Past Meetings

September 2017 Meeting

Nancy Gilbertson Brings HOPE to Meeting
We were pleased to have Nancy Gilbertson, a member of the Fox Valley HLAA Chapter, as our speaker on September 27. The twenty or so attending related completely to the story of her hearing loss and how she started the HOPE (Hearing Other People’s Experiences) to provide support to others with hearing issues.

Nancy has dealt with profound hearing loss for 40 years. She first noticed diminished hearing during pregnancy in 1975 and had a Stapendectomy, which is a replacement of a middle ear bone, in 1977. However, the surgery failed so her right ear was completely deaf, while ototoxic medications decreased hearing in her other ear by 65%.

Because of the stigmas associated with hearing loss, Nancy did not want anyone to know about her extreme loss and was exhausted and stressed trying to hide it. She was told there was nothing more to be done so she stayed home and avoided everything and everyone for ten years until she found an excellent audiologist. Now Nancy has two cochlear implants and an abundance of compassion for other people living like she was. She has found her passion in helping others and leads the H.O.P.E. group for the HLAA-Fox Valley chapter.

Nancy’s message stressed that it doesn’t matter if we’ve lived with hearing loss for years or have acquired it recently. Most of us – people with hearing loss – have lived only in the hearing world. Most people we know have never dealt with hearing loss and are unable to understand our frustrations and loneliness. She organized HOPE as a way for people to share and gain support.

She said, “It’s about caring and sharing, kindness and compassion, supporting one another, and connecting with one another. Help someone help themselves not for the reward but for the sake of hanging a life.” Her presentation sparked a lively discussion and appreciation for her talk.

August 2017 Meeting

Our August Chapter meeting included a delicious potluck dinner and enthusiastic reports from members who attended the HLAA annual convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in June. The overall consensus was that the convention is where you want to be next year to learn all the latest info about new technology, advocacy efforts, hearing loops, and more. The members who attended confirmed there was a huge fun factor to the event and the camaraderie they experienced was life changing. Summary: Go next year! It’s being held in Minneapolis so it’s close to home.
August Chapter PotluckAugust Chapter PotluckAugust Chapter Potluck

July 2017 Meeting

Gone fishin’!

June 2017 Meeting

June 28 was a wild night with tornado warnings that sent our group to the basement parking garage of Ultratec for about 45 minutes. When we went back upstairs, Attorney Doug Johnson and Dr. Ann Raabe persevered in their presentation, “Do You Qualify for WI Worker’s Compensation for Noise Induced Hearing Loss?” We learned that worker compensation claims can be filed by:

  • People who no longer work at the job that may have contributed to their hearing loss.
  • The job need not have caused the loss, just contributed to it.
  • Time limits are long for filing a claim so, if you think a job you had contributed to your hearing loss,
  • Contact Johnson Law Offices, hearing loss advocates who handle the vast majority of these claims successfully in Wisconsin.
    • The above statement is not an endorsement of Johnson Law Offices but a reference to a source of information.

May 2017 Meeting

Several Madison Chapter members and their accompanying “+1” enjoyed the Stoughton Village Players Theater production of “Medals on Main Street,” a locally written and performed play featuring Ole and Lena. It was an opportunity for us to enjoy this fun play with the assistance of a hearing loop. The play was kind of crazy – in a good way – and we enjoyed it very much.

April 2017 Meeting

We were pleased to have Dr. Veronica Heide, Au.D. attend our meeting and discuss the many challenges consumers face in today’s marketplace. We discussed how to make decisions that are right for our hearing, lifestyle, communication, and budgetary needs.

March 2017 Meeting

We had a good turn out at the March monthly meeting. Our Speaker, Tanvi Thakkar a 4th year PhD Candidate in the UW-Madison Communication Sciences & Disorders Department presented on, “Hearing in Noise”.

March 2017 Meeting

February 2017 Meeting

Our February Chapter meeting featured Mason Aumanstal, the Assistive Technology Program Coordinator from the Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He joined us and discussed the following topics:

  • technology that can help you live better with hearing loss
  • the Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program, TEPP, which helps people with disabilities buy specialized equipment they need in order to use basic telephone services
  • how the TEPP program relates to the Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s Telecommunication Assistance Program
  • other people’s experiences with various technology

January 2017 Meeting

The January Chapter meeting was cancelled due to scheduling conflicts.

December 2016 Meeting

Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Our December Chapter meeting included a Potluck to celebrate the holidays along with a H.O.P.E. (Hearing Other People’s Experiences) discussion. Everyone brought in their favorite dishes to share, we all chatted, laughed while dined and then we gathered around to talk about our experiences with hearing loss. It was a great opportunity for those with hearing loss, their family members, spouses and friends to talk, listen, laugh and learn from each other. Some came seeking solutions and others came to connect with others with hearing loss. It’s nice to be among others with hearing loss (and spouses of those who have hearing loss) and have a sense of “belonging” and that we are not alone.

November 2016 Meeting

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Our November Chapter meeting focused on public policy and advocacy initiatives for people with hearing loss. More details about HLAA advocacy efforts can be found at

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