On January 5, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau announced the members selected for the second term of the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC). Lise Hamlin, HLAA director of public policy, will co-chair the DAC along with Sam Joehl, principal technical consultant for the SSB BART Group.
Since 2003 HLAA has supported legislation that would allow consumers to receive a tax credit for the purchase of hearing aids. Several iterations of the tax credit bill have been introduced over the span of nearly 14 years, and none have passed. HLAA has therefore decided to focus its efforts and resources on initiatives that we believe will have a more far-reaching impact.
HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley and Director of Public Policy Lise Hamlin attended the final Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Open Commission Meeting of 2016 on December 15. Several HLAA chapter members were in attendance as well, including Veronica Davila Steele, who heads up the new Prince George’s County (Maryland) Chapter; Russell Misheloff, leader of the Washington, DC Chapter; and Barry Kasinitz from the Montgomery County (Maryland) Chapter.
Original article appeared in the December 2016 issue of ACI Alliance Calling magazine.
Donna L. Sorkin MA, Executive Director, ACI Alliance
Barbara Kelley, Executive Director, Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
On December 1, 2016, Senate Bill S.9 was introduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to provide for the regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. The “Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016” would make certain types of hearing aids available over the counter and remove many of the barriers for consumers who could benefit from hearing aids.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Advisory Committee on Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS Advisory Committee) is working on a negotiated rulemaking (RegNeg) to create an agreement between advocates for people with disabilities and the airline industry to ensure greater access.