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.
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.”
Hearing Loss Association of America supports Utah State HB 112, which modifies the requirements for practicing as an audiologist or as a hearing instrument specialist by requiring licensed audiologists or licensed hearing instrument specialists to inform each patient about Assistive Listening Systems that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards (section 219) and how hearing instruments interface with these systems.
HLAA signed onto comments in the FCC’s proceeding on Wireless E911 Location Accuracy. These comments urged the Commission to move forward to adopt its proposed rules and begin the process of protecting wireless callers indoors as well as they do outdoors. These comments also recommended that the FCC consider the carriers’ roadmap exploring address-based solutions along with other alternatives for near-term verifiable and achievable rules and emphasized that, whatever rules are adopted need to promote continued improvement in wireless E911 location accuracy.
HLAA Files Comments with CMS Concerning Hearing Aid Coverage
HLAA joined other consumer organizations that filed document with federal regulatory agencies in December 2014 and early January, 2015:
The U.S. Access Board hosted a panel on communication access for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing on January 12, 2015. The agenda featured a consumer panel including HLAA that addressed access for people with hearing loss.