The time has come for Medicare to cover the cost of expensive hearing aids. On June 9, 2015, HLAA penned a letter of support for the Help Extend Auditory Relief (HEAR) Act, H.R 2748. On June 12, 2015, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright announced the reintroduction of the HEAR Act, H.R 2748 with the support of 10 members of Congress. Cartwright first introduced the HEAR Act in 2013.
HLAA Board of Trustees Takes a Stand on the Affordability and Accessibility of Hearing Technology and Hearing Health Care
The HLAA Board has adopted three new policy statements which are posted on HLAA’s website on the Policy Statements page. Below is a short summary of each of the statements.
On March 17, 2015, Lise Hamlin represented HLAA at the first meeting of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Disability Advisory Committee (DAC). It was announced that the FCC received more than 100 applications to serve on this committee. Those chosen to join the DAC included 36 organizations, companies and individuals.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold the first meeting of its newly-formed Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) on March 17, 2015. HLAA is a charter member, serving as co-chair of the Video Programming subcommittee, and as a member of the Communications subcommittee. These meetings are open to the public and streamed with captions at: http://www.fcc.gov/live.
L-R: Stuart Seaborn, Disability Rights Advocates; Shelly Ann Quilty-Lake, Meenan and Associates;
Rebecca Rodgers, DRA; Dan Carione, plaintiff; Jerry Bergman, HLAA NYC; Colleen Meenan, Meenan
HLAA once again joined the Access Board’s two-day meeting of the Rail Vehicle Access Advisory Committee (RVAAC) February 27-27, 2015. HLAA serves on the Communication subcommittee, which looks how to make these rail cars accessible to people with vision and hearing loss. At that meeting, mobility, visual and audible access to rail cars was discussed.
HLAA supported local advocacy efforts when we filed comments with the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission urging adoption of rules for signage for taxis in New York City equipped with hearing loops.
The proposed amendment would provide for a decal on the inside and outside of all taxicabs that have hearing induction loop capability. That decal would feature the International Symbol of Access for Hearing Loss, including a “T” and the language “Induction loop installed, switch hearing aid to T-coil” on the interior decal.
“Hearing aids are essential to enable millions of people with hearing loss to fully engage with family, friends and colleagues.” - Anna Gilmore Hall, executive director, HLAA
In August, 2014, a former member of the HLAA Board of Trustees attended events at the Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF) in Canton, Ohio. She had requested CART in advance, but received no accommodations. When she returned home, she sent a letter asking that future events are communication accessible. She received a response two months later, from the president of HOF, David Baker, stating, “I will make sure that your concerns are known as we begin preparing for the 2015 Enshrinement.”