For People with Hearing Loss and their Families and Friends | Education, Outreach, Support, Fun.

Contact us:  email--support at                      call-508-432-4065

Plymouth Chapter Meets Wednesday March 28

Dr. Sandra Reams of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital will be the speaker.

Hearing Loss Association of America Plymouth Chapter
 "Serving People with Hearing Loss on the South Shore of Massachusetts"
Upcoming Meeting, Wednesday, March 28, 2018
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Plymouth Public Library, 132 South Street, Plymouth, Mass.
Improve Your Speechreading Skills
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act
An Update – How soon will hearing aids become more affordable?


Guest Speaker:  Dr. Sandra Reams, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Sandwich


Sandra works at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in East Sandwich. She’ll give us an overview of speechreading (lipreading) including how to improve your skills, plus a short update on the legislation on the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act designed to provide greater public accessibility and affordability with over- the-counter hearing aids: legislation-law/
 CART (real-time captioning) will be provided as well as ALDs (assistive listening devices)
The Mission of HLAA is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy.
HLAA is a 501c (3) non-profit support group for people with hearing loss. Meetings are open to the public. All are welcome!
For further information about hearing loss, go to or Contact Sandy Spekman at
You do not need to RSVP for this meeting. 

Summary of May 2017 Meeting with Peggy Ellertsen

At the meeting on May 20, 2017 we were pleased to welcome guest speaker Peggy Ellertsen, M.Ed., C.C.C.-S.L.P. Peggy has worked in public and private settings for more than 30 years as a speech/language pathologist and audiology specialist.  She is also a Trustee of the Hearing  Loss Association of America and a member of the Boston Chapter.  Peggy specializes in aural rehabilitation, is severely hearing impaired herself, and rather than discuss hearing loss treatment, she spoke about hearing loss management, or “aural rehabilitation.”


Diagnosed with hearing loss at 23,  Peggy felt lucky to have met several rehabilitation audiologists who taught her about options and tools that “aren’t a substitute for hearing aids”, but would help her to make the very most of her hearing aids and residual hearing.  One was Dr. Mark Ross from University of Kentucky.  Known as “the grandfather of aural rehabilitation,” he defined it as “anything – any device, any procedure, any information, any interaction, any  therapy – that lessens the social communicator from suffering consequences of hearing loss.”


At first, hearing loss treatment follows the medical model of testing, audiogram and fitting of hearing aids.  Then, when you have tried to adjust to the outside world sounds, and you have returned to the audiologist because you still can’t hear everything you want to hear, the audiologist will proceed with hearing loss management which requires an active role on the part of the person with the hearing aid in changing some of the rules of communication.  You plan more, you become more strategic. You are then looking at the “aural rehab model” which is other options besides the hearing test and the hearing aid. 


The audiologist will ask you to think about your life with hearing loss and what, exactly, are the situations where you want to be able to function better.  Called a “needs assessment”, this becomes collaboration between the person with hearing loss and the skills of the audiologist.  It takes your most important listening problems and places them into one of four basic kinds of listening needs: face to face, media (TV-radio), hearing on the telephone, and any kind of alerting system (alarm clock).  The person with the hearing loss will choose what is most important and the audiologist will proceed to help with some solutions by using his/her expertise about technical resolutions or different auditory training.  


The meeting was begun with the question “What do you think is the very worst thing about living with hearing loss?”  Some of the answers were Isolation, Frustration, Communication.  Peggy showed how planning around your hearing loss is really important.  It is easier to fake it, go along and just not be able to hear a lot.  But your health and mental consequences of doing that are significant.  So take charge!  Self Advocacy is the answer.


The meeting was closed with Peggy promoting membership in the Hearing Loss Association of America and the chapters where some of the best information about hearing aids is acquired.  


Summary by Janet J.

                               UPCOMING EVENTS                            Note: Cape Cod chapter is not active due to lack of volunteers.  

Plymouth, Mass Chapter
Sandy Spekman  508-224-7971

AUDIOLOGY by Dr. Emily Pastore,  September 2016

    Our speaker  Dr. Emily Pastore, AuD. presented an interesting and wide ranging talk on audiology, as a doctor and also a patient.

     Dr. Pastore earned her Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in Audiology from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN.  She earned her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Chemistry from The University of Detroit Mercy.  Dr. Pastore has practiced Audiology for over ten years in Virginia, Maine, South Carolina and Massachusetts, thanks to her military husband.  Her interests include diagnostic audiometry, ABR evaluations (testing hearing nerves), OAE (testing inner ear responses) and VNG (testing inner ear balance) along with hearing aid dispensing. 


She is the audiologist at Cape Cod Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists.  Her department is Cape Cod Hearing Services Inc., 65 Cedar Street in Hyannis.  The phone is:  508-790-0063.

The website is:


Watch this space for a summary of the meeting.  Dr. Pastore graciously allowed us to publish her slide show on our website:

Audiology by Dr. Emily Pastore
Dr. Pastore's slide show can be downloaded to your computer. Click on the title, audiology pastore.pdf below. It will open in Adobe pdf. Use the right arrow on your keyboard to advance the slides. You can change the size of the text in the menu bar.
audiology pastore.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [4.6 MB]

If you need a hearing aid or other hearing help, your local Lions Club can help you. 

Download 2016 Lions Club Contacts. Your local Lions Club helps with HEARING AIDS.
2016 Cape Cod LIONS CLUB officers. Your local LIONS CLUB can provide refurbished hearing aids and hearing exams to you. See more information in the menu on the right under FREE AND LOW COST RESOURCES.
Cape Lions Clubs 2016.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [27.8 KB]

Coping Strategies for Hearing Loss -- March meeting

The recent meeting was well attended and many people asked questions.  John Donelan of the Dennis Fire Department brought smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and other equipment and gave us the latest news.  NOTE: The laws have changed for smoke detectors.  If your smoke detector says anything about radiation, it is an old style and needs to be replaced.  Also, new detectors are equipped with long life batteries, and there is no more changing batteries yearly. 


Dr. Sandra Reams, audiologist at Spaulding Rehabilitation in Sandwich spoke about how to make sure you can hear and be listened to in the hospital setting. Her handouts are available to read and download below.

Information that was discussed:

Hearing Loss Communication -- Help in a Medical Setting
Ideas from Dr. Sandra Reams on how to communicate with staff if you are hospitalized.
Click on the link to download the document and open in Adobe Acrobat Reader or Preview (Mac)
tips for hearing in hospital.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [135.4 KB]
Communication Tips from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
General tips for improving communication from Dr. Sandra Reams, audiologist at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, for people with a hearing loss.
hearing loss communication spaulding.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [126.0 KB]
Visor Cards for Drivers with Hearing Loss
Visor cards to keep handy if you are stopped by police. Downloads in Adobe Acrobat Reader or Preview (Mac)
visor card hard of hearing.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [219.7 KB]
Visor Cards for Deaf Drivers
visor card deaf.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [214.7 KB]
DOWNLOAD Call to Action Suggestions
Download this list of suggestions to take action. by the 2016 Walk4Hearing committee.
Adobe Acrobat document [154.5 KB]

                              2017 Chapter DUES


    Please mail annual chapter Dues of $10 to Treasurer Marita Cable.

Make checks out to Hearing Loss Association Cape Cod and mail to:

Marita Cable

Treasurer, HLAACC

PO Box 502

Yarmouth Port, MA  02675


Include your name, address, phone number and email.  Tell us what you are interested in.  Would you like to join a committee such as the Social Committee, the Advocacy Committee, Loop Committee,  or the Publicity Committee?  We can't make this work without volunteers.  Plus, you will meet and work with some really neat people.  (blush!)


Additional donations are gratefully received. 




Get in the Loop Cape Cod!
Get in the Loop meeting -- pdf of hearing loss on Cape Cod and the need for loops.
Get in the Loop Cape Cod 6MB.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [4.9 MB]
Get in the Loop Cape Cod! Power Point
Powerpoint file explains hearing loops and the need for them on Cape Cod.
Get in the Loop Cape Cod oct24.ppt
Microsoft Power Point presentation [5.7 MB]
Let's Loop Boston Slide Show by Dr Juliette Sterkens, Hearing Loss Association of America Looping advocate
A fact-filled explanation of the need for assistive devices in large meeting rooms.
--> Hearing aids can make sound louder but do not correct
speech understanding difficulties or poor articulation.
-->Even the best of hearing aids and cochlear implants have difficulty separating speech from background noise (directional mics work best if distances are less than 6 feet)
Juliette Sterkens_slides_ 4_11_15.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [16.9 MB]

Shop at Amazon Smile and support HLAACC, Yarmouth.  It costs you NOTHING extra.   Use this link:

Picture of Beethoven in middle age. Beethoven continued to compose as his hearing worsened.

"I am compelled to live as an exile.  If I approach near to people, a feeling of hot anxiety comes over me lest my condition should be noticed."


(Ludwig van Beethoven, 1802 letter to his brothers, from Mayo Clinic's On   Better Hearing and Balance, page 13.)



Are you still trying to fake it?  Find yourself "head bobbing?"

Come to our meetings and find out why hearing loss is NOT a disability--it's a communication problem!


We are one of 6 New England chapters of the Hearing Loss Association of America.

Hearing Loss Association Cape Cod served people with hearing loss, their friends and families, in Southeastern Massachusetts including Cape Cod and the Islands for almost 20 years.  All meetings were free and open to the public. 


Our group was run by volunteers and we spent over a year asking for volunteers to come forward, to no avail. It was our pleasure to help many people on the Cape with hearing issues.


We appreciate the support of our sponsors.  We are a nonprofit and do not give endorsements.  We encourage your exploration of options.