Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tom Harkin (D-IA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Tom Udall (D-NM) today announced their support for U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Senate consent to U.S. ratification of CRPD will recognize the fundamental values of non-discrimination and equal access for persons with disabilities in all areas of life and help protect Americans with disabilities who work and travel abroad from discrimination, including disabled veterans.
Nearly three years after signing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Obama administration is asking the U.S. Senate to grant final approval of the treaty.
The United States signed the convention in 2009, but Senate approval is required in order to make participation official.
HLAA, along with some 360 participants from 30 different countries attended the M-Enabling Summit, 2011. The Summit was billed as a “global summit and showcase for mobile applications and services for seniors and persons with disabilities.”
More than one billion people around the world live with disabilities, including a large number of seniors. The M-Enabling Summit provided a forum to identify global opportunities for accessible and assistive mobile applications and services.
HLAA sent comments to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on the issue of screening for hearing loss in older adults December 7, 2011. HLAA Board Member Meg Wallhagen provided valuable advice, helping us draft our comments. USPSTF is a national, independent panel of medical experts that makes recommendations, based on scientific evidence, to primary care doctors and other health care providers about which clinical preventive services they should offer their patients. USPSTF invited public comment on its draft Recommendation Statements before publication. One of the three draft statements open for public comment was: “Screening for Hearing Loss in Older Adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement.”
Once again this year, HLAA has accepted the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) invitation to be a voting member of the Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC). The mission of the CAC is to make recommendations to the FCC regarding consumer issues and facilitation the participation of consumers, including people with disabilities and underserved populations in proceedings before the FCC.
In our June 24, 2011 blog, we mentioned that HLA-Georgia members Cathy Fletcher, Jeff Bonnell, and Anne Taylor took advantage of the HLAA Convention in DC to visit their congressional representatives’ offices on Capitol Hill. During those visits, our advocates spoke about why people with hearing loss need the kind of financial support toward the purchase of hearing aids that the hearing aid tax credit legislation, HR 1479, would provide.
Over the last several years, Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC) has supported the Captioned Radio Pilot Project developed by National Public Radio (NPR) and Towson University. It is a project whose goal is to provide a text version of radio broadcast over digital radio.
HLAA was delighted to be able to provide a presentation before the National Association of Speech Hearing Centers (NASHC) Spring Conference April 8, 2011. NASHC is an organization of 35 member agencies across the country that provide speech and/or hearing services. HLAA’s director of public policy, Lise Hamlin provided an update on HLAA and our advocacy efforts to CEO’s representing the Speech and Hearing Centers. They were interested to hear about HLAA’s work and provided important feedback from their own perspective on a wide range of topics, from movie captioning to the cost of hearing aids.
At a press event at the Capitol Building on February 23, 2010. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-5) and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5) joined the leadership of the Justice For All Action Network (JFAAN) in kicking off the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
HLAA joined other advocates in a wide ranging discussion regarding how to have greater access to audible presentations at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art on October 19. Topics discussed included how to provide access to exhibit videos, IMAX films, art work and public program films. Joe Gordon, Chair of the HLAA-New York State Caption Committee was also present at this meeting.