Advocacy Resources

HLAA-SLC met yesterday from 10a-noon at the Sanderson Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  Our topic was Asking for Accommodations.  Kathy led the discussion talking about; the difference kinds of advocacy, finding the right person to ask to receive accommodations and filing complaints where needed to enforce the ADA.


Here’s the list of advocacy resources she passed out to everyone.

Advocacy Resources

Federal Communications Commission – FCC

  • Website:
  • Regulate interstate and international communications
    • Television
    • Radio
    • Wire
    • Satellite
    • Cable
    • Telephone
    • Internet
  • Establish policy
  • Process Complaints
  • See For Consumers tab for most of our needs
  • Find details by using Search box
  • Try typing in Hearing Loss and see what comes up
  • Closed Captioning problems? See the FCC VPD registry (Video Programming Distributor) at to see how to contact the offending station or company.

Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

Americans with Disabilities Act – ADA

Air Carrier Access Act

Zoo, Education and Parks (Salt Lake County funding from tax dollars)

Resources for talking points – then add your own story or experience:

Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) at

American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)

American Academy of Audiologists at

Asking for Accommodations: Oct 15, 2016

Asking for Accommodations


One of the difficult aspects of having a hearing loss is asking for the accommodations we need to be included in whatever we are attending. Whether it is a weekly bridge group, a family dinner, worship services, a political debate, a theater production, a television or internet broadcast – we need help to participate in a way that is meaningful to us.

Our HLAA meeting this week will help you phrase those requests in ways that are most apt to get you the results you want with the good-will you need. We will spend part of the time composing our personal requests, so bring your laptop or tablet to make that easier for you to do – we’ll also have paper and pen available for everyone. Kathy Evans is the presenter.

If there are specific questions that you would like her to address, please email us ahead of time so they can be included in the examples. (

Our meeting is Saturday, October 15 from 10 AM to Noon. We’ll be in the Conference Room at the Sanderson Center, 5709 South 1500 West, Taylorsville. We’ll have light refreshments and time to visit with each other, too.

Hope to see you there!

Don’t Be Left Out of the Loop, a Success

Juliette Sterkens, AuD

Juliette Sterkens, AuD

On Friday May 2 and Saturday May 3, HLAA sent us their national Loop Advocate Juliette Sterkens, AuD,  to keep us in the Loop!  Our HLAA chapter and  the Sanderson Center  helped Loop Utah pull off a big, two day event for May’s Better Speech and Hearing Month which we called Don’t Be Left Out of the Loop.  Both day’s meetings were held at the Sanderson Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the looped classroom to show off the looping difference.

Friday morning’s session was set up for Salt Lake area audiologists and the afternoon session was for facility managers and architects.  We made a great connection with the Sundance Festival organization that afternoon.

Friday morning crowd


Hard of Hearing Assistant, Jodi, tried the loop for the first time and was amazed at the difference.  She shared her enthusiasm with the audiologist attendees.


Marilyn and Jodi

Marilyn and Jodi give their thumbs up.

Saturday was set up for those of us who wear hearing aids and wanted to learn more about them and the t-coil.  We had 50 people show up that day, 50 interested consumers.  Juliette spent a lot of time talking about hearing aids, their advantages and disadvantages, what they can and can’t do alone.  She talked about all the things our audiologists should be doing but many aren’t.  She answered questions from frustrated users and her honesty was refreshing.

loop 2014 14

Then she went on to talk about the loop and how hearing loops benefit us and our hearing aids.  How they work and how we can help advocate for them ourselves.

hearing loop

During lunch, she gave an interview for Channel 4 News which aired Saturday night:  (Be sure to leave a comment at the website supporting the loop or hearing loss in the news.)

A silent auction was offered each afternoon to help Loop Utah raise funds.  There were a lot of fun items to bid on, here are a few of them pictured:

theater tickets



There were gorgeous pictures, quilted blankets, ski tickets for next season, a home loop provided by Listen Tech, tickets for the Sundance Festival, a giant cookie basket, gift certificates for services and much, much more.  Friendly competition pursued with fun for everyone.

Kristen with her girl scout cookie basket


The event was a success and brought many people together which became a reunion of sorts.  Thank you to everyone who came and helped to make it such a success.

Loop Utah hopes to put on an event every year during Better Speech and Hearing Month.

HLAA Event/Meeting on May 3 from 9-1:30

May 3 HLAA Meeting is two weeks earlier than normal. To celebrate May’s Better Speech and Hearing Month, we teamed up with Loop Utah and the Sanderson Center to hold a two day event called, “Don’t Be Left Out of the Loop!” On May 3, 2014 the National HLAA office is sending us their Loop Advocate, Dr. Juliette Sterkens to talk about the necessity of hearing loops, the advantages and how to advocate for them ourselves. Here’s our schedule:

8:30-9:00 light breakfast

9:00-11:00 Dr. Juliette Sterkens

11:00-11:15 break

11:15-12:00 the Loop Challenge

12:00-1:00 Lunch for all attendees

1:00-1:30 Home Loops presentation

Feeling Loopy? Come join us. Send your RSVP to We hope to see you there.

May 3 flyer


Local HLAA Members Advocate

Local HLAA member Michael Shelton helped advocate for captions at sporting events at University of Utah.  Here’s a letter he wrote to officials expressing his gratitude for making the event accessible to the hard of hearing…

Last Saturday I went to the Utah vs BYU basketball game at the Huntsman Center.  I had two of my sons with me visiting from out-of-State and I proudly pointed out to them the captioning on both sides of the arena.  I have to honestly say, I never realized how much I missed not hearing the announcements!  It was so awesome being able to look up at the caption after there was some call or a comment made regarding the game.   I consider myself pretty basketball savy and yet being able to read the announcements added so much more to my understanding and enjoyment of the game.
As to the captioning, what I liked was that it is visible for all (hearing or non-hearing alike) and, therefore, not requiring any effort or time checking out an auxiliary device.  What I assume and hope in the future is that the captioning will become a part of the score board, positioned in the center of the arena, so we don’t have not to look away from the action to view the captioning.
The addition of the captioning is truly a great day for the deaf and hard of hearing!  Please convey our heart felt appreciation to all those who have cared and worked so hard to make this possible.
Michael Shelton
You too can make a difference in your community in regards to accessibility.  For more information visit:

Hearing Loss Kills…

Who says hearing loss isn’t deadly? Those with hearing loss might be alive but many of us aren’t quite living either. It takes the average person seven years to get hearing aids or seek help. In that seven years we die a little each year.


Hearing loss kills self-esteem:

  • Did I hear that right? Should I answer only to be wrong again? Look stupid again?
  • Asked for a repeat one too many times and got “Never mind” or “I SAID…”
  • Not being able to perform simple, everyday tasks like answer the phone or understand simple English.

What’s easier?

  • Hole up in my own world and read books where I don’t risk being a pest or being wrong, again.


Hearing loss kills social interaction:

  • Large gatherings be it a dinner or a party are a buzz, low hum and sprinkled with laughter. That’s all I know. Intense concentration trying to keep up with what’s said as conversation bounces around leads to burn out. I then phase out to give my brain a break only to be told later, “You weren’t paying attention.”
  • People call out to me, I didn’t hear and we continue walking. I’m labeled stuck up or unfriendly.
  • Social outings often include movie theaters, restaurants and concerts. All three venues play hell on hearing aid instruments making speech all the more difficult to understand.

What’s easier?

  • Staying home to read my book or watch DVDs with captions. Thank goodness TV captioning became mandatory in the 1990’s.


Hearing loss kills careers:

  • Many work places have bad acoustics creating another sort of deafness that doesn’t involve silence at all. It’s noise with no definition.
  • Meetings without assistive listening devices (ALDs) are impossible to keep up with. Employers fight against accommodation. The same for phone accommodations.
  • I’m afraid to ask for help, afraid it will show weakness especially in today’s world of downsizing.

What’s easier?

  • Bluffing, trying to remain as small as possible in an effort to hide or quitting.


Hearing loss kills relationships:

  • What good are you if you can’t hear someone breaking in at night?”
  • A partner using hearing loss to his/her advantage. “I asked you about a golf membership and since you didn’t answer, I assumed it was okay to get one.” Did he ask me from the other side of the house???
  • You would be nothing without me. You need me to hear.” Dependency bonds.

What’s easier?

  • Faking it, being alone or submitting to a unsatisfying relationship because of low self-esteem.


That’s why hard of hearing people isolate themselves. What have I done to combat it?

Bought hearing aids and joined a hearing loss group for support and came away with knowledge and courage too.

Educated myself about sensorineural hearing loss so I could explain how I hear to others and exactly what I need to understand better.

I started advocating for myself.

Come to our meetings to borrow a little courage, learn about hearing loss and coping strategies.  Learn to advocate for yourself and within our community. Meeting dates and times are to the right.


Be fearless. Have the courage to take risks. Go where there are no guarantees. Get out of your comfort zone even if it means being uncomfortable. The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with barricades bumps and uncharted terrain. But it is on that road where your character is truly tested. And have the courage to accept that you’re not perfect nothing is and no one is — and that’s OK.” Katie Couric (born 1957); American journalist.