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The Better Connect Academy with Jean Nalbantian

It’s always great to meet another hearing loss advocate. Sometimes, things just fall into place. One day we discovered The Better Connect Academy (TBCA) website sharing it with each other. The next day Jean (John) reached out to invite us to be a guest on his podcast. It is great when the stars align and the universe conspires to connect like minds on the subject of hearing loss and advocacy.

Hearing Loss LIVE! talked with Jean in late March, sharing our passions and what we do. We got to know TBCA further when Jean was our podcast guest—video will be available May 16th.

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Open Captions with the Salt Lake Acting Company

This week Hearing Loss LIVE! welcomes Natalie Keezer, Accessibility Coordinator for the Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC), to talk about their open captions showings.  Every play run, they have one night of open captions. She talks about how to fund captions and why it’s the right thing to do.

Natalie Keezer has a Master of Arts Degree in Theatre from Idaho State University and is a graduate of The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Training Program in Los Angeles. She relocated to Salt Lake City in 2014 and is inspired by the amazing theatre community in Utah. Natalie loves working at Salt Lake Acting Company and is incredibly grateful to be involved in the important work that is being done there.

If anyone is interested in attending an open-captioned performance at SLAC, you can email Natalie at and mention Hearing Loss LIVE! for tickets.

Welcome back, with open captions!
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Hard of Hearing Community Members: Maclain Drake

Why get to know other people in the hearing loss community? Because they provide valuable resources and inspire us. Spreading hearing loss awareness is going to take a lot of us working together and as individuals. Connections in the community provide more resources.

Maclain Drake lives in Utah and is a favorite in the hearing loss community. He has so much energy! He’s an actor and a DJ. As the owner of Vibe Music Events, he makes music accessible to those who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HoH). His energy is infectious and he is always asking us what he can do to help further HoH awareness. Wherever he goes, he asks what is available for people with hearing loss, and educates venues on our communication needs.

Maclain inspires many of us here, so we thought we’d introduce him to all of you.

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Hearing Loss Community Members: Liza Sylvestre

Get know some of our hearing loss community members! Why? Because they provide valuable resources and inspire us. Spreading hearing loss awareness is going to take a lot of us working together and as individuals. Connections in the community provide more resources and ways to get the word out.

We are thrilled to have artist Liza Sylvestre as our guest this week. Liza is a multimedia artist and curator of academic programs at Krannert Art Museum whose work has been shown nationally. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards and has acted as the Artist in Residence of the Weisman Art Museum and the Center for Applied Translational Sensory Science (CATTS).

In 2019, Liza received a Citizens Advocate Award from the Minnesota Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH). Her work has been written about in Art in America, Mousse Magazine, SciArt Magazine and the Weisman Art Museum’s Incubator Web Platform.

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Playing Games with Hearing Loss

It’s easy to feel lost while playing games with a hearing loss. Chatter goes fast and it’s easy to miss what’s being said. Today, we give you tips to make playing games with family and friends easier.

Family Time

Chelle: We are a game playing family. I learned Cribbage as a kid from my parents and watched their late night games with friends. As a teenager, my friends and I had intense, late night games of UNO at my house, then later Skip-Bo. In my 20’s someone introduced me to Phase 10. In my 30’s Apples to Apples came around where my kids began to understand each other’s thinking. In my 40’s my kids introduced me to Cards Against Humanity and we bought other similar card games. A few weeks ago, I introduced my kids to Tenzi, a fast rolling dice game.