LOCKED OUT! The Hearing Blog Editor was ordered out of the HLAA Convention!

Yesterday was a sad day in the 34 year history of the Hearing Loss Association: Your humble Editor and his partner are paid Members in Good Standing, and took time off from work to fly to Portland to attend the annual Convention. However yesterday (Thursday) morning when we went to register, a security guard from the Convention Center came over and ordered us off the premises, with no explanation provided; so we immediately complied. Now,  we have had our differences with staff event planner Nancy Macklin, most recently breaking the story several weeks ago that the 2014 HLAA Convention will be held in Austin; and also we have had our  respectful differences with several in the Association over “hearing loops;” but nothing rises to the level of our treatment that occurred yesterday.

What’s more, this was maliciously timed to inflict maximum economic damages, as well as to humiliate us:  Certainly my partner Jennifer Brower and I would not have made the lengthy trip from Chicago had we been given any advanced warning.

This has greatly affected our upcoming series of articles, as we had to cancel several meetings, including with staff from TIA, GN ReSound, Advanced Bionics, and Cochlear. [That being said, we'd like to thank Cheryl Garma at Advanced Bionics for making available to us this morning two factory Engineers via teleconference to discuss our upcoming article on the Naida q70 speech processor.]

We are retaining counsel with a DC area law firm, which will be informing the Association staff that any further communications will go through them~

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About the author

Dan Schwartz

Electrical Engineer, via Georgia Tech


  1. Jennifer Brower
    June 28, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I observed the very calm & civil discussion between Mr Schwartz and the security staff and was utterly disappointed in HLAA’s actions. As a first time convention attendee, I felt very unwelcome.

    I came half way across the country to Portland and took 3 days off of work to come here. I think we are owed an explanation.

    I want answers to three questions:

    1) Why was Mr Schwartz banned from the conference?
    2) Why was no advance notice given?
    3) Why is it not ok to have discussions and disagree?

    This treatment was ridiculous and unprofessional.

  2. Scot
    June 28, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Gee Dan. Sorry I couldn’t be there to be a witness for you.

    –Scot Frink

    [Sent from a class on Verification and Validation at the Oregon Hearing Society Meeting, Newport, Oregon]

    • Dan Schwartz
      June 28, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      Scot, I invite you to write a guest article on what the difference between verification and validation is; and what to do when there is a conflict between the two.

  3. Colleen Van Rooy
    June 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    WOW Dan. I just read HLAA’s mission. HLAA’s mission is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support, and advocacy. Our primary purpose is to educate ourselves, our families, friends, coworkers, teachers, hearing health care providers, industry, government, and others about hearing loss.

    HLAA provides adults and children with tools for self help; sensitizes the general population about the special needs of people who have hearing loss; and promotes understanding of the nature, causes, complications, and remedies of hearing loss.

    We provide information on many aspects of hearing loss, from technological and medical advances to coping and parenting strategies.
    We want to help you become an informed consumer on what options are available to you to help you make the best decisions on how to deal with hearing loss.


  4. John Leslie
    June 29, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Interesting, commenter #1 aren’t you Dan’s partner, in the interest of openness and clarity you should have disclosed that little fact.

    The answer to your first question is more than obvious to me in Mr. Schwartz’s post, he runined what is a huge part of the convention before it began by leaking the next location, Strike 1, he openly critizes efforts of staff, volunteers and vendors in providing loop systems for events – loops are not perfect but they are almost universal where FM and other options would not be feasible in a convention – Strike 2, Registration for the convention closed on May 1, if you are showing up at the door to register as stated above well – Strike 3 you are OUT!

    Good luck with the litigation, tho, I will watch that with interest please keep us posted on that.

    • Dan Schwartz
      June 29, 2013 at 11:19 am

      The Hearing Blog replies to John Leslie of Halifax, Nova Scotia:

      1) What we did by announcing the dates of the 2014 Austin Convention is called good journalism. What’s more, as we stated in the article,

      In previous years the Convention site was announced as soon as it was booked, sometimes as long as 2½ years in advance, to allow for local “host” Chapters to plan. In addition, the Convention has real value to hearing care professionals, as 16 to 18 hours of valuable ASHA and AAA continuing education unit (CEU) credit are awarded; and these professionals need as much time as possible to plan their schedules.

      Unfortunately, not providing adequate notice of the convention site has already caused a Major Problem: The Oregon Hearing Society had, by the time they found out about the Portland Convention, already scheduled their Summer Conference at the same time; with the effect of losing HLAA Convention paid attendance of perhaps a hundred or more local hearing aid dispensers & audiologists.

      2) We call to your attention the HLAA Convention registration page as of 12:15pm EDT (screen shot to follow):

      Registration for Convention 2013 is now closed. We welcome your registration on-site at the Oregon Convention Center – to save time, you may bring the On-Site Registration form with you. [Cached copy here] The Full Activity package is not available because the Farewell Banquet is sold out.

      Dan Schwartz,
      Editor, The Hearing Blog

  5. Scot
    June 29, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I’d be happy to write the article, and I think that by the time I’m done, you’ll realize that our opinions really aren’t too different on it.

    Please send me your preferred email address so that you can read it before it’s posted.

    • Dan Schwartz
      June 29, 2013 at 11:39 am

      Scot, we would welcome your article, especially if it has citations! You can e-mail it to me at any time to Dan@Snip.Net

  6. Scot
    June 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Well Dan, I just sent you the article–written on the fly and based primarily on my opinion and experiences through real life and continuing education. Took me 33 minutes.

    I wasn’t able to cite specific articles, but could if you’d like (more related to probe microphone measures, inaccuracies of hearing aid software, etc.).

    Let me know what you’d think, provide constructive criticism, and then let’s publish. My bottom line is that both are necessary and not mutually exclusive. You may think me to be a “real ear only” person, but that’s far from the truth. Both are very useful tools, but validation is more important in the long run. Probe mic measures are still highly important, but they are a guidepost, not gospel.

    • Dan Schwartz
      June 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Scot, I just received & opened it. This is the last thing I do before checking out for the flight home in two hours. Although I (respectfully) disagree on which items belong in validation as opposed to verification, I’ll proof read it just for typos, send it back for approval, and publish as-is, perhaps simultaneously with my own article; or (with your approval) put in an Editor’s Note at the bottom, so that the reader can see both sides and decide for themselves~

  7. Scot
    June 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    There shouldn’t be much debate as to what constitutes validation versus verification. As the (draft) article indicates, validation is a subjective measure and verification is an objective measure. This is an established standard within our industry as what constitutes what, so not much room for debate.

    Verification and validation are not mutually exclusive, but actually a complementary set of tools to use to improve patient satisfaction.

    I’ve gathered a few more thoughts to add to the original article to illustrate the difference and a simple way to determine which category a test procedure falls into. So, please get me your edited copy and I’ll resubmit ASAP.

    • Dan Schwartz
      June 30, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Scot, although we agree that probe mic (real ear) measurements are verification, we disagree on the category that objective speech testing fits into (nomenclature): At least as I’ve seen in the literature, speech testing falls into the validation category.

      However, regardless of to which category it belongs, speech testing is a vitally important part of the hearing aid fitting process, especially for Reverse Slope SNHL, where I can document many cases where the aided speech discrimination in noise is actually lower than it is unaided, which is especially devastating with children.

      Also, Donald Schum weighed in here on the subject~

  8. Dan Schwartz
    July 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Comment abuse: Our policy is to publish all non-spam comments: We dish it out, so we have to take it.

    However, we received a comment from a “Glen” in Glen Burnie, MD (IP: , pool-74-103-60-95.bltmmd.fios.verizon.net) using the fake Glen85@yahoo.com e-mail address, so we will not publish it. Here is the bounce message:

    Hi. This is the qmail-send program at marcie.netcarrier.net.
    I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
    This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

    : failed after I sent the message.
    Remote host said: 554 delivery error: dd Sorry your message to glen85@yahoo.com
    cannot be delivered. This account has been disabled or discontinued [#102]. -

    If “Glen” wishes his comment to be posted, we will do so; but only on the condition he use his real name in full and submits his valid e-mail address, which will be verified~

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