Anne McIntosh, Editor

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“SHHH opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy”                SHHH National Mission Statement


DISCLAIMER:  mention of goods and services in articles or advertisements does not mean NCSHHH endorsement, nor should exclusion suggest disapproval. 











President’s Message

By Beverly Elwell at

Welcome to the first issue of the NCSHHH electronic newsletter.  Our goal for this first newsletter is to orient you to the highlights of what is happening with various organizations and agencies throughout the state that are concerned with hearing loss, and to keep you better informed so you become a better educator and advocate of hearing loss issues.

NCSHHH meets quarterly:  we generally have two email discussion meetings and two physical meetings, which meet in Greensboro, NC because of its central location in our state.  The next email discussion meeting will be held in August.  To participate, please send your email address to the newsletter editor at 

The next physical meeting will be on November 2, 2002 --- this is also the Annual Meeting at which there will be an election of officers and trustees will be voted on to represent chapters across the state.  If you are interested in representing your local SHHH chapter, please email the President at

Since our last meeting, NCSHHH has experienced the death of Dr. Ed Clifford who was a Trustee Emeritus.  Ed had served as President of NCSHHH in the past, and up until his death, served faithfully with his creative ideas.  We extend our condolences to his wife, Dr. Mimi Clifford.

I am really excited about our first electronic newsletter!  Look below to see what is included.
















Questions or Comments?

Just as this project is a team effort, so is publishing this newsletter.  Please direct any questions/comments concerning project-related HR, payroll or IT activities to the following people.  If you have a comment or question about this newsletter, please contact David Bach.

            Human Resources               Kam Myers                         704-548-2231                

            Payroll                                Tim Forkins             704-548-2302    

            Information Technology       David Bach                704-548-2062    
































State Coordinator’s Report



Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program



What’s New?



International SHHH Conventions; E-Newsletter Subscription



Relay North Carolina



State Coordinator’s Report

By Susan Wilson, Hard of Hearing Services Specialist at the Charlotte RRC; at


Several of our Tarheel state chapters have been busy.  I want to highlight Charlotte SHIP/SHHH’s efforts in conducting a study of the greater-Charlotte area houses of worships to determine communication accessibility via assistive listening devices (ALD’s), interpreters, and etc.  Please email Vince Kerrigan at if you would like a summary of the study’s results.  Three key results from that study are: (1) the majority of the churches, temples, and synagogues did not return the survey (6% return rate—indicating lack of awareness of the importance of communication accessibility for worship); (2) there were more churches than anticipated that do have ALD’s but do not have appropriate signage indicating this to their visitors and members; and (3) several houses of worship indicated that they are interested in follow-up information on how to make their houses of worship more communication accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing community. 

Additionally, one of the newest chapters, Lake Norman SHHH, has really increased the number of members and visitors they have had over the past year.  Lake Norman SHHH will host a special program during their August monthly meeting on Cochlear Implants with cochlear implant consumers from the Charlotte area speaking on their experiences.  All SHHHers are welcomed to attend the Aug 6th meeting (check below for directions).

Coming up in February 2003 will be a Leadership Training Seminar, presented by Susan Wilson, State Coordinator, and Anne McIntosh.  Be on the lookout for the next newsletter for more information.

FYI:  The chapters in NC are:

Western NC

Better Hearing of Macon County meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 2:00 pm in the Video Conference Room at Angel Medical Center in Franklin.  For more info, contact Phil de Maintenon at or Joanna Chantemerle at

The Hi Society of Polk County meets three times a year at “The Meeting Place” Senior Center, located at 330 Carolina Drive in  Tryon.  Contact Rev. Jim Williamson at: 828-894-3041 or Joanna Chantemerle at

Asheville SHHH meets on the first Thursday of every month at 4:00 pm in the Biltmore Center, Room 402, located at 430 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville.  For more info, contact Jim Parker at or Joanna Chantemerle at

Blue Ridge SHHH meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 4:00 pm (except July and Dec) at Grace Ridge Retirement Center, Arts and Crafts Room, located at 500 Lenoir Road in Morganton.  For more info, contact Jan Riddle at

Henderson SHHH meets on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 9:30 pm at Pardee Health Education Center, located in the Blue Ridge Mall in Henderson.  For more info, contact Ted Thrasher at or Joanna Chantemerle @


Piedmont area

Charlotte SHIP/SHHH meets on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm at Cokesbury United Methodist Church, located at 6701 Idlewild Road in Charlotte. For more info, contact Myra White at or Susan Wilson at

Lake Norman SHHH meets on the 1st Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm at the Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, located at 171 Fairview Road in Mooresville (I-77, Exit 33).  For more info, contact Anne McIntosh at or Jan Riddle at

Winston-Salem SHHH meets on the 1st Thursday of every month at 6:30 pm at Sunrise United Methodist Church, located at 1111 Lewisville/Clemmons Road in Forsyth County.  For more info, contact Holly Smith at or Susan Wilson at

Guilford SHHH meets on the 2nd Saturday of every month at 9:45 am at Hearing Solutions, located at 2827-C Spring Garden Street in Greensboro.  For more info, contact Susan Wilson at


Eastern NC

Chapel Hill SHHH meets on the 2nd Saturday of every month at 10:00 am at the Chapel Hill Senior Center, located at 400 West Elliott Road in Chapel Hill.  For more info, contact Ruth Miller at or Kim Calabretta at

Durham SHHH meets on the 4th Saturday of every month at 10:30 am at St. Paul United Methodist Church, located at 2700 Roxboro Road in Durham.  For more info, contact Dare Carden in care of: or Kim Calabretta at

Wake County SHHH meets on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm at the Cary Senior Center off High House Road in Cary.  For more info, contact Steve Barber at or Kim Calabretta at

Cape Fear SHHH meets on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 11:00 am at the New Hanover County Senior Center, located at 2222 South College Road in Wilmington.  For more info, contact Betty Shepherd at 910-686-7327 or Margie Gilmore at

Greenville SHHH has no info available; the Editor would love to get this info.  Please send meeting info to or Jeffery Mobley at







Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program

By Michael Lozynsky, TEDP Coordinator with DSDHH; at


The North Carolina Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program (TEDP) provides telecommunications devices for eligible individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf Blind, and Speech Impaired at no cost.  There are more than 600,000 people in the state of North Carolina, who could benefit from the program.

A variety of specialized equipment is provided to qualifying individuals to be used at their homes.  The TEDP is available for the identified disabled individuals who are not able to afford the specialized telecommunications equipment, which would provide them with access to the telephone.  Equipment includes:  Text Telephones (TTY), Visual Alerting Devices for Deaf people; Amplified Phones, Loud Ringers for Hard of Hearing people; Large Visual Displays, Tactile Alerting Devices for Deaf Blind people; and Artificial Larynxes, Stutter Inhibitors for Speech Impaired people.

The North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing administers the program.  The program was made possible by action of the 1999 NC General Assembly.  The TEDP is regulated by the Public Utilities Commission and funded through the Telecommunications Relay Service Fund.  The surcharge on all telephone lines in North Carolina provides the funding to the Telecommunications Relay Service Fund.

In order for individuals to qualify, an applicant must: 

·         be a legal resident of NC

·         have income equal to or less that 250% of the current federal poverty level, and

·         be certified with a disability, including one of the following --- Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf Blind, or Speech Impaired.

An application can be obtained from the TEDP staff at DSDHH, or from a Regional Resource Center (RRC) for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, with offices located in Asheville, Morganton, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilson, or Wilmington.  The TEDP staff or the RRC staff is available to provide assistance, by explaining the TEDP in detail, or by demonstrating the equipment offered by the TEDP to potential applicants.

NC TEDP staff is also available to provide presentations and/or to demonstrate TEDP at workshops, conferences, meetings, etc.  Presentations/Demonstrations are provided at no charge.

For further questions on the NC TECP or to arrange presentations/demonstrations, please contact us a the following:

Michael Lozynsky, TEDP Coordinator

319-108 Chapanoke Road

Raleigh, NC  27603

Phone:  1-800-999-5737 (toll free V/TTY)  Fax: 919-773-2993                                            
















What’s New?


Speak and Read

By Joan Black with TACSI; at

Do you have trouble (not quite understanding what you hear) on the telephone, retrieving voice mail messages, or experience the frustration of trying to get through a telephone (business) system that requires you to follow a mechanical voice?  Joan and John Black have been working the past 2 years promoting Voice Carry Over (VCO) for RELAY NC.

Hard of hearing users can access RELAY NC Voice Carry Over, which allows you to speak directly to your party, and then read the reply on a VCO telephone with a visual display.  The VCO telephone is a regular telephone, but when additional assistance is needed you place your call through RELAY NC and let the operator serve as your “ears” to type out what is being said to you on your VCO’s visual display. There is no charge for this service as it is funded through the Telecommunications Relay Service surcharge collected by local telephone companies each month.  Qualified individuals may even apply to receive these visual displays telephones at no charge (see article on page 4).

If you are interested in finding out more, you can contact your local Regional Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, you may email me at, or call 919-304-5431 (V/TTY).  Joan and John Black will be happy to come by and meet with your group; they can make a “Voice Carry Over” presentation with a live demonstration.


Blue Cross/Blue Shield of NC to offer Discounts on Hearing Aid Purchases   

By Myra White with Charlotte SHIP/SHHH; at

Effective April 1, 2002, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of NC (BCBSNC) launched a new Audio Blue discount program which can provide a discount of 25% on hearing aids and hearing aid fittings, follow-up visits, one year warranties for service, loss or damage, free hearing aid cleanings and checks, one year supply of batteries.  To receive the discount, simply show your BCBSNC ID card to a participating provider at one of the many locations throughout NC.  Participating providers are listed on-line at  or you can call 1-800-979-8000 (V).


Dry and Store Hearing Aid Conditioning System

By Anne McIntosh, Newsletter Editor at


It’s summer time and with lots of hearing aid users working outside, sweat and perspiration takes its toll on expensive hearing aids.  If you do not have a dry and store hearing aid conditioning system, please see your audiologist or hearing aid dispenser and ask for information on the Dry and Store hearing aid conditioning system.  Some studies indicate that using the Dry and Store as consistently as every night can nearly double the life of the hearing aid as moisture is the number one enemy of hearing aids.




International SHHH Conventions


2002 - 17th International SHHH Convention; Seattle, WA

By Anne McIntosh, Newsletter Editor at

The National SHHH convention has just wrapped up in Seattle this past June.  Susan Wilson, Wayne Giese and Mimi Clifford are the trustees who represented North Carolina.  Highlights of the convention included (1) award recognition to Frank Abernathy from Charlotte SHIP/SHHH as outgoing State Coordinator and to Mimi Clifford as outgoing State Office Director, (2) plan to increase national membership by raising awareness at the state level, (3) announcement of financial setbacks with a reduction in dues-paying members causing the need to reduce staff in order to help the National office stay within its budget, however they are confident that public support will increase, and (4) info on National Screening Day, to be held during October 2002, will be made available through the website at  Programming wise, there were excellent workshops on fund-raising, leadership training, and cochlear implants on the cutting edge.  Go to NCSHHH’s website at to read the attendees’ reports.


2003 - 18th International SHHH Convention; Atlanta, GA

By Winnie Hargis with National SHHH Board of Trustee; at

The hotel site has been chosen and it is the newly remodeled downtown Atlanta Hilton Hotel on Courtland Street, which is right off of I-75 and I-85.  The dates are June 26-29, 2003.  The always popular Symposium will be held on Friday, June 27th.

The folks hosting the 18th Convention are the South Atlantic SHHH Region IV States comprising of GA, TN, FL, AL, SC and MS, and we have had offers from folks in NC and AR to help out.  The Convention Chair is Connie Stratigos of Roswell GA, Convention Liaison is Winnie Hargis of Dalton GA, Treasurer is Dick Twitchell of Chattanooga TN, and Secretary is Betty Proctor, also of Chattanooga TN.  For more info, contact Winnie Hargis at


NCSHHH E-newsletter Subscription

To receive future e-mailings, please send your name and email address to indicating whether you prefer a e-text file or an attachment of this E-newsletter, which will go out twice a year: January and July.



Relay North Carolina

By Andrew Leffler, Customer Service Representative with Sprint; at

Dialing 7-1-1 makes it even easier to reach Relay North Carolina!

What is 7-1-1?

·         7-1-1 is a telephone service that connects standard (voice) telephone users and users who are deaf, hard of hearing, and/or who have speech disabilities and use text telephones (TTY).

·         7-1-1 is easier to remember and use than the traditional 800 relay numbers.  It creates more user-friendly access for less experienced relay users, including businesses or family members of TTY users.

Is 7-1-1 for emergencies?

·         7-1-1 is not an emergency number and should not be confused with 9-1-1.  However, if you use a TTY and cannot obtain emergency services on 9-1-1, you may call 7-1-1 and tell the relay operator you have an emergency.  The operator will then relay your call to the appropriate emergency service provider.

·         For more information about Relay North Carolina, please contact Sprint Relay 24-hour Customer Service at 1-800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice).


Dial 7-1-1 or use these toll free Relay North Carolina numbers:

1-800-735-2962          TTY

1-877-735-8200                     Voice

1-888-762-2724                     ASCII

1-877-735-8260                     VCO

1-888-825-2448                     Spanish

1-877-735-8261                     Speech-to-Speech

1-900-230-3300          900 Services (TTY)    ***Not toll free***