HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley and Director of Public Policy Lise Hamlin attended the final Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Open Commission Meeting of 2016 on December 15. Several HLAA chapter members were in attendance as well, including Veronica Davila Steele, who heads up the new Prince George’s County (Maryland) Chapter; Russell Misheloff, leader of the Washington, DC Chapter; and Barry Kasinitz from the Montgomery County (Maryland) Chapter.
Original article appeared in the December 2016 issue of ACI Alliance Calling magazine.
Donna L. Sorkin MA, Executive Director, ACI Alliance
Barbara Kelley, Executive Director, Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
On December 1, 2016, Senate Bill S.9 was introduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to provide for the regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. The “Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016” would make certain types of hearing aids available over the counter and remove many of the barriers for consumers who could benefit from hearing aids.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Advisory Committee on Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS Advisory Committee) is working on a negotiated rulemaking (RegNeg) to create an agreement between advocates for people with disabilities and the airline industry to ensure greater access.
In June 2016 the National Academies of Sciences (the Academies) issued a groundbreaking report, Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability. The recommendations accurately reflect the needs, concerns, and frustrations that consumers face when making hearing health care decisions, including whether to seek treatment at all. HLAA is proud to be the only consumer organization to serve as one of the sponsors of the report.
On August 4, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new rules to ensure people with hearing loss have full access to wireless devices. As the FCC noted, the action taken “will modernize existing hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rules while maintaining the balance between fostering accessibility and promoting innovation and investment.”