Net neutrality has become a hot topic across the country this past week. What does it mean for the deaf and hard of hearing community?
In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set up rules to require net neutrality. These rules require all internet service providers (ISPs) to treat equally everything you do on the Internet, including videophone (VP) relay programs, captioned telephone services (IP-CTS), video calling services like FaceTime and Skype, or videos with closed captions. Right now, you can use your internet connection for anything you want to do.
But this might change!
The FCC meets on December 14, 2017 to vote on dropping the net neutrality rules that the FCC set up in 2015. This means, for example, ISPs could block you from using FaceTime. This really did happen before 2015, and could happen again. The ISPs could also block, intentionally slow down, or charge more to use search engines, download or upload videos (including calling people via video), or checking emails.
However, relay services and other protections in the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal accessibility laws will not go away just because net neutrality goes away. Also, even if net neutrality is removed, the FCC will continue to require ISPs to tell you what services they will limit so you can choose to buy services from the ISP that will give you what you need. The FCC plans to keep this requirement.
The repeal of net neutrality is too risky and may block Internet applications and programs that deaf and hard of hearing people need. That’s why we have supported and continue to support net neutrality. We are asking the FCC to keep the net neutrality rules.
Share your questions and concerns with the FCC by December 7, 2017:
- File your comments online in the Wireline Competition Docket #17-108
- Call the ASL Consumer Support Number: 844-4-FCC-ASL (844-432-2275)
Organizations behind this Joint Statement:
- National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
- Association for Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA)
- Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization (CPADO)
- California Coalition of Agencies Serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCASDHH)
- Clayton H. Lewis (an advocate for individuals with cognitive disabilities)
- Deaf Seniors of America (DSA)
- Gallaudet Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (Gallaudet RERC)
- Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
- National Association of State Agencies of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NASADHH)
- Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI)
- The Trace Center, University of Maryland – College Park (Trace Center)
With just a 15 minute survey, you can help design the tools and services that you use every day. Kantar Added Value has designed a survey to help companies build a working knowledge of how to improve technology and communications services to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and other differently abled individuals. We appreciate your opinions so please tell us all of your thoughts in this survey! And if you know a person who provides specialty care for someone with hearing loss, please send them our way as well.
Note: This is a sponsored survey. HLAA hosts sponsored surveys from companies or organizations interested in getting the opinion of people with hearing loss directly from our members and constituents. E-mail addresses collected when you respond to this survey will not be used in any way by HLAA or the survey provider, other than in the administration of the survey. Your email address or any other individual information will not be shared or sold to others. It will not be used for any marketing purposes, and you will not receive any email from the survey provider. HLAA and the survey provider will not keep track of your IP address.
TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (“TD Ameritrade”) (Nasdaq: AMTD), in collaboration with the National Association of the Deaf (“NAD”), has agreed to make its content more accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing by providing closed captioning for its online video and audio programming.
TD Ameritrade strives to deliver a meaningful investing experience to its diverse client base and is committed to ensuring that its programming is easily accessible to self-directed investors and independent registered investment advisors, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. With the guidance of the NAD, TD Ameritrade has agreed to make significant modifications to its websites, desktop trading platforms, and mobile applications over the course of the next 20 months. These modifications include the addition of closed captioning and/or transcripts to video and audio content, including the extensive educational resources that are available both on the retail and institutional sides of the business. As part of this effort, TD Ameritrade has adopted the closed captioning standards provided in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA.
Source: TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
About TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
Millions of investors and independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) have turned to TD Ameritrade’s (Nasdaq: AMTD) technology, people and education to help make investing and trading easier to understand and do. Online or over the phone. In a branch or with an independent RIA. First-timer or sophisticated trader. Our clients want to take control, and we help them decide how – bringing Wall Street to Main Street for more than 40 years. TD Ameritrade has time and again been recognized as a leader in investment services. Please visit TD Ameritrade’s newsroom or www.amtd.com for more information, or read our stories at Fresh Accounts.
Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA (www.FINRA.org)/SIPC (www.SIPC.org).
Bryan Cave LLP assisted TD Ameritrade in collaborating with the NAD to make its websites accessible.
About the NAD
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), founded in 1880, is the oldest national civil rights organization in the United States and is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The NAD was shaped by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interest represented at the national level. The NAD’s mission is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of 48 million deaf and hard of hearing individuals in this country. The NAD seeks to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing people have full and equal access to every aspect of life including banking, technology, employment, education, health care, mental health, law enforcement, judicial and legal systems, and many other areas.
Stein & Vargas, LLP and the Austin Law Group assisted the parties in collaborating to make the TD Ameritrade websites accessible.
A first-hand experience with government advocacy and legal activism at one of the most innovative law and advocacy centers in the country wants you to join the National Association of the Deaf Law and Advocacy Center as an intern this summer — made possible with the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship stipend awards.
Interested applicants are asked to submit their application online by Friday, January 19, 2018.
Qualified applicants will spend the summer at the NAD Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland where they will participate actively in advocacy efforts to protect the civil, human and linguistic rights of the American deaf community. Preference will be given to students pursuing careers in law, public policy, nonprofit management or related fields. This scholarship provides a nominal financial stipend to qualified applicants. Chosen applicants are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and related needs during the internship.
Past Scholarship recipient, Lisa Bothwell shares her encouragement for other interested applicants, “I was fortunate to be able to work with the lawyers at the NAD. I did legal research on transportation, employment, and effective communication. I graduated from the College of Law at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and became a licensed attorney in Texas!”
Another recipient, Hayley McLemore shares gratitude for the experience, “I realized this was a great opportunity for me to be able to experience legal advocacy within the deaf and hard of hearing community. During my internship, I was able to discover different issues related to accessibility and deaf and hard of hearing rights. The internship was very helpful for me to narrow down my career goals — I’d like to get into legal advocacy after I graduate!”
Also a past recipient, Alexander Van Hook states, “The internship gave me a look at how the NAD works as an organization, and I became more informed on current issues key to deaf people. It was also a step for me to explore what I want to do for my future.” Today, Alexander Van Hook is a graduate student at American University.
In the Summer of 2016, Lily Esquer-Horta worked closely with Tawny Holmes, NAD Education Policy Counsel, on various projects to study the needs of diverse students and their families. Some of her responsibilities included social media posts and policy projects related to the language and communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing mainstreamed students.
The recipient for the Summer of 2017, Nida Din just started her second-year attending the University of Houston Law Center in Houston, Texas. After finishing law school in the next two years, Nida plans to advocate to promote a fully accessible world for deaf people.
Stipend Disbursement & Internship Duration
Duration of summer internships shall be on a full-time basis for no less than 10 weeks and no more than 15 weeks per year.
Determination of the stipend amount for each qualified applicant is based on the length of the internship and the Application Criteria below. For example, a qualified applicant studying in law school (Juris Doctor degree) who commits to the entire length of the summer internship may be eligible for the full $6,000 stipend. Up to two qualified applicants studying for their Bachelor’s degree may receive stipends of up to $3,000 each.
Applicants are responsible for their own transportation, lodging and meals. The NAD is located near the Silver Spring Metro station, which allows for convenient transportation throughout the DC Metro area (MD/DC/VA). Applicants are also responsible for their own automobile parking fees, if applicable.
Applicants seeking Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship consideration must be currently enrolled in academic studies toward graduate or undergraduate degrees within the following or related fields:
- Law (Juris Doctor degree)
- Public Policy (Master’s or Bachelor’s degree)
- Nonprofit Management (Master’s or Bachelor’s degree)
Applicants will be screened on the basis of the following criteria:
- Deaf or hard of hearing;
- Demonstrated commitment to and advocacy for public service – specifically civil, human and linguistic rights of the American deaf community;
- Evidence of leadership abilities and potential for continued growth in leadership skills;
- Excellent research, writing and presentation skills; and
- Strong academic and extracurricular credentials.
Screening and Selection Process
The respective points of contact for the NAD Headquarters and the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship Committee shall coordinate screening of applicants and selection of recipients.
The screening and selection process is delineated as follows:
- Tuesday, January 23, 2018 – Applications are screened for completeness and satisfaction of criteria by the NAD, and eligible applicants’ documentation are shared electronically with the Scholarship Committee;
- Friday, February 9, 2018 – Top applicants are selected by the Scholarship Committee, and interviews are scheduled within the next few days. Local applicants will be interviewed in person at the NAD Headquarters. Remote interviews will be conducted via video or phone for those who reside outside the greater MD/DC/VA area;
- Friday, February 23, 2018 – Conclusion of interviews; the NAD conveys final recommendations to Scholarship Committee;
- Monday, February 26, 2018 – Committee selects scholarship recipient/s;
- Tuesday, February 27, 2018 – the NAD informs scholarship recipient/s
About the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship
Established by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) at its 50th Biennial Conference in Philadelphia, PA, the scholarship encourages and enhances the NAD and its distinguished history of advancing professional opportunities for young deaf and hard of hearing individuals pursuing careers in law, public policy, nonprofit management and related fields. Many NAD interns, inspired by their passion and experiences at the NAD Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, have gone on to become successful leaders and advocates in their respective communities. Nancy J. Bloch served the American deaf and hard of hearing community diligently for nearly 19 years as Chief Executive Officer of the NAD. In 2011, when her tenure ended, the scholarship in her name was created to honor Nancy’s life-long commitment to invest in the future of young deaf and hard of hearing advocates so that they, too, can pave the way for others to follow in the future.
About the Scholarship Committee
The committee has a simple, straightforward objective – to raise a specified amount each year to ensure funds are continually available to support annual disbursement of internship stipends and re-investment for fund growth purposes.
Currently supported through generous individual contributions made during and since the 50th Biennial NAD Conference, the scholarship fund relies on individual, organizational, corporate and foundation support to further its goals. Donate online or via mail/fax, and select the “Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship Fund” in the Donor Designation section to ensure that your contribution is directed appropriately.
Scholarship Committee members welcome inquiries from individuals and groups interested in donating to the scholarship fund. Members include Nancy Bloch, Chair; Barbara Jean “BJ” Wood, Vice Chair; LeWana Clark, Shane Feldman, Jerry Nelson, Annette Posell, Julie Rems-Smario, Jackie Roth, Bobbie Beth Scoggins, and Chris Wagner, with President Melissa Draganac-Hawk and Chief Executive Officer Howard A. Rosenblum as ex officio members on behalf of the NAD.
NAD President Melissa gives an update about her visit to WFD in Budapest, the NAD and RID relationship, and the next NAD Board meeting in Hawaii.
Tanea shares what conferences and community services she’s done since March. #NADYAP
Are you Passionate? Ambitious? Driven? You just might be our next Youth Ambassador! Apply by February 1st (or by January 15th to earn bonus points).
Explore and apply!
HLAA is very much aware of the problems of not being able to hear well in the airport or on the plane and we have been working on this for years. There is no denying it has been a long slow process, but we are moving forward.
HLAA sits on the Advisory Committee on Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS Advisory Committee) that looks at disability issues. We know they receive training and have a complaint procedure if something goes wrong. Typically at security the problems have not been with people with hearing loss – much more likely to be a problem with someone who uses a service dog or uses a wheelchair. But if you have specific incidents to report, we can help you file a complaint and can get that information to TSA.
In the Airport
The airport is covered by the ADA, so stores and the airport itself are required to turn on the captioning on any televisions, and generally make themselves ADA compliant. So, some airports have installed an audio induction loop system, like the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Grand Rapids, Michigan. An audio induction loop can be a big help, but will only happen after the local HLAA chapter or other group of hard of hearing people spend their time advocating for that kind of access. In fact, the local people are in the best position to help the local transportation authority understand the impact of accessibility because they must work with local authorities and will be more likely to join meetings. HLAA can and does help local initiatives by providing input on educating the facility or providing advice in general.
At the Gate, Airline Information Counter, Baggage or On the Plane
These are all covered by the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). The airline is responsible to provide information to individuals with hearing loss, but they only need to do that once the passenger has alerted the staff to their hearing loss. We work with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) on these issues. Long ago, we send in comments and advocated for real time text displays of announcements at the gate, but this was not adopted by the DOT. Under the rule, people with hearing loss are entitled to get the information directly from airline staff, but only if they identify themselves as having a hearing loss. So, we suggest that individuals identify themselves as having a hearing loss when purchasing the ticket, again at the check in counter, again at the gate and once more on the plane. You are entitled to pre-board the plane as well.
We also continue to push for visual speech to text both at the gate and in the airplane. It’s still slow going, but changes are happening. More and more airlines are allowing people to either bring their own tablet to receive their captioned entertainment, or passing out those tablets to people with hearing loss. Some airlines have started to provide the pre-recorded announcements as text on the seat back display. We hope at some point to solve the problem of speech to text for announcements on the airline, but that is a technical problem. Still we will continue to work with DOT to increase the ability of the individual to get all the information they need every step of the way.
HLAA understands the problems and has been and will continue to work on solutions. They are not easy problems to solve, but we are here for the long haul.
HLAA is pleased to announce its partnership with the Ida Institute.
“The Ida Institute is renowned for excellence and HLAA is pleased to partner with them. We appreciate that they value the consumer perspective and look forward to bringing concerns of people with hearing loss to their experts who are creating resources and tools. I saw first-hand during the seminar, The Hearing Journey how important it was to hear from organizations like HLAA,” said Barbara Kelley, HLAA executive director.
The recent seminar The Hearing Journey: What Matters to You? was the first time people with hearing loss and representatives from a number of influential patient organizations, including HLAA, participated directly in an Ida innovation seminar, side by side with audiologists and opinion leaders within the field of hearing care.
The partnership is a component of Ida’s collaborative approach to person-centered hearing rehabilitation. It is also part of the institute’s new overall strategy to establish partnerships with key stakeholders in the field of hearing care, including leading patient associations, professional organizations, and universities around the world.
“The aim of these partnerships is to develop and promote a person-centered approach to hearing health care across all settings,” says Managing Director Lise Lotte Bundesen. “By partnering with various stakeholders in the field, we hope to extend our reach and identify new collaboration opportunities that will continue to transform hearing care worldwide.”
The Hearing Journey: What Matters to You? was held in Skodsborg, Denmark, October 14-16, 2017.
In their October Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released an Order to update its requirements for hearing aid compatibility and volume control on wireline and wireless telephones.
In their news release regarding this new rule, the FCC said, “Under the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act, the Commission is required to establish rules that ensure access by people with hearing loss to telephones manufactured or imported for use in the United States. With today’s action, the Commission continues its efforts to ensure that tens of millions of Americans with hearing loss have access to and can benefit from critical and modern communication technologies and services.”
adopts a revised volume control standard for wireline handsets to provide a more accurate measurement of voice amplification
implements a provision of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act to apply all of the Commission’s hearing aid compatibility requirements to wireline telephones used with advanced communication services, including phones used with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services
requires, within three years, that all wireless handsets newly certified as hearing aid compatible must include volume control suitable for consumers with hearing loss
- reminds manufacturers and service providers of existing outreach obligations to ensure that consumers are informed about the availability of hearing aid compatible phones.
More information on existing FCC hearing aid compatibility rules is available on the FCC website.
For more information, please contact Susan Bahr, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at 202-418-0573 or Susan.Bahr@fcc.gov. For those using videophones and who are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), you may call the ASL Consumer Support Line at 844-43-2275.
We want you to share what you know, experienced, want, or discovered at the next Biennial NAD Conference this July in Hartford, Connecticut! #NAD2018Submit your workshop interest!
The Hear-Ring Lab, Hofstra University is Conducting a Study to Evaluate the Sources of Tinnitus Information
Approximately one in every ten Americans will experience some form of tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, which occurs when you perceive sounds without sounds being present in the environment. For those affected with tinnitus, assistance for treatment may be sought.
The Hear-Ring Lab in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Hofstra University is conducting a study to evaluate the sources of information sought by individuals with tinnitus.
Participants who qualify for and complete the survey will receive a $10 Amazon gift card mailed to their address.
If you have tinnitus and would like to participate, please take the Tinnitus Survey.
As we continue to plan and organize events for the next Biennial NAD Conference this summer in Hartford, Connecticut — we’d like to share our theme! The ASL talent is Laurent Clerc himself; iIllustration done by Yiqiao Wang with story concept decided by the NAD Board.
Denying Deaf Citizen Access to State Senate and House Implicates First Amendment Rights
Oklahoma City, OK – A federal court has ruled that claims filed against the State of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Senate, the Oklahoma House of Representatives and state officials for discrimination against a deaf citizen may proceed. In a critical victory for citizen engagement and equal rights, the Court held that denying a deaf citizen captioning that is necessary for him to access state legislative proceedings available to others implicates the First Amendment and the fundamental right of access to political proceedings.
In 2015, Johnny Reininger, Jr. who is deaf, requested that the Oklahoma Senate and House caption their proceedings that are streamed online. Reininger, who closely follows state politics, needs captioning in order to have meaningful access to the streamed content that is available to other citizens who can hear. Although the legislature initially agreed to caption the online content in response to Reininger’s requests, it later retracted its promise to caption. Reininger filed suit in October 2016 seeking captioning of the legislative proceedings that are streamed online, but the State, Senate, and House moved to dismiss Reininger’s case, arguing that it could not be sued for disability discrimination because of sovereign immunity.
Citing the First Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances and the right of access to information conveyed via internet broadcasting about state legislative matters, the Court rejected the State’s arguments and held that the important issue at stake was a citizen’s right to participate in the political process and to have meaningful access to the tools necessary for such participation.
The Court decision clears the way for Reininger’s case to proceed. He is hopeful that the legislature will soon take steps to provide him and other deaf citizens with equal access to the information necessary to meaningfully participate in the political process. “When I don’t have access to legislative proceedings, my ability to be an informed voter and to hold my elected representatives accountable is restricted,” said Reininger.
Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, heralded the decision as a important one for every citizen saying, “This Court decision confirms that participation in government is an essential right for all Americans.” He added, “When elected officials deny people access to information about the political process on the basis of disability, their actions threaten the constitutional rights of everyone and must be stopped to ensure equal access for all.”
Reininger is represented by the National Association of the Deaf, Stein & Vargas, LLP, and the Oklahoma Disability Law Center.
The National Association of the Deaf is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by, and for, deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States.
Stein & Vargas, LLP is a civil rights firm based in Washington, D.C. and committed to the principle that all people have full and equal access to all parts of society.
The Oklahoma Disability Law Center is a system of protection and advocacy for people with disabilities in the State of Oklahoma.
- National Association of the Deaf
- Oklahoma Disability Law Center
- Stein & Vargas, LLP
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is excited to welcome Chanel Gleicher, our new Director of Youth Programs! Chanel will oversee all four NAD youth programs: College Bowl, Jr. NAD, Youth Ambassador Program, and Youth Leadership Camp.
Chanel, a Maryland native, is passionate about youth leadership. Chanel received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with minors in Writing and Graphic Design from Gallaudet University and holds a Masters’ degree in Project Management and concentration in Leadership from Northeastern University. Chanel has participated in several of NAD youth programs personally and professionally. She won the last title of Miss Deaf America at the 2012 NAD Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Through the experience, she found her love for volunteering and completed over 200 hours of volunteering for various organizations. She has participated in the NAD Youth Leadership Camp both as a student and as staff. She has also served as a Board Member for the Maryland Association of the Deaf (MDAD) and as a delegate for the US-Indonesia Youth Leadership Program. In her leisure time, Chanel and her fiancé, Ryan, enjoy exercising, travelling, and rooting for the Ravens. They also enjoy spending time with their husky pup, Coco. Chanel looks forward to work with NAD Youth Programs and our deaf youth leaders!
“We are delighted to have Chanel Gleicher join the NAD team as our Director of Youth Programs, and we know she will bring a new perspective and energy to all of the youth programs,” said Howard A. Rosenblum, NAD CEO. “We look forward to her leadership in channeling the talents and promise of all deaf and hard of hearing youth across the country.”
“I am beyond thrilled to share my knowledge and passion in working with our deaf and hard of hearing youth by empowering and strengthening their leadership and advocacy skills,” Chanel commented.
Chanel is with the delegates at the Jr. NAD National Conference in Ashland, Nebraska this week. After the Jr. NAD Conference, Chanel will meet with individual committees for College Bowl and Youth Ambassador Program to continue planning for the next Biennial NAD Conference in Hartford, Connecticut. Additionally, she will also jump in and get started on preparations for the next Youth Leadership Camp this summer. Her sleeves are rolled up and she’s ready!
The NAD Youth Leadership Programs prepare young deaf and hard of hearing Americans to become future leaders and advocates by increasing their self-determination, sense of community, and thirst for knowledge. These programs include the Jr. National Association of the Deaf (Jr. NAD) chapter network and biennial conferences, the annual NAD Youth Leadership Camp (YLC), the biennial Youth Ambassador Program (YAP), and the biennial College Bowl (CoBo) competition.
NAD Education Policy Counsel Tawny Holmes explains some of the changes with the new EHDI Re-authorization for today’s Facebook Live discussion at 4p ET. Tawny takes a moment to answer some FAQs, some of which shares the process of how the amendments happened and the next steps now that the EHDI bill has been signed by the U.S. President.
We also want to take the time to recognize many other organizations who also provided support to this success:
– American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC)
– Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools & Programs for the Deaf (CEASD)
– Council de Manos
– Maryland Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
– National ASL and English Bilingual Consortium for Early Childhood Education
– National Black Deaf Advocates
– Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2)
– NAD Education Advocates
– NAD State Associations
– And many others!
What to do when you think you face a legal situation? #AskHoward
NAD President Melissa gives a recap about NLTC and encourages people to join DGM’s next national event on March 8, 2018.