03 – March 2011


MARCH 2011

Montco Chapter Officers:


: Donna Penman, phone: 610-279-0905; Email address: pen447@verizon.net Vice-President: Patty Cortez; email:  




Meeting Schedule: 1st Monday of each Month, except January, February, July and August: Gerber Room, 2nd floor Mercy Suburban Hospital, 2701 DeKalb Pike (Route 202), East Norriton, PA, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


HLAA Convention June 16-19, 2011 in Washington, DC

A reminder for all of you who have not yet signed up for this year’s convention: the 2011 HLAA convention will take place at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, VA, just outside of Washington, DC from June 16 – June 19. If you have never attended a convention and are a member of HLAA, HLA-PA is offering a scholarship to someone currently living in Pennsylvania. The scholarship consists of payment of the convention registrations fee plus $500 to pay for your hotel and travel expenses. The deadline to apply is April 30, 2011 and more information is available on our website,

www.hla-pa.org, or by contacting Russ Green, Scholarship Committee Chairperson, at scholarship@hla-pa.org  

Hearing Aid History

From the March 4, 2011 issue of Healthy Hearing, a hearing industry publication. The author apparently thinks that today’s hearing aids have solved all our hearing problems, while being easy to use and of course very small.

Hearing loss has been a problem for as long as humans have been around and because hearing loss affects people’s ability to connect and form relationships with others,


digital hearing aids  

Spring HLA-PA Banquet

Don’t forget to put the HLA-PA Eastern Regional banquet on Sunday May 1, 2011 on your calendars. The banquet luncheon and presentation of HLA-PA’s Marcia Finisdore Aware for Advocacy will take place at the Radisson Valley Forge Hotel in King of Prussia from noon until 2:30 p.m. and the cost per person is $35. For more information and to register please check our website at


Quote of the Month


Elizabeth LeBarron serves as the National States and Chapters Coordinator for HLAA. She brings a depth of experience in strengthening local organizations. From 1990 – 2001, she worked with 20-plus state chapters as membership manager at the National Glass Association in McLean, Virginia. During her tenure there she transformed the national-chapter partnership from adversarial to a partnership of mutual respect and cooperation.

From there Elizabeth moved to the Association for Conflict Resolution in Washington, D.C., where she served for over a year as director of membership and development. Since then she has worked for the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Gastroenterological Association in both membership and educational fields.

Elizabeth experienced hearing loss herself as a toddler when doctors discovered impacted wax in her ear canals. Surgery left her left eardrum loose and her hearing continued to decline when, in her mid-forties, she sought help from her primary care physician who referred her to an audiologist. The audiologist, an HLAA professional member located near HLAA’s offices who never mentioned the association or its chapters as resources to help her adapt, fitted her for a pair of open-fit hearings which she still wears today.

Please join us for our next meeting which will be held on



 April 4, 2011

beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Mercy Suburban Hospital.


Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” 

Albert Einstein

Next Meeting: Elizabeth LeBarron from HLAA


or contact Alice Dungan, who is in charge of registration for the event.

are sleek, discreet, fashionable, high-tech and low-maintenance. They can be tuned by a hearing professional, like an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser, to suit your specific hearing needs. They can connect to multiple devices such televisions and telephones.  They adjust automatically for changes in volume levels and adapt to background noise. 

So, if you’re looking for the latest and the greatest in hearing loss solutions, visit your local hearing center. Forget everything Grandpa told you about his hearing aids. Those days and those hearing aids are long gone, thankfully.

Today, you can enjoy the sounds of life without a lot of hassles.  Modern digital hearing aids deliver sound quality and ease-of-use in small, attractive devices.

aids were quickly developed to help those who could not hear.   Here’s a short history of hearing aids – a brief guide to how we got to where we are today.These ear trumpets captured sound waves, sending them down a tube to the listener’s ear. They were big, bulky, unattractive and, frankly, they didn’t work very well.

Of course, these were state-of-the art “hearing aids” for centuries until electricity became available.

Carbon Hearing Aids (1900-1939)

These were the first electric hearing aids. Carbon was used to amplify electric current to boost the volume of sound. However, they were bulky, buzzy and downright ugly, though for those with hearing loss, they were the only choice.

Vacuum Tube Hearing Aids (1921-1952)

Vacuum tubes were used to control the flow of electricity and, as such, they did make hearing aids a little better. However, these boxy devices were usually table-top models about the size of a clock radio, so the user had to carry around a heavy box and plug in to hear what was going on.  There weren’t many controls or features, so these devices amplified all sound. That must have caused more than a few headaches back then. But hearing aids continued to improve.

Transistors to the Rescue (1952-1970s)

Transistors enabled hearing aids to fit into a smaller shell. The first transistor hearing aids appeared in 1952 – actually, two years prior to the first transistor radios which came along in 1954. Transistor hearing aids were still big and bulky with the electronics in a box carried on the body, with ear phones connected to a tangle of wires. Not very convenient, to say the least.

Researchers shrunk transistor hearing aids over the years, making them small enough to fit behind the ear and even in the ear. However, they were anything but low-profile. They also didn’t come packed with features the way today’s hearing aids do.

Digital Hearing Aids

Today, quality hearing aids use digital technology – circuitry that’s used in computers and cell phones -  and what a difference a few decades and countless hours of research and development have made!



Pre-electric (Acoustic) Hearing Aids

or by snail mail at 106 Mountainview Drive, Chesterbrook, PA 19087.

, and Don Groff


: Kathy Harral Assistive Technology: Don Groff

Newsletter committee

: Diana Bender, email:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s