: Music and Hearing Loss – Obstacles and Solutions
Dr. Brad Ingrao has been an audiologist for 20 years, but has been around hearing loss nearly all his life. Before earning his Bachelor’s in Education of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped and Masters of Education in Audiology from the State University of New York at New Paltz, he studied music and worked in the family business alongside his hard of hearing Uncle. During his time at New Paltz, Dr. Ingrao supported himself as a Sign Language Interpreter. This skill came in handy years later when he adopted a Deaf child, now 22.
After several years in private practice and specialty clinical services, Dr. Ingrao returned to school and earned his Au.D degree from AT Stills University.
During his career Dr. Ingrao has worked in small, family-owned practices, large specialty Ear Nose and Throat clinics, multi-national audiology software and diagnostic equipment companies and has taught at two universities. He has presented at state, national and international conferences on hearing loss, has written numerous articles in professional journals, authored a chapter in the book Making Music with a Hearing Loss: Strategies and Stories and has provided technical and anatomical illustrations for several audiology text books and resources for parents of deaf and hard of hearing children.
Dr. Ingrao served as a consultant for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center at Gallaudet University, a regular columnist for “Hearing Loss” Magazine from the Hearing Loss Association of America, and a member of the Consumer Electronics Association R4WG19 working group on accessibility. He is a former Member of the Board of Trustees at Hearing Loss Association of America, Florida and Member of the Board of Directors at Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota.
Dr. Ingrao currently is Supervisory Audiologist at New Mexico V.A. Health Care and resides in Albequerque, New Mexico.
–> September 20, 2014
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
This year on September 20, Mass Eye and Ear’s annual forum on hearing loss issues, “Have You Heard?” featured a guest appearance by Katherine Bouton, HLAA Trustee and author of the memoir Shouting Won’t Help! Why I–and 50 Million Other Americans–Can’t Hear You.
Ms. Bouton’s highly-acclaimed book, telling the story of adult-onset hearing loss, was published in 2013 by Sarah Crichton/Farrar Straus & Giroux. She is a former editor at the New York Times, where she was deputy editor of the Sunday Magazine for ten years. She also held senior editing positions on Science Times, the Sunday Book Review, and Culture. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and elsewhere.
Katherine has had progressive bilateral hearing loss since 1978, and in September 2009 received a cochlear implant. Her writing and speaking now focus on hearing loss and other disability issues. Her blog What I Hear appears on the Psychology Today website. She is currently working on a practical guide to living with hearing loss, tentatively titled “Come to Your Senses: Learn to Live Better with Hearing Loss.” She has been a member of HLAA since 2010 and was appointed to the Board of Trustees in October 2013.
The “Have You Heard” forum also included leaders in research on the causes of and treatments for hearing loss: Dr. Sharon G. Kujawa, Chair, Department of Audiology at MEEI, and Dr. Charles Liberman.
Dr. Sharon G. Kujawa
Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology
Director, Department of Audiology
M. Charles Liberman, Ph.D.
Previous Speaker Series Presentations
–> Sunday, September 29, 2013
Speaker Series Event: Captioning in the 21st Century: Digital TV, Online, and Mobile
with Larry Goldberg
Larry Goldberg is founder and director of the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at Boston’s public media leader, WGBH. Mr. Goldberg reviewed the current laws and regulations governing TV and online media; how and where to access captioned media; and how to advocate for captioning in public places. Refreshments and socializing to follow the presentation.
(NCAM is a research and development group which focuses on public policy, advancing access to media and technology for people with disabilities. Under Larry’s leadership, NCAM has conducted dozens of innovative R&D projects for full inclusion in such fields as online education and digital publishing, mobile devices and mobile media, in-flight entertainment, home media networks, Web-based media, theatrical motion pictures, museums and theme parks, and many others. Larry regularly briefs Congressional and regulatory agencies on barriers and opportunities in new and emerging media and was instrumental in the passage of landmark legislation for accessible media and technology.)
–> Sunday, November 10, 2013
Workshop Event: Communication, Hearing Loss and the Holidays – A Wine and Cheese Gathering and Group Conversation on Living Well with Hearing Loss
facilitated by Beth Wilson
–> Saturday, Jan 25, 2014
Speaker Series Event: Advocating for Yourself in the Workplace – How to Make Your Organization More Accessible for People with Hearing Loss
with Barbara Johnson
Barbara Johnson is an active member of both ALDA Boston and HLAA Boston chapter. Employed as the Project Manager in charge of Customer Support, Information Services & Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her presentation on workplace self-advocacy was highly acclaimed at the 2013 HLAA Convention in Portland.
Barbara’s presentation helped participants understand the broad benefits of accessibility in the workplce for those with hearing loss. Hearing loss at work does not have to be an obstacle. The benefits of greater accessibility are both global and local, assisting individuals with and without hearing loss.
–> Saturday, February 8, 2014
Workshop Event: Build Your Resiliency to Stress: An Introduction to The Relaxation Response
with Laura Malloy, LICSW
Laura Malloy, LICSW is the Co-Director of the Education Initiative and Director of Yoga at the Benson Henry Institute for Mind Boston Medicine at Mass General Hospital. She teaches various forms of relaxation and stress reduction in educational, clinical and community settings.
This program allowed participants to engage in a dialogue about stressors that are unique to living with hearing loss and learn about the Relaxation Response, the antidote to the stress response. Participants also discussed and practiced simple, evidence-based strategies to help build resiliency and stress hardiness.
–> Saturday, March 1, 2014
Speaker Series Event: Auditory Training – What It Is and How It Facilitates Habits for More Effective Listening with Hearing Loss
with Geoff Plant
Geoff Plant, President of the non-profit Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation (HRF), is a long time provider of auditory training to children and adults with hearing loss, including those fitted with hearing aids, cochlear implants, and tactile aids.
From the Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation website:
“The past twenty years have seen many exciting technological innovations for people with acquired profound hearing losses. These have included greatly improved hearing aid designs, specialized assistive listening devices, the introduction and rapid development of cochlear implants, and innovations in tactile aid design. Despite these developments, it is apparent that technology is not always enough, and that some people with acquired deafness require special additional assistance even after the fitting of the most appropriate devices.”
In addition to his client practice, Geoff presents speech communication training workshops for teachers and clinicians working with adults and children and organizes the biennial Adult Aural Rehabilitation Conference for hearing healthcare professionals.
–> Saturday, April 5, 2014
Speaker Series Event: Aural Rehabilitation – The Gold Standard in Hearing Health Care
with Kathleen Cienkowski, Ph.D.
This program offered an understanding of aural rehabilitation (“A.R.”) and how it supplements and enhances audiologic care that focuses primarily on hearing aids and cochlear implants. We learned about some of the specific A.R. practices in audiology and how they can help people with hearing loss to increase well being and communication success.
Dr. Cienkowski’s work as an audiologist is distinguished by her commitment to the investigation and development of models for patient centered care. Currently, she is Associate Professor of Audiology in the School of Communication Disorders at University of Connecticut in nearby Storrs, just an hour south of Boston. As Director of the Aural Rehabilitation Laboratory at UConn, Dr. Cienkowski explores the development of aural rehabilitation programs that will improve the use and benefits of amplification and studies the psychological and social issues underlying acceptance of amplification. Among her many contributions to the field of hearing loss treatment, Dr. Cienkowski has served in a variety of leadership capactities with principle audiology professional organizations, helping to inform fellow audiologists about the relevance of A.R. as an important component of hearing healthcare. She is a regular contributor to HLAA New England chapter programs.