HLAA filed comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) Wireless Phones. We were joined by the Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) (the “consumer groups”) and the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (DHH Tech RERC).
In the comments, we urged the Commission to adopt the consensus agreement that HLAA, TDI, and NAD collaborated with members of the wireless industry. In particular, we urged the Commission to maintain the timelines that industry and the consumer groups agreed on during the negotiation process. Preserving that agreement would mean the Commission will set new benchmarks that would result in 66% of all wireless phones becoming HAC in two years, 85% in five years and that the Commission will consider 100% HAC achievability in eight years. Adopting the Proposal will increase the number and percentage of HAC phones available to people with hearing loss, and may ensure that all devices are HAC in the future. Such a result is clearly in the public interest.