Western Colorado Chapter
Hearing Loss Association of America
Free Monthly Meeting
Saturday, March 4, 2017

Introduction to American Sign Language and
Sign Language Interpreting
Dianna Shirley, Hands to Hear

Dianna Shirley will present an overview of sign language basics including basic signs, sign language communication protocols, and the process for becoming an interpreter.

Dianna Shirley is the founder and owner of the local interpreting company Hands to Hear. The company has been in business for two years. Dianna is a qualified interpreter and is close to achieving her certification. The company provides interpreting services for clients throughout western Colorado for situations such as doctor appointments, physical therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and job training.

Come learn more about the options of various communication access for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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, March 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


Thanks to a grant from the Colorado Commission for the, this meeting will be captioned.

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!

April 1

Lucas Marquardt is the Commissioner representing the hard of hearing on the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH). The commission is sponsoring a grass roots campaign to advocate for insurance coverage for hearing aids in the state of Colorado. Lucas will give an update on the efforts and explain what we can do to help the efforts in western Colorado. 

May 6

Elaine Navratil is Corresponding Secretary for the Colorado Deaf Senior Citizens Coalition (CDSCC), a non-profit with a mission statement to build an independent housing complex for deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing senior citizens. The Coalition received a grant from Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to provide accessible communication accommodations to participants who attend special presentations between now and June of 2017.

The presentation covers the mission, vision statements of CDSCC, and provide information about other facilities in the United States that have successfully accomplished similar goals. Participants will then complete a survey after the presentation so CDSCC can obtain feedback from others about this project.

Colorado Walk4Hearing Date Announced! Sunday, June 11, 2017

Since 2006, more than 79,000 walkers have stepped up and raised over $12 million to support approximately 48 million people with hearing loss in the United States and funds national and local programs for people with hearing loss and their families. The 2017 walk in Colorado will be held at Clement Park, in Littleton. For more information, or to sign up or make donations, please visit: www.walk4hearing.org.

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.

There are several people from western Colorado who will be attending. If you will be there, please let Amy Becktell know and we will arrange a special get together! On-line registration information is at this link: http://www.hearingloss.org/content/registration

February meeting summary

We all enjoyed the presentation from Sandra Sharp, Business Outreach Specialist from the Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. She gave us an overview of the services provided by Vocational Rehabilitation for people with hearing loss. She admitted that the process to receive services may be slow, but the services can provide a large financial benefit. Sandra has a passion for her work, and gave us many examples of success stories for her clients. She encourages working adults to contact her for more information.

Update on grant projects

The Western Colorado Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) was awarded a grant from the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the amount of $7,562. This grant will support the Chapter with its three-fold project activities. The chapter is planning to outreach to organizations, businesses, and agencies in Western Colorado. A potential list is below.

If you know of an organization that is interested in a demonstration, please contact Amy Becktell. 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, rehabilitation centers, veteran’s administration, home health care agencies, and hospitals.

  1. Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) service at meetings

The chapter has been providing CART at all of its chapter meetings. With CART in place, everything that is spoken is displayed on a large screen for attendees to read. There are enough funds available in this project to provide CART at board meetings also. We also plan to demonstrate CART at the community demonstrations, when possible.

  1. Equipment purchase for demonstration and outreach

The equipment has been purchased and received. We now have the following equipment available to demonstrate to community organizations.

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

The chapter will sponsor training sessions for people who are interested in demonstrating the equipment to community organizations, talking about hearing loss issues, and sharing information about the Chapter.

The chapter is working on an arrangement with the Center for Independence to assist with storage of the equipment and training in its use. This way, the equipment will be available to people during business hours.

  1. Development of a new website

The Chapter Leadership is interviewing website development companies to create a new website for the chapter. We are also looking for the company selected to provide some assistance with on-line marketing.