Western Colorado Chapter
Hearing Loss Association of America
Free Monthly Meeting
Saturday, February 5, 2017 

Vocational Rehabilitation Services
for People with Hearing Loss
Sandra Sharp, Business Outreach Specialist

At our February meeting, the Chapter will welcome Sandra Sharp, Business Outreach Specialist from the Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Sandra will discuss disability awareness within the Division with a focus on services provided for people with hearing loss.

Sandra Sharp has worked for four state agencies including The Department of Labor and Employment, The Department of Higher Education, The Department of Corrections, and currently the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. She has also worked with Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and taught developmental courses at Colorado Mountain College. Her main focus is changing the stigma of individuals with disabilities in the workforce and helping individuals with barriers or disabilities find sustainable employment.

An induction hearing loop and captions will be available.
People of all ages and all types of hearing loss are welcome!

All meetings are free to members and non-members, including family and friends.
Refreshments will be served.


Saturday, February 4, 2017
10:30am – 12:30pm
Center for Independence
740 Gunnison Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81501


Amy Becktell: [email protected]
Or 970-241-2592


For more information about Hearing Loss Association of America: www.hearingloss.org
For more information about Division of Vocational Rehabilitation: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dvr


People of all ages and all types of hearing loss are welcome!
All meetings are free to members and non-members, including family and friends.

Meetings are the first Saturday of the month, 10:30 – 12:30
(No meeting in July or August)
Center for Independence, 740 Gunnison Avenue, Grand Junction
Contact Amy Becktell: [email protected] or 970-241-2592

Upcoming Events – Mark your calendar so you don’t miss a thing!

March 4, 2017:

Our speaker will be Dianna Shirley, from the local interpreting company Hands to Hear. Dianna is a sign language interpreter and will give us an overview of sign language basics including basics signs, sign language communication protocols, and the process for becoming an interpreter.

Remaining Meetings Dates for 2017. Topics will be announced later.

Please contact Amy Becktell if you have an idea or request for a meeting topic for April 1 or May 6.

January meeting summary

Amy Becktell was the presenter. She reviewed the grant that the chapter was awarded. We applied for 3 projects for a total of $7,562. We plan to use the money for 3 different projects.

Continue to provide CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation) at meetings
Purchase 3 pieces of equipment to demonstrate locally
UBI duo – a device to assist communication with someone who is deaf or non-oral
Tabletop loop system – a portable loop device with a small range
Personal listening system – an assistive device for personal use
Hire a website designer to create a website and on-line marketing for the chapter

Amy asked for suggestions as to where we could go to demonstrate this equipment. The following were suggested: Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, other service organizations, Social Security office, Department of Human Services, law enforcement, fire stations, banks, churches, real estate offices, federal, state and city offices, nursing homes, assisted living centers, rehab centers, veteran’s administration, home health care agencies, and hospitals.

A separate training session will be held to train interested members in the use of the equipment and the material to present when demonstrating the equipment for various business, groups, and agencies. Training dates and times will be announced soon!

HLAA2017 Convention to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah!

The Convention for 2017 will be in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 22 – 25, 2017. Mark your calendar today! This will be a great opportunity for people from the Western Slope to attend a National Convention. You don’t want to miss this event! The location is the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101. Early-bird registration closes March 31, 2017.

Complimentary registration is available for U.S. veterans with hearing loss and their caregiver who are attending the Convention for the first time. On-line registration information is at this link: http://www.hearingloss.org/content/registration

Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), applauds a report issued in June 2016 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the Academies), Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability. The groundbreaking report documents the critical nature of hearing loss and provides twelve recommendations that underscore hearing loss as a significant public health concern. The recommendations accurately reflect the needs, concerns, and frustrations that consumers face when making hearing health care decisions, including whether to seek treatment at all. HLAA is proud to be the only consumer organization to serve as one of the sponsors of the report.


  • Hearing is vital to communication, health, function, and quality of life. Individuals need to be alert to their hearing health, as hearing loss can range from mild to profound and tends to increase with age, onset can be gradual, and each individual’s hearing needs are unique.
  • Hearing health care involves a wide range of services and technologies with ever-expanding and evolving options; however, many people do not have access to these options or cannot afford them.
  • Hearing loss is a public health and societal concern; engagement and action are needed across the spectrum of relevant stakeholders, including individuals and families, professionals, nonprofit organizations, industries, government, and the health care community.

Recommended actions

  • Improve population-based information on hearing loss and hearing health care
  • Develop and promote measures to assess and improve quality of hearing health care services
  • Remove FDA’s regulation for medical evaluation or waiver of that evaluation prior to hearing aid purchase (completed 12/7/16)
  • Empower consumers and patients in their use of hearing health care
  • Improve access to hearing health care for underserved and vulnerable populations
  • Promote hearing health care in wellness and medical visits for those with concerns about their hearing
  • Implement a new FDA device category for over-the-counter wearable hearing devices
  • Improve the compatibility and interoperability of hearing technologies with communications systems and the transparency of hearing aid programming
  • Improve affordability of hearing health care by actions across federal, state, and private sectors
  • Evaluate and implement innovative models of hearing health care to improve access, quality, and affordability
  • Improve publicly available information on hearing health
  • Promote individual, employer, private sector, and community-based actions to support and manage hearing health and effective communication

The full report is at this link: