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Equal Rights Center Uncovers Discrimination Against TRS Users

Aug 27 2012

The Equal Rights Center recently published the report titled, Disconnected: Housing Discrimination Against the Deaf & Hard of Hearing.

The report’s Executive Summary:
In the United States, more than nine million individuals identify as Deaf or hard of hearing, and approximately 2.1 million individuals identify as having a speech impairment. Many of these individuals rely on a Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) to communicate by telephone. TRS is a term that encompasses a variety of technologies that facilitate telephone conversations for individuals with hearing or speech disabilities, including internet, video, and sign language systems. For many such individuals, TRS is a lifeline to government services, medical care, employment, and housing. TRS is a particularly useful tool when seeking rental housing, in that many prospective tenants contact housing providers by telephone to obtain critical threshold information about apartment availability, rental rates, and the application process.

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Vermont Theater Installs Assistive Listening Devices

Aug 27 2012

From U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Vermont, 8/1/2012

Following investigation of a complaint regarding compliance issues with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) at the Savoy Theater in Montpelier, Vermont, the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont and the Savoy Theater have reached an agreement for the Savoy Theater to come into compliance with the ADA.

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Thank You, CEC Theaters!

Aug 27 2012

Movie theaters are rapidly going digital. With digital movie equipment, bringing captions to the patron’s seat is much more doable. We have reported on Regal, Cinemark and AMC rolling out their digital captioning devices. We recently learned that CEC Theaters are doing the same in the Midwest. CEC says on their website:

CEC Theatres currently operates over 120 screens in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska. With company headquarters still located in St. Cloud, MN, CEC Theatres remains a family-owned company with a commitment to bringing state-of-the-art theatre facilities to the communities it serves.

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Workplace Noise Dangers for Hearing Loss

Aug 13 2012

"In 2008, approximately 2 million workers were exposed to noise levels that put them at risk of hearing loss.” -National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

With on-the-job, noise-induced hearing loss a widespread occupational issue, it’s easy to see it’s a problem that needs attention. Safety managers have long struggled with having to include recordable cases in the OSHA 300 log. It’s obvious no one wants to see their employees get hurt, or find that by the time noise-induced hearing loss is recognized, the damage has already been done.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Signs House Bill 52 Into Law!

Aug 7 2012

Massachusetts advocates were thrilled to learn that Governor Deval signed HB 52 into law August 7, 2012.

House Bill 52, “An Act to Provide Access to Hearing Aids for Children” would mandate insurance coverage for hearing aids for children 21 years old and younger, up to $2,000 per hearing aid every 36 months. On August 2, 2012 the Massachusetts State Legislature passed HB 52, a moment eight long years in the making.

Massachusetts Hearing Aids for Children Coalition (MassHACC) was thrilled. “It was a truly exciting day at the State House!" Rep. Garballey (Arlington) and Rep. Scibeck (South Hadley), Dave Koffman of Rep. Garballey's office and Michele Lisio of Rep. Haddad's office were present. Both the House and the Senate voted unanimously. House Bill 52 was signed into law August 7. http://masshafcc.blogspot.com