How A Veteran Radio Journalist Adapts To Hearing Loss - Aspen Real Life
Challenge Aspen and Aspen Public Radio

How A Veteran Radio Journalist Adapts To Hearing Loss

Challenge Aspen and Aspen Public Radio are honored to present a free, public virtual Zoom webinar event featuring NPR All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly, in conversation with Aspen Public Radio Executive Director Tammy Terwelp on life, work, and adapting to hearing loss as an audio journalist. The event will take place on Mar. 3, 2021 at 12:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada).


National Public Radio’s Mary Louise Kelly: How A Veteran Radio Journalist Adapts To Hearing Loss

Challenge Aspen and Aspen Public Radio are honored to present a free, public virtual Zoom webinar event featuring NPR All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly, in conversation with Aspen Public Radio Executive Director Tammy Terwelp on life, work, and adapting to hearing loss as an audio journalist. The event will take place on Mar. 3, 2021 at 12:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada). REGISTER HERE.

This unique collaboration between two very different nonprofits in Aspen, Colo. event will include opening statements from Challenge Aspen and Aspen Public Radio with Tammy Terwelp facilitating the discussion with Mary Louise Kelly (MLK). MLK will talk through her background, her disability, her ability to read lips and how she worked around what she wasn’t hearing, especially during the pandemic with the enforcement of masks.

Mary Louise Kelly will report on: life, work, and learning from hearing loss as an audio journalist. She has not been able to lipread because of masks, and social distancing has made it difficult to lean in and hear. At the same time, she doesn’t view her hearing loss as “a handicap.” For years, NPR host Mary Louise Kelly found ways to do her job and manage hearing loss. But now she can no longer rely on reading lips or leaning-in. She describes how she’s navigating, learning and adapting all over again.

Challenge Aspen Board President Jack Kennedy acknowledged that, “Working together with Aspen Public Radio, our goal is to break down misconceptions and stigmas around the public’s understanding of disabilities. Our conversations last October with NPR’s Scott Simon, and now the highly accredited Mary Louise Kelly, highlight the challenges each of us face, in life and in community. And how together, with understanding, forgiveness, inclusion, and providing adaptive experiences and opportunities, each of us has the ability to redefine our limits.”

Executive Director of Aspen Public Radio Tammy Terwelp exclaims, “We’re so honored to partner with Challenge Aspen on this event and to bring such a reputable journalist to the Roaring Fork Valley, virtually. Mary Louise Kelly is respected and relatable on so many levels. It’s going to be such a treat to learn more about how she’s redefined her own life’s story as a reporter, mom, and individual living with hearing loss.”

Terwelp continues, “As two local nonprofits, being able to creatively combine our respective missions together–especially in the midst of a pandemic–means we can reach more people and make even bigger impacts for our community, which is what it’s all about.”

About Mary Louise Kelly

Mary Louise Kelly co-hosts All Things Considered, NPR’s afternoon newsmagazine. Previously, she spent a decade as national security correspondent for NPR News. Her past reporting has tracked the CIA and other spy agencies, terrorism, wars, and rising nuclear powers. In addition to her NPR work, Kelly serves as a contributing editor at The Atlantic, moderating newsmaker interviews at forums from Aspen to Abu Dhabi. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, Washingtonian and other publications. She has also lectured at Harvard University and Stanford University, and taught a course on national security and journalism at Georgetown University. Kelly has written two novels. Her debut espionage novel, Anonymous Sources, was published in 2013, and her second novel, The Bullet, followed in 2015. A Georgia native, Kelly graduated from Harvard University in 1993 with degrees in government, French language, and literature. Two years later, she completed a master’s degree in European studies at Cambridge University in England.

About Challenge Aspen

Challenge Aspen is dedicated to impacting lives through year-round adaptive experiences for individuals faced with cognitive and/or physical disabilities, including service personnel. Challenge Aspen creates life-changing opportunities by encouraging participation in activities designed to redefine limits, recognize abilities, and transfer newfound courage to everyday life.

Over Challenge Aspen’s 25 years of operation, we have served 13,775 participants with over 150 different disabilities, and provided $2,473,976 in Adventure Awards (scholarships) to participants. Enabling individuals with disabilities to experience outdoor adaptive sports provides them with the confidence and self-esteem needed to live a more independent, active lifestyle. Our number one goal is to spark the inspiration we know our programs work to break down barriers associated with outdoor activity, build balance and physical fitness, enable individuals to freely express themselves without judgement, increase endurance, enrich coordination and motor skills, positively influence creativity and imagination, and provide participants the opportunity to be understood and able to communicate when they otherwise wouldn’t get this chance. Find out more at

About Aspen Public Radio

Aspen Public Radio is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that is overseen by Roaring Fork Public Radio, Inc. Its mission is to support, nourish, and enrich its community by providing informative, entertaining and educational radio programming in a reliable and professional manner. Founded in 1980 as Roaring Fork Public Radio Translator, with broadcasting beginning from Sy Coleman’s living room in 1981, Aspen Public Radio has now grown into one of the most relied upon news institutions in the Roaring Fork Valley. Aspen Public Radio carries programs from National Public Radio (NPR), American Public Media, and the BBC, including All Things Considered, BBC World Service, 1A, Here & Now, Marketplace, Morning Edition, Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, This American Life, Hidden Brain, Planet Money and How I Built This, It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders, Weekend Edition, among others. The station’s signal includes all of the Roaring Fork Valley and the I-70 corridor from Rifle to Eagle. Aspen Public Radio, broadcasting on KAJX, Aspen and KCJX, Carbondale, is a public radio station located in Aspen, Colorado. It serves communities in the Roaring Fork, Crystal, Colorado, Frying Pan and Eagle River valleys. The station is located in the Red Brick Center for the Arts and its public file is open for inspection during regular business hours at 110 E. Hallam Street, Suite 134, Aspen, Colo. Learn more about Aspen Public Radio:, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.



Garry Schalla

Office: 970.300-3384 #803

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Lisa DeLosso

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