Historic Changes Coming for Access to Hearing Aid Compatible Wireless Phones
Commentary by Lise Hamlin
This is an advocacy eNews, not a tech eNews. But when I discovered at a recent advisory council meeting that there are tech solutions to a problem we’ve been asked to solve repeatedly through advocacy efforts, we thought it deserved mention in this issue of HLAA in Action.
In August 2015, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the results of a survey that asked questions for the first time about disabilities, we were stunned to find that people with hearing loss were entirely left out.
HLAA sent letters to the CDC and to the White House, issued a media release, and an action alert asking consumers to express their thinking of CDC’s survey. Many of you sent emails with compelling stories, making it clear we should have been counted from the start.
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.
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.
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.