History shows that market forces alone are not enough to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities. Legislation, regulations, and standards are necessary for programs, products and services to be accessible to and usable by people with hearing loss. Several laws have been passed to help eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability and to enhance accessibility to public places, work places, telecommunications, schools, government and businesses. HLAA, together with other consumer and professional organizations, works not only to pass legislation to improve the quality of life of people with hearing loss but also works to push for implementation and strong enforcement of the laws.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Obligations Regarding COVID-19 Related Services

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced on April 16 that it will be providing a Dear Colleague Letter reminding community partners that are involved in...The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced on April 16 that it will be providing a Dear Colleague Letter reminding community partners that are involved in the COVID-19 pandemic response that the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) applies to their services. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe and distressing impact … Read More >

The Sound of Misinformation

By Lise Hamlin Lise Hamlin is the director of public policy at the Hearing Loss Association of America. She can be reached at lhamlin@hearingloss.org.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts...By Lise Hamlin Lise Hamlin is the director of public policy at the Hearing Loss Association of America. She can be reached at lhamlin@hearingloss.org.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences brings on their Oscar Awards April 25, 2021. “Sound Of Metal,” has been nominated for six awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Riz Ahmed), … Read More >

FCC Announces New Outreach to Collect Consumer Broadband Availability Experiences

The Federal Communications Commission FCC recently announced an effort to collect consumers’ broadband experiences. The stories shared by consumers will help to inform the FCC’s broadband data collection efforts. “Far too many...The Federal Communications Commission FCC recently announced an effort to collect consumers’ broadband experiences. The stories shared by consumers will help to inform the FCC’s broadband data collection efforts. “Far too many Americans are left behind in access to jobs, education, and healthcare if they do not have access to broadband,” said Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. … Read More >

FCC Releases Hearing Aid Compatibility Report and Order

On February 22, 2021, the FCC released a Report and Order to update the FCC’s wireless hearing aid compatibility requirements to ensure that the FCC’s rules reflect the latest technical...On February 22, 2021, the FCC released a Report and Order to update the FCC’s wireless hearing aid compatibility requirements to ensure that the FCC’s rules reflect the latest technical developments and standards, and to continue on the path to making 100% of wireless handsets hearing aid-compatible. The Commission adopted the 2019 ANSI Hearing Aid … Read More >

FCC Extends Waiver for TRS Providers

Early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, in March, 2020, the FCC took action to ensure that TRS services would continue to be available to people with hearing loss. These waivers...Early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, in March, 2020, the FCC took action to ensure that TRS services would continue to be available to people with hearing loss. These waivers allow TRS providers flexibility to deal with reduced staffing and increased call volumes, to enable more of their employees to provide services from their homes, … Read More >

FCC Invites Comment on Proposed Metrics for Captioned Telephone Services

The FCC released a notice of rulemaking that is open to the public for comment. HLAA filed comments alongside other organizations representing consumers. Reply comments will be accepted until April...The FCC released a notice of rulemaking that is open to the public for comment. HLAA filed comments alongside other organizations representing consumers. Reply comments will be accepted until April 2. The FCC’s notice follows: Comments due:  March 3, 2021 Reply comments due:  April 2, 2021 On October 2, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) … Read More >

HLAA Urges DOT to Make Transportation Accessible

HLAA filed comments with the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Strategic Plan on Accessible Transportation for FY 2021-2025 on February 16, 2021. We reminded noted the DOT that their Strategic...HLAA filed comments with the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Strategic Plan on Accessible Transportation for FY 2021-2025 on February 16, 2021. We reminded noted the DOT that their Strategic Plan did not include solutions that can have a profound effect on the ability of people with hearing loss to understand communications and allow us … Read More >

Proposed Settlement Reached in ADA Face Mask Lawsuit

HLAA has learned that a proposed settlement was announced in a case claiming that Nike, Inc. had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by requiring their employees wear face masks but...HLAA has learned that a proposed settlement was announced in a case claiming that Nike, Inc. had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by requiring their employees wear face masks but failing to ensure customers with hearing loss were provided with appropriate accommodations.  As part of the settlement, Nike has agreed to make transparent face masks available … Read More >

HLAA Appointed to the FCC’s Disability Advisory Committee

HLAA has once again been appointed to sit on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Disability Advisory Committee (DAC). On January 13, 2021, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing the...HLAA has once again been appointed to sit on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Disability Advisory Committee (DAC). On January 13, 2021, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing the appointments of the co-chairs and members for the fourth term of the DAC. HLAA has been part of the DAC since its inaugural meeting and … Read More >

HLAA’s Concern for Consumers Reaches the FDA

Following the signing of the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act of 2017, the FDA was on track to issue regulations by the law’s deadline of August 2020. That deadline has...Following the signing of the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act of 2017, the FDA was on track to issue regulations by the law’s deadline of August 2020. That deadline has come and gone without new rules in place. During this period, bad actors have stepped in to fill this vacuum and begun to advertise OTC … Read More >