In November 2014, representatives from HLAA, TDI, and Gallaudet University met with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) staff in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau to discuss hearing aid compatible (HAC) wireless phones. At that meeting we were able to report on the results of our HAC Survey: “Can You Hear Me Now, Revisited,” as well as compare that to a similar HAC survey released in 2011.
Panel at the table, from left: John Fithian (NATO, president & CEO); John Stanton (AG Bell, volunteer); I. King Jordan, Ph.D. (Gallaudet University, president emeritus, and ALDA); Anna Gilmore Hall (Hearing Loss Association of America, executive director); Andrew Phillips
(NAD, policy counsel); Randy Smith (Regal Entertainment Group, senior vice president,
chief administrative officer & counsel)
HLAA applauds the FCC’s release of its Public Notice on hearing aid compatible wireless phones. The issues the FCC raises are of vital importance to people with hearing loss who depend on wireless phones, particularly in an emergency.
HLAA, along with other consumer organizations filed comments with the FCC in response to their Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Video Clips viewed on the Internet. In these comments we commended the Commission’s continued attention to ensuring equal access to IP-delivered video clips and urged the FCC to continue to ensure that video clips are captioned online. The filing can be found in the FCC’s docket here.
HLAA supports the use of technology that would allow first responders to locate individuals in an emergency with greater accuracy. Technology that can provide greater accuracy is needed for everyone, but is particularly important for people who cannot speak for themselves during an emergency. In support of these efforts, HLAA joined organizations in writing a letter to Senator Harkin requesting support for action on the proposed rules for wireless 911 location accuracy. Here is more information about the filing.
September 2, 2014, Hearing Loss Association of America filed comments with CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) in opposition to the proposed roll back of rules that would disallow Medicare coverage for bone-anchored hearing devices. We argued that these devices should be considered prosthetic devices under the rules, and that the coverage should include both osseointegrated devices and any innovations that are developed to help those who cannot successfully use hearing aids, such as dental-anchored conductive devices.
More than 800 people have responded to our survey of hearing aid compatible (HAC) phones.
The survey is now closed. Thank you to all who participated. We will be reviewing the results and post a summary in the near future. Please check back!