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.

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 >

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Final Rule on Traveling by Air with Service Animals

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it is revising its Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulation on the transportation of service animals by air to ensure a...WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it is revising its Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulation on the transportation of service animals by air to ensure a safe and accessible air transportation system.  The final rule on Traveling by Air with Service Animals can be found here. The Department received more than … Read More >

Justice Department Settles with Amtrak to Resolve Disability Discrimination Across its Intercity Rail System

The Justice Department announced December 2, 2020 that it reached an agreement with Amtrak, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, to resolve the department’s findings of disability discrimination in violation of the Americans...The Justice Department announced December 2, 2020 that it reached an agreement with Amtrak, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, to resolve the department’s findings of disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the agreement Amtrak will fix inaccessible stations and pay $2.25 million to victims hurt by its inaccessible stations. The complaint … Read More >

HLAA Supports Equal Access to Relay Services in Prisons

HLAA joined a coalition of accessibility organizations filed comments on November 23, 2020, which requests that the Federal Communications Commission:  Use its authority under Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to require Inmate...HLAA joined a coalition of accessibility organizations filed comments on November 23, 2020, which requests that the Federal Communications Commission:  Use its authority under Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to require Inmate Calling Service (ICS) providers to offer modern relay and accessible communications services including video relay service (VRS), Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS), Real-Time … Read More >

HLAA, Communication Access Advocates Send Accessibility Priorities to Biden’s FCC Transition Team

In consultation with Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the American Council of the Blind...In consultation with Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the American Council of the Blind (ACB), and the Technology Access Program (TAP) at Gallaudet University, the Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law and Policy Clinic (TLPC), a Public interest technology law and policy advocacy at Colorado … Read More >