To be an effective force in advocacy, we need far larger numbers of people at the grassroots level. Below are some ways in which grassroots advocacy has been/continues to be extremely effective.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards on Classroom Acoustics were approved in 2003. Now we need ANSI standards developed for all buildings. The Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) is an independent federal agency whose primary mission is accessibility for people with disabilities. See www.access-board.gov.
Captioned Movies and Videos
Hard of hearing people want all videos open or closed captioned.
SB 842, introduced by Senator Betty Karnette, D-Long Beach, asking that Universal Design be applied to all instructional materials, is now law. Section 60061.8 (a)(2), added to the Education Code, states: After January 1, 2005, all video products designed for pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12 inclusive, shall be closed-captioned.
Hearing Aid Insurance
There is little or no insurance for hearing aids. In 2003 in California, there will be 1200 infants identified as hard of hearing. There must be easy and timely availability of hearing aids and other assistive listening devices for children.
Loop California for Permanent Accessibility
All new and remodeled facilities and some existing rooms should be looped, wherever there is a public address system in place. The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) is an independent federal agency whose primary mission is accessibility for people with disabilities, www.access-board.gov. We need to work to revise the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines, so that looping of buildings, giving permanent accessibility to hard of hearing people, is required. See www.hearingloop.org.
We need Medicare reimbursement for hearing aids.
Teacher Credentialing – Auditory-Oral Methods
In California, credentialing of teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing requires NO coursework on how to teach hard of hearing or cochlear implanted students. Teachers need training in Auditory-Oral methods.
In 2003, a private university, National University in San Diego, has begun to fill this need by opening a Center for Hard of Hearing or Deaf Persons, committed to training teachers in Auditory-Oral methods of language acquisition.
Visibility in the Language
Hard of hearing people want to be visible in the language. When speaking about people with hearing loss, the language used should be hard of hearing or deaf, unless one is specifically talking about the culturally Deaf.