Upcoming HLAA Picnic June 8!

Want a fun place to hang out with your friends, enjoy good food, play some games and have a chance to win raffle prizes? Where can you go to learn about TONS of products and services for the hearing loss community in one place? Looking for family-friendly entertainment with fun for both kids and adults?

The answer to all of these is The 5th Annual HLAAKC Picnic – Saturday, June 8, 4pm-8pm – Shawnee Mission Park (7900 Renner Rd., Lenexa, KS 66219), Shelter #8! Visit with vendors and learn about products and services for people with hearing loss! Buy raffle tickets for a chance to win fun prizes! Enjoy a special performance by JJ the Mime! We even have a few surprises for the kids – including a craft table and fun with hula hoops!

Additionally, there will be a free membership drawing at the raffle for non-members who can win a one-year membership to become a NEW members of HLAA!

Those who win Royals tickets will win specifically for the game on Sept. 2, 2013, Labor Day, to sit with Jacob’s Ride group.  Jacob’s Ride is a project started by a young man, Jason, with hearing loss, who is biking to all 30 baseball stadiums in the US to raise money for those who want a cochlear implant but cannot afford it.  More information can be found on http://www.jacobsride.com.

Dinner will be served at 5pm. Meat, chips and drinks will be provided. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. Please RSVP on our Facebook event page or by emailing us at hlaakc@gmail.com so that we can make sure there’s enough food for everyone!

Also, we need picnic volunteers to help at the event with setting up, cleaning up, assisting in games, food and the raffle. Email us at hlaakc@gmail.com to sign up! Someone from the committee will then be in touch with you shortly with further details.

Resource booths will be open from 4pm until 6:30pm.

Coalition for Independence
Cochlear Americas
Deaf Cultural Center
Deaf International
Hamilton Relay
KC Parent Group for Families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing Children
Kansas Association of the Deaf
Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Kansas Telephone Assistance Program (TAP)
Lenexa Sertoma Club
Mission Electronics
Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation
Nexus Interpreting
Sign Language Specialists
Quality Transcription Services
The Whole Person

Here’s a sneak peek into some of the goodies you could win at our raffle:

Signed copy of Confessions of a Lipreading Mom
Dove chocolates
HLAA Membership (ONLY for brand new member)
Starbucks gift card
Chipolte gift card
Free interpreting services
… and more!

We are still accepting donations to the raffle! If you’d like to donate, please email us at hlaakc@gmail.com. Please note you do not have to be present at the picnic to donate to the raffle.

This event is FREE and open to the public, so invite your friends, family and neighbors – here’s a flier to share!

Hosted by the Hearing Loss Association of America Kansas City Chapter and sponsored by:

Associated Audiologists
Associated Audiologists, Inc. has provided comprehensive audiology services since 1985 specializing in diagnostic hearing testing, hearing aids, tinnitus, and vertigo/imbalance.  The practice is best known for dispensing all levels of digital hearing aid technology from a variety of the world’s best manufacturers and fitting hearing aids using the most rigorous protocols customized for each patient.

Founded by industry-leading scientists and engineers, MED-EL provides innovative solutions for those dealing with hearing loss.  By advancing the field of hearing implant technology, MED-EL’s people and products connect individuals around the globe to the rich world of sound. For more information, visit www.medel.com or call 888-MED-EL-CI (633-3524).

Nexus Interpreting
Nexus Interpreting, LLC is owned and operated by interpreters Malonda Hutson and Amanda Wittman. It was founded after 15 years of direct interpreting experience in the Kansas City community. We provide you with the best interpreting services available. All of our interpreters are level 4 or 5 in KS and MO, and most are also nationally certified through RID. We specialize in legal, business, medical and mental health interpreting. 

Sign Language Specialists
Since 2003, Sign Language Specialists has provided community interpreting services across the Kansas City metro and beyond.  Our goal is to provide the most skilled, ethical, and friendly interpreters for our D/deaf community.  Please request us for your next medical, legal, educational, workplace, or any other interpreting need.

Quality Transcription Specialists
Quality Transcription Specialists, LLC (QTS) is based in Grain Valley, MO and provides real time speech-to-text transcription services using TypeWell. A live person listens and types the message, and sends it to a laptop, iPad or smart phone for you to read in real time. We provide services in person in the Kansas City area, and remotely over the internet, anywhere in the world.

Hamilton Relay
Kansas Relay is powered by Hamilton Relay – a national leader in providing high quality relay services that make it possible for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have difficulty speaking to communicate over the telephone.  Kansas Relay Services include: TTY, Captioned Telephone (CapTel), Speech-to-Speech, VCO (Voice Carry Over), HCO (Hearing Carry Over), Deaf-Blind Services, Voice and Spanish.  All services are free and available 24-hours a day, every day.  To learn more, contact customer service at 1-866-735-2957 or visit: www.KansasRelay.com.

Schedule of Events – 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., June 8

4:00 pm – 6:30 pm  – Event begins and vendors open

5:00 pm  – Dinner

5:30 pm  – JJ the Mime

6:30 pm-6:35 pm – Awards presented

6:30 pm-6:45 pm – Last chance to buy raffles, HLAA announcements, Jacob’s Ride information

6:45 pm-7:15 pm – Raffle drawing

8:00 pm – Event ends


Our Amazing Captioning Panel

By Terri Shirley

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HLAAKC’s event, Captioning Panel, held Monday, April 29th, was chock full of surprises and educational for everyone.  With all our energy to change the world one idea at a time, we soaked up knowledge and exchanged suggestions between the audience and the expert panelists.

20/20 Captioning & StenoCART – Real-time Captioning

The first panelist, the lovely and interesting Jeanette Christian, Founder & President of 20/20 Captioning & stenoCART, explained her chosen profession of real time captioning, also called Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART).   As Jeanette spoke, our attendees never missed a word as conversation was relayed remotely from a captionist located in Raytown.

For all of our speakers that evening, their spoken words translated into typed words behind the speaker on a projector screen.   Our audience questions were also transcribed into written words on screen at front of meeting room, behind the speaker.  CART can also be displayed on personal electronic devices if projection screen is not available or not desired.

Jeanette engaged our audience with real stories of her work helping the hearing connect with the people who have hearing loss through the use of captioning.  She helped a medical student who has very little hearing.   Jeanette’s real-time captioning remotely came right into the surgery room.  With an iPod hanging from an IV-pole and an iPod hung around an interpreter’s neck, the student could understand the details of the surgery with CART.

If you need TV captioning or CART at work, school, conferences, place of worship, courtroom, graduations, weddings or even funeral services, go to http://www.2020captioning.com/contact  for information.

Theater League – Captioning Tablets

Our second panelist, Mark Edelman, Executive Director from Theater League, proudly displayed his new equipment consisting of a sleek thin captioning tablet programmed to display the dialog of actors.  Mark also presented a snazzy, new compact stand which the captioning tablet can clamp onto the stand to keep it secure.  The captioning tablet is a big upgrade from the older, heavier Mobile Demand device, which sat on a music stand. With the new upgraded system, software is downloaded onto the captioning tablets or your own personal entertainment devices (PED’s), such as iPads, or even smart phones.

There are five captioning tablets available now and soon there will be a total of ten tablets available for each performance.  If you would like to spoil yourself with a live Broadway performance, please contact Catherine Cone from Theater League at catherine.cone@theaterleague.org with any questions or for reserving a captioning tablet.

After years of not attending live theater, I am elated to have season tickets for the upcoming year to see Wicked, Sister Act, War Horse, Bring It On and Rat Pack Show.   Season tickets are not required to be able to reserve a captioning tablet.   Come have some fun at a Broadway performance soon!

Regal Cinema – Sony Entertainment Glasses

The third panelist, JoAnna Mattson, General Manager for Kansas City Regal Cinemas, brought the Sony Entertainment glasses.   She discussed the closed captioning features the glasses deliver to movie patrons, even with 3D movies.   Many new people in the audience had never seen these stylish devices that can also help those with loss of vision with its audio assist function.

Welcome, Trivia, invisible CAPTIONS & Finale

We had open question and answer time between audience and panelists.   We marveled over these high technology devices that help bridge those with hearing loss to enjoy life more fully at the movies, conferences and live theater. During this open time, we learned from listening to our audience and those that actually need captioning.  One member introduced us to invisible CAPTIONS, a potential new invention that features glasses that users can wear which could be lightweight and more durable than current captioning products used in the movies.

Coming from the years when captioning was non-existent, to the 1980’s of the Sears Telecaption Adaptor box, to what we experienced that evening at our Captioning Panel was very moving. It is a beautiful thing to have captioning professionals mesh ideas with people who have hearing loss and share in our hopes and dreams for the future.

Thank you Jeanette, Mark, and JoAnna, for taking time to show us your devices and your dedication to our deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Also, I give a special thank you to April Dunlap for interpreting and Emily Goldman of Photos4Good for donating your time to photograph our captioning panel event for our non-profit organization.

Our next social will be Saturday, June 8th from 4-8pm at Shawnee Mission Park, Shelter #8.   Please see our Facebook page for details and keep an eye on our emails.

Thank you everyone for joining us!

HLAAKC Committee - Anna, Lucy, Andy, Minda and Terri

HLAAKC Committee – Anna, Lucy, Andy, Minda and Terri

LIPREADING CLASS – Class begins May 17

Shanna Groves, author of Confessions of a Lipreading Mom and Lip Reader, who is also a speaker and hearing loss advocate, is hosting an exciting course called Lipreading Class at the Deaf Cultural Center, which will cover the basics of lipreading, lipreading practice activities, communication tips with loved ones, and other information.  The class will be held at the Deaf Cultural Center, located at 455 E. Park Street, Olathe, KS 66061.

The class will be held for three Saturdays this summer, on May 17 (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.). June 1 (1 p.m. – 2 p.m.) and June 15 (1 p.m. – 2 p.m.).  The fee is $100 for the class and a maximum of 6 students are accepted.  Please make your payments out to the Deaf Cultural Center by check.  

For more information regarding the class, go to