Upcoming events — Fall 2014

Summer vacation may be over, but that doesn’t mean the fun and festivities have to stop! There’s quite a bit going on this fall, so let’s jump right in and start marking our calendars!
Hearing Loss and Mental Health — Wednesday, Sept. 24 from 7pm to 9pm at the Leawood Pioneer Library, 4700 Town Center Dr., Leawood, KS 66211
HLAAKC will be hosting an educational presentation as part of Deaf Awareness Week. Join us onWednesday, Sept. 24 to learn more about mental health issues related to hearing loss. Elijah Buchholz, Director of Deaf Services for the Missouri Department of Mental Health, will be presenting. CART and sign language interpreters will be provided. Visit our Facebook event page for more information. Sponsored by HLAAKC, Deaf Professionals Network and Kansas School for the Deaf.

Kansas City Parent Group for Families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children’s —Wednesday, Sept. 17 at Kansas School for the Deaf Early Education Center (450 E. Park St., Olathe, KS) 
Sara Chinnock, Engagement Manager for Cochlear Americas and former teacher of the Deaf, will be sharing information with the group regarding Cochlear America’s Kansas City Support Group and will also present information regarding services for deaf and hard of hearing children in the mainstream school setting. If time allows, a short documentary, entitled “95 Decibels,” will be shown. Childcare will be available.  Click here to download and share a flier about the video, and click here to visit the Facebook event page.

Mark your calendars!

Liberty Corn Maze — Saturday, Oct. 18 in Liberty, MO. Hosted by HLAAKCFollow us on Facebook for more details!

HLAAKC Holiday Party — Saturday, Dec. 6. We’ll email more details, so keep an eye on your inbox! Not on our email list? Send us an email — hlaakc@gmail.com — and request to be added!

Special event!

Young Adult Midwest Meetup — October 10-12, Chicago, IL

If you’ve been to an HLAA or other hearing loss-related convention, you know that one of the best parts is getting to meet other people with hearing loss. A small group of young adults would like to get together and build friendships outside of the conventions, and have planned an informal regional gathering — the first annual Midwest Meetup! This is primarily aimed at drawing in people with hearing loss who live in the Midwest, but anyone is welcome to attend! It’s a great way to meet others with hearing loss in our general area, as well as get to know people in a low-key environment so that when you go to the 2015 HLAA Convention, you’ve already made some new friends!

If you plan to attend and stay in the selected hotel, a deposit is due by Friday, Sept. 29 — details about lodging and activities are posted on the Midwest Meetup Facebook event. You may also click here to download and share a flier.

See you out and about!

Raffle at the 2014 HLAAKC Picnic

Yesterday, we talked about the vendors who will be at the picnic.

Today is all about the raffle!

Every year, we host a raffle to help raise money for HLAAKC. Your generous donations go toward helping us host events like these, pay for printing costs, support others with hearing loss and so much more!

If you’ve attended one of our picnics in the past, then you know that the raffle is a lot of fun! Here’s how it works:

1) We will be selling raffle tickets for the suggested donation of $1 per ticket. You may purchase as many as you want! Raffle tickets will only be sold at the picnic.

2) The raffle items will be set up on a table with a container by each item. You can purchase as many or as few tickets as you like, and place your tickets in as many or as few containers as you like. The more tickets you buy, the better chance you have of winning!

3) We’ve listened to your feedback and this year we are changing things up a bit. In order to make it fair for everyone, we are implementing a “Two-Win” limit — you may win up to two drawings, but after that, if one of your tickets is drawn again, we will discard it and draw again until a new winner comes forward. We appreciate your help in making this fun and fair for everyone!

Here are a few of the things up for grabs:

Free membership to the Deaf Cultural Center
Free one-year membership to HLAA (new members only)
Sonic-Connect 2
Movie passes to Screenland Crown Center
Gift certificates to Grace Design and Esthetics
A movie basket with treats and DVDs
Gift cards to various retail establishments

(Some of these are multiple items, so there may be two different winners drawn for those.)

So be sure to join us on Saturday, June 7 from 4:30pm to 8:30 pm at Shawnee Mission Park,  (7900 Renner Rd., Shawnee, KS) Shelter 8 (click link for a map of the park — Shelter 8 is toward the southwest side of the lake) for your chance to win some of these amazing prizes!

See you there!

HLAAKC Picnic 2014

Vendors at the 2014 HLAAKC Picnic

The picnic is just under three weeks away! If you haven’t already, please RSVP by May 22 — send us an email to hlaakc@gmail.com, or click here to RSVP on the Facebook event.

We’re excited to have so many great vendors joining us! Interpreters will be provided and booth hosts are familiar with the deaf and hard of hearing community, so communication will be a breeze! Here are some of the booths you’ll be able to visit:

Advanced Bionics
Associated Audiologists
Coalition For Independence
Deaf Cultural Center
Deaf Expression
Deaf International
Edward Jones
Hometown Hearing
MO Vocational Rehabilitation
Origami Owl and Scentsy
Sign Language Specialists
TMC Mental Health
The Whole Person

So join us on Saturday, June 7 from 4:30pm to 8:30 pm at Shawnee Mission Park,  (7900 Renner Rd., Shawnee, KS) Shelter 8 (click link for a map of the park — Shelter 8 is toward the southwest side of the lake).

See you there!

HLAAKC Picnic 2014






HLAAKC 6th Annual Picnic — June 7, 2014

HLAAKC Picnic 2014

Quick, what are you doing on Saturday, June 7 from 4:30pm to 8:30pm? We have the answer: Coming to our sixth annual picnic at Shawnee Mission Park, Shelter #8! (Click here for a handy map of the park — Shelter 8 is on the southeast side of Shawnee Mission Lake.)

This event is FREE to the public and draws in people with hearing loss from all over Kansas City and is a great way to network and get to know others in your community!

On top of that, there’s fun for the whole family! The shelter is close to a playground and there’s room to play volleyball!

Who will be there? YOU, of course! And your kids. And your neighbors. And anyone else you want to invite! Meet your HLAAKC steering committee, meet new friends and visit vendors!

Booths open at 4:30, so be sure to stop by to visit:

Caption Call
Coalition For Independence
Deaf Expression
Deaf International
Edward Jones
Hometown Hearing
Origami Owl and Scentsy
Sign Language Specialists
TMC Mental Health
… and more!

We’re also hosting a raffle to raise money for our chapter — your generous donations go toward printing costs, room reservations and enable us to host fun events like this! Some of the items up for grabs include movie tickets to open-captioned movies at Screenland Crown Center, a sonic alert alarm, gift cards and more!

We start eating at 5pm! Sandwiches, drinks and chips will be provided. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. Please RSVP by Thursday, May 22 so we know how much food to prepare! Either indicate on the Facebook event that you plan to attend, or email us at hlaakc@gmail.com.

We plan to have so much fun that we can’t handle it all ourselves! We’re looking for several volunteers to take short 30-minute shifts throughout the picnic to help us with crafts, food, raffle, setup and cleanup. Click here to visit our volunteer signup page, view shift options and to learn more about picnic volunteer opportunities.

Vendors: We have a few booth spaces left! If you’re interested in hosting a booth, please download a booth registration form here: https://hlaakc.com/sponsorship

Please note that one booth space is about half a picnic table; you may purchase more than one space if you prefer to have the whole table. First come, first served!

MANY thanks to our wonderful sponsors:

Associated Audiologists
Sign Language Specialists
Hamilton Relay
Nexus Interpreting

Open-Captioned Movie at The Alamo Drafthouse – Friday, Sept. 27 at 7pm!

2013 has been a great year for open-captioned movies in Kansas City! First, there was Monsters University open-captioned at The Boulevard Drive-In Theater in July, followed by the double feature, Planes/The Lone Ranger in August at the same location. A huge thanks to JJ Jones, The Whole Person and CinemaKC for their hard work in bringing open captions back to KC!

This month, HLAAKC is happy to be part of the effort to encourage local theaters to show open-captioned movies. As part of Deaf Awareness Week, we are thrilled to announce that the movie Rush will be shown at 7pm on Friday, Sept. 27 at The Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Kansas City (1400 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64105 – formerly AMC Mainstreet)! Click here to reserve your tickets online – this will help you select and reserve your seats! Order them today!


The Alamo is a dine-in theater, so you can order your dinner and snacks right from your seat — servers will bring you your food and drink! Doors open at 6:15; join us at 6:45 for a special pre-show presentation from Cady Macfee from Hamilton Relay, who will be presenting the Deaf Community Leader Award.


Afterwards, hit up the Power and Light District with your friends – the fun doesn’t have to end when the movie’s over!

A few notes about The Alamo:

— No talking/no texting policy is strictly enforced – enjoy the movie free from distractions!
— Patrons must be 18 or older, or accompanied by a parent/guardian.
— Click here for directions and parking info

Thank you, Alamo Drafthouse, for providing an accessible movie for those of us with hearing loss!

See you Friday, Sept. 27!

Click here for more information about Deaf Awareness Week.

HLAA 2013 Convention Recap – Portland, Oregon

Fellow committee member Terri Shirley and I had a fantastic time representing the Kansas City Chapter at the HLAA convention in Portland, Oregon this past June!  It was Terri’s first convention and my third convention (over the span of 10 years).

I hope that everyone with hearing loss has the opportunity to attend an HLAA convention someday.  It is an eye-opening, inspiring and motivational experience.  The convention allows me to recharge and embrace my hearing loss before being thrown back into the hearing world.  Here are my top convention highlights (in no particular order).

  1. Networking – It never fails to amaze me how quickly I can make acquaintances at HLAA conventions – young and old.  A simple hello can turn into a one-hour conversation and you are friends for life.
  2. Exhibit hall – I always enjoy talking to all the vendors in the exhibit hall.  It’s a great place to ask questions, try out new technology, and learn all about the programs that are out there to assist people with hearing loss.
  3. Jacob’s Ride – I had the pleasure of meeting Jacob Landis and learning about his mission to raise money for CI recipients by bicycling to baseball stadiums all over the country!  He will be coming to Kansas City on September 2, 2013 to attend the Royals game, so be sure to watch for announcements from HLAAKC about this exciting event!
  4. Opening Session – There was an impressive lineup of inspiring speakers at the opening session to kick off the convention.  Howard Weinstein fascinated us with his story of how he came to be the inventor of solar ear (a solar powered hearing aid) and his quest to help low-income people with hearing loss in the developing world.
  5. Accessibility – An HLAA convention is by far the most accessible convention you’ll ever go to.  CART was provided for all the sessions.  Sign language interpreters were available for the opening session, research symposium and banquet.  Looping and infrared technology (along with receivers) was available as well.
  6. People Watching – HLAA had the pleasure of sharing the convention hall with Leakycon, which is a Harry Potter fanfest – imagine costumes galore and 4,000 attendees that are all about Harry Potter!  The clever costumes brought a smile to my face more than once.
  7. Portland 100 – I enjoyed attending the happy hour and connecting with other young adults throughout the convention.  The young adult attendance has come a long way since my first convention in Atlanta in 2003; they were pretty much non-existent at the time.
  8. Playing Tourist – This was my first visit to Portland, so I took advantage of using my convention public transit pass to explore Portland’s many attractions. I also enjoyed attending the HLAA World Forestry Center event.
  9. Transitions – We had a great time praising executive director Brenda Battat for her past achievements and many contributions to HLAA and wishing her a happy retirement throughout the convention.  We also welcomed Anna Gilmore Hall as HLAA’s new executive director (as of July 8).
  10. Workshops – There was something for everyone in the many workshops offered throughout the convention.  Workshops covered topics related to advocacy, assistive technology, hearing aids and cochlear implants, and relationship and communication. There were also presentations geared toward veterans with hearing loss.  Additionally, there were beneficial demo room presentations where you could learn about a product or service.
  11. Future HLAA Conventions – Big announcements were made regarding future HLAA conventions! HLAA has been selected by the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH) to host their next Congress in 2016 in Washington D.C.  And next year’s HLAA convention is a little closer to home – Austin, Texas!  So I hope to see y‘all there!

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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

Show Us the Captions – come to the movies with us!

Show Us the Captions is almost here! This nationwide advocacy campaign is the brainchild of Sarah Wegley, the social chair for the Chicago chapter of the Association for Late Deafened Adults. Sarah blogs at Speak Up Librarian and tells the story of how Show Us the Captions was born here. The campaign is sponsored by Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning.

You can find out more information about the national campaign by checking out the Show Us the Captions Facebook page, or by checking out CCAC’s “Show Us the Captions!” page on their website.

HLAAKC is proud to be part of this advocacy effort; movie captioning is a subject near and dear to our hearts! If you would like to see a movie with friends from HLAAKC, some of our volunteers will be at the following theaters and times on Saturday, Nov. 17:

AMC Studio 30 – Olathe, KS – noon
Cinemark 20 Merriam – Merriam, KS – 2pm
Cinemark Palace at the Plaza – Kansas City, MO – 2pm
Regal Kansas City Stadium 18 — 4pm 

AMC 30 and both Cinemark theaters offer CaptiView devices, and will have several movies and times to choose from. If you would like to join us at one of the theaters listed above, please sign up on our event page on Sign Up Genius. This allows us to ensure that there will be enough CaptiView devices available for everyone for that time period.

If you are interested in seeing an open-captioned movie, Regal 18 will be showing the movie Skyfall open-captioned at 4pm. You do not need to reserve a captioning device for this showing, but please sign up so we know how many people to expect. Friends and family are welcome – the more, the merrier!

And if you can’t make it to the movies with an HLAAKC group, no worries! Please feel free to attend whenever you can make it – we simply want to thank the theaters for their accessibility and increase public awareness of movie captioning. So grab a friend or two and go to the movies!

If you would like to see a movie on your own, here are links to the theaters in Kansas City that have told us they have captioning available for their movies. Captioned content and movie times are subject to change, so be sure to check with the theater before you go.

 AMC Studio 30
12075 S. Strang Line Road
Olathe, KS 66062

AMC Barrywoods 24
8101 Roanridge Road
Kansas City, MO 64151

Cinemark 20
5500 Antioch
Merriam, KS 66202

Cinemark Palace at the Plaza
526 Nichols Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64112

Regal Kansas City Stadium 18
3200 Ameristar Drive
Kansas City, MO 64161

If you have any questions or are having trouble signing up, shoot us an email at hlaakc@gmail.com. We’re happy to help!

See you on November 17!

Who to visit and what to win at this weekend’s picnic!

Our fourth annual summer picnic is coming up this weekend! Several professionals in the hearing loss field will be hosting booths with information about their services and will be on hand to answer questions and share their resources. Be sure to visit our wonderful vendors!

20/20 Captioning
Associated Audiologists
Deaf Cultural Center
Hamilton Relay and KS Telephone Assistance Program (TAP)
Hearing Loss Association of America – Kansas City Chapter
Hometown Hearing and Audiology
KS Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Kansas School for the Deaf
Med El
Meniere’s Resources, Inc
Midwest Master Loop
MO Vocational Rehabilitation
Omron Healthcare

This year, we are hosting our biggest raffle ever! Funds from the raffle will help send steering committee member Lucy Crabtree as the HLAA-KC delegate to the HLAA National Convention in Rhode Island. We look forward to learning from her experience when she returns! Extra funds from the raffle will also go toward equipment costs for our regular meetings and printing costs for promotional materials. Here are some of the amazing prizes up for grabs (donors are listed in parentheses):

Gift certificate for two free hours of sign language interpreting services (Able Hands Interpreting Services)
Custom iPod ear buds or custom solid hearing protection – winner’s choice! (Associated Audiologists)
Kansas School for the Deaf: A Pictorial History, 1861-2011 (Sandra Kelly, Deaf Cultural Center)
Milo hearing aid (Hometown Hearing and Audiology)
Autographed copy of the novel “Lip Reader,” by Shanna Groves (Shanna Groves)

“Silence,” an original painting by Daniel Pancy (Sherry Mason)

One year free membership to HLAA (Terri Shirley)
Switched at Birth DVD (Lucy Crabtree)
Mary Kay lotion set (Minda Nelson)
Applebee’s gift card (Hometown Hearing and Audiology)
Starbucks gift card (Minda Nelson)
Chipotle gift card (Minda Nelson)
Barnes and Noble gift card (Anna Rundle)
Best Buy gift card (Dennis Selznick)
Chiefs scarf (Dennis Selznick)
Sonic Alert alarm clocks (2) (Teltex, Inc)
Pocket Listenor (Teltex, Inc)

For more information about the picnic, please check out the Facebook event page or send us an email at hlaakc@gmail.com.

See you there!

Fourth Annual Summer Picnic – June 2, 2012!

Join us for our fourth annual summer picnic at Shawnee Mission Park! Our biggest event of the year will offer FREE food and drinks, booths hosted by local organizations with hearing loss resources, and a chance to meet others in your community who are familiar with hearing loss. We have some awesome vendors lined up, including:

20/20 Captioning
Associated Audiologists
Hamilton Relay
KS Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Med El
MO Assitive Technology
Omron Healthcare

If you are interested in hosting a booth to share your resources with the hearing loss community, please email us at hlaakc@gmail.com no later than Friday, May 19. We’d love to have you!

This year, you will also have a chance to win some awesome raffle items, including:

Gift cards
Switched at Birth DVD
One year free membership to HLAA
… and more!

Funds from the raffle will help send steering committee member Lucy Crabtree as the HLAA-KC delegate to the HLAA National Convention in Rhode Island. We look forward to learning from her experience when she returns! Extra funds from the raffle will also go toward equipment costs for our regular meetings and printing costs for promotional materials. If you would like to donate an item to the raffle, please send an email to hlaakc@gmail.com and let us know by Friday, May 19.

Shawnee Mission Park rests on 1,236 acres and boasts a beautiful 120-acre lake and other exciting amenities such as nature trails, play areas, a disc golf course and an archery range! We look forward to hosting our picnic there and hope you’ll join us for the fun!

Dinner will be served at 5pm in Shelter #8. Meat, chips and drinks will be provided. Dessert and side dish contributions are welcome, but not required.

Please RSVP so we can be sure to have enough food for everyone! Either join the event on Facebook or send us an email at hlaakc@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Come see Gael Hannan in May!

You’re at a restaurant or coffee shop. Your hearing aid, cochlear implant or other assititive listening device has fresh batteries. You’re in a prime lip reading spot: Your back is to the light, you’re facing your friend, you’re aware of the conversational topic. But try as you might, you just can’t understand your friend. You adjust your chair for a better view of her lips. You remove the centerpiece that partially blocks his face. Still, nothing. Sometimes, lip reading just doesn’t work. You can do everything right and still not understand the other person.

Our May speaker, Gael Hannan, understands this phenomenon all too well, and addresses it in her poem, “If I Could Move Your Lips For You,” as published in Hearing Health Matters:

If I could move your lips for you, I would.
We’ve been friends forever and I can read your emotions, easily.
But reading your words is tough because your lips don’t move,
Not much.
Friendships with new people, wonderful people, have not flourished
Under the strain of communication, but
You are my friend – I want to keep talking with you forever.


So whose fault is it – yours, mine or ours –
When for the ten thousandth time
I must ask you to repeat yourself?
I sense your invisible eye-rolling and sighing.
Immediately, I’m both apologetic and resentful

– excerpted from “If I Could Move Your Lips For You,” by Gael Hannan. Click here to read the poem in its entirety. A special thanks to our friend and HLAA member Sarah Mosher for sharing this poem with us!

Gael Hannan is a writer, actor and public speaker who grew up with a progressive hearing loss that is now severe-to-profound. We are excited for our upcoming seminar with Gael, who will be presenting on “The Masks of Hearing Loss: Bluffing 101.” Every person with hearing loss “bluffs,” pretending to understand what’s going on, even when they don’t. Some of us do it on occasion, while some of us move from one bluff moment to another! This amusing workshop looks at why and when we bluff, why we should or shouldn’t, and how we can ban the bluff in our lives.

We’ll be Skyping live with Gael on location on Saturday, May 5 at KU Edwards Campus, Regnier Hall, Room 153, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, KS 66213. CART (real-time captioning) will be provided by 20/20 Captioning.

Even if you have not yet RSVP’d, it is not too late to come! We’re excited to hear Gael speak and want everyone to have the opportunity to enjoy her humorous and engaging presentation! Please come – and bring your friends! You can find more information about this event on our Facebook page or by sending us an email at hlaakc@gmail.com.

See you there!

You haven’t missed anything yet….

Got a weekend day free?  HLAA and The Whole Person will have our movie day coming up on February 18th!

Free movies are awesome and we’ll have a captioned film of Mr. Holland’s Opus set up for your viewing pleasure, along with some water and popcorn.  Bring some snacks if you would like.  Come on out to the Prairie Village office of The Whole Person for a big screen viewing!

Saturday, February 18, 2012 – Doors open at 2pm
Captioned movie of “Mr Holland’s Opus

Map: The Whole Person – 7301 Mission Rd., Building A, Suite 135 , Prairie Village, KS 66208

Please RSVP so we have enough seats and supplies!  Either email us at hlaakc@gmail.com or join the Facebook event!


Nominations for the Hamilton Relay 2012 Better Hearing and Speech Month Recognition Award

It’s that time of the year! Hamilton Relay is in search of candidates for their 2012 Better Hearing and Speech Month Award! The winner will be announced in May, during the Better Speech and Hearing Month. Below is some information from the Kansas Outreach Coordinator, Cady Lear, and a questionnaire that you can fill out and submit, if you have a candidate you’d like to nominate.

We are looking for individuals who are hard of hearing, late deafened or who have difficulty speaking and who have been a positive influence in Kansas demonstrating commitment to advocacy, leadership and enhancing the lives of those around them.  The award will be presented during Better Hearing and Speech month in May. 

Is there someone you wish to nominate? 

A questionnaire is attached to assist in providing information about your candidate, including a brief description about the individual and what this person has done that causes you to nominate him/her. Please send your nominations directly to me by March 12th via e-mail, fax or by mail.  My contact information is included below.

Celebrating Better Hearing and Speech Month through the recognition of community leaders is something we look forward to each year.  Thank you in advance for your participation in nominating deserving individuals from your community.  We are eager to learn more about the community leaders in Kansas.


Cady Lear
Kansas Outreach Coordinator
785-228-5666 (office)
785-246-5105 (vp)
785-234-2304 (fax)
4848 SW 21st Street Suite 201
Topeka, Ks 66604


2012 BHSM nomination questionnaire

There are so many potential candidates out there. we hope you will nominate someone!