Monthly Archives: October 2013

ACS “Weathers the Storms of Change” at Southeast Regional Institute on Deafness

ACS was proud to support SERID 2013 by exhibiting, presenting, and making the spoken word accessible via CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation).

SERID 2013 Conference

at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista this week.


ACS CART writer extraordinaire Mike Cano provided real-time speech-to-text translation for two days non-stop.


Keynote presenters included some very big names:



Monday evening’s entertainer CJ  was so taken with Mike and his skills that he included Mike in his act!  Mike and CJ brought the house down!

Photo of CJ Jones

ACS staffed an exhibit so attendees could learn more about remote CART, text-interpreting, and captioning.

Another Day at Exhibit

Valerie presented with Chris Littlewood on Real-World Emergency Preparedness for Persons Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing and then a solo workshop on Communication Strategies to Survive in the Workplace.  Both workshops were enthusiastically received and the audience participation was wonderful!

Hats off to the Southeast Regional Institute on Deafness for another wonderful conference and hats off to Team ACS for being a part of it!

Team ACS Heads Out to TDI-ALDA in Albuquerque NM – “The Land of Enchantment”

Team ACS is “on the road again”.  We are headed out to Albuquerque NM today and tomorrow to begin the Telecommunications of the Deaf Inc.-Association of Late-Deafened Adults (TDI-ALDA) Joint Conference. The Conference officially opens Wednesday Oct. 16 and runs through Sunday October 20, 2013 at the beautiful Hotel Albuquerque in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


CART writer extraordinaire and co-owner Mike Cano was the first Team ACS member to arrive.  He is donating his services at the Conference.  He begins providing speech-to-text services for the ALDA Board of Directors Meeting bright and early tomorrow morning and will be kept busy during the entire conference.  Co-owner Phil Hyssong and Business Development Manager Valerie Stafford-Mallis will arrive Wednesday to provide information and educational materials to Conference Attendees at the ACS exhibit.

There is a great line-up of Speakers and Workshops.  Valerie will be presenting a session on Saturday on what persons who are deaf and hard of hearing need to know BEFORE they go to the hospital. To see more information on the Workshops and other conference activities, go to this link and scroll to the bottom.

The conference will have lots of opportunities for play as well as work.  There are several “field trips” planned “before, during and after” the conference.   Saturday brings a beautiful walk through Old Town Albuquerque. This is on Saturday afternoon, October 19th, after the workshops and before Karaoke. ALDA Karaoke is a world unto itself and is a highlight of the Conference every year. This year we will invite our friends at TDI to “sing along with ALDA”. Last, but not least, is a guided tour of the Pueblo of Acoma “Sky City” on Sunday afternoon (after the brunch), October 20th, about an hour from Albuquerque.


Here is “Born To Be Wild” Valerie channeling John Kay of Steppenwolf with a group of her buddies last year.

Phil, Mike, and Valerie are very much looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new friends.

Come join us in “The Land of Enchantment”!

ACS Rocks at USBLN

Last week I was fortunate enough to exhibit at the USBLN Annual Conference and Expo in sunny Los Angeles.  It was a great experience!  I attended interesting and informative workshops, met a lot of great contacts and reconnected with people I met last year. As a result, Alternative Communication Services is poised to even more effectively make the spoken word accessible to persons who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Big Grin Bfast Plenary

The ACS exhibit was very active and folks were really interested in learning more about our fabulous speech-to-text and sign language interpreting services.

Big Grin Exhibit Shot

If I spoke with you last week, please be sure to take advantage of the special ACS services post card I gave you with a fabulous offer just for USBLN attendees. If for some reason your post card did not make it home with you, please email me and I’ll give you another one! Just send a message to me thru , tell me the offer you are requesting, and give me your contact info. I will respond right away.

All work and no play makes for a dull day.  We made time for fun at USBLN, too.  The Awards Reception and Banquet was elegant and it was such fun to dress up in our Hollywood finery.  After all, if you can’t glam it up in LA-LA Land, where can you?

2013 USBLN Evening Event

Thank you for reading this far and please let us help you make the spoken word accessible in your organization.  We would love to demonstrate our services to you and demonstrate why we are “The Alternative”.

Valerie Stafford-Mallis

Business Development Manager

Alternative Communication Services (ACS) LLC

What Are You Doing To Protect Your Hearing?

October Is…

National Protect Your Hearing Month
National Audiology Awareness Month

Have you stopped going to restaurants and social gatherings? Do you keep to yourself when in noisy environments? If you answered yes, you may have a hearing problem.  Some tell signs of hearing loss are: trouble hearing conversation in a noisy environment such as restaurants, difficulty or inability to hear people talking to you without looking at them, and/or a constant   pain or ringing in your ears.

Hearing loss is an increasing health concern in this nation that is often preventable. “Hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud noises, ear infections, trauma, or ear disease; harm to the inner ear and ear drum, illness or certain medications, and deterioration due to the normal aging process,” explains the American Academy of Audiologists web site.

The amount of noise Americans are exposed to today plays an important role in the recent increase of hearing loss across the nation. Over half of the 36 million Americans with some degree of hearing loss are under the age of 65, according to the American Academy of Audiology.  One in three developed their hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise, causing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).  Hearing loss is no longer just a health concern for seniors.

Here are some signs that an event is too loud and that you should wear hearing protection:

  • You need to shout to be heard by yourself and people around you
  • Your ears ring during or after the event
  • You experience a decrease in your hearing or a feeling of fullness in your ears before or after the event

October is National Protect Your Hearing Month.  Alternative Communication Services and the American Academy of Audiology are encouraging Americans to be aware of the danger of NIHL and to protect their hearing.

October is also National Audiology Awareness Month.  On average, most Americans don’t know how to recognize the first signs of hearing loss or which health professional is qualified to diagnose and treat the condition.  If you think you may have a hearing loss, you need to see an audiologist or other licensed hearing health care professional.

An audiologist is a licensed and clinically experienced health-care professional who specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people with hearing loss and balance disorders. The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is to get your hearing evaluated by an audiologist. A hearing evaluation will determine the degree of hearing loss you have and what can be done. Although most hearing loss is permanent, an audiologist can determine the best treatment, which may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and hearing rehabilitation.

For more information: