• Positive Changes

    There has been a tremendous amount of positive change over the last 20 years, giving deaf and hard of hearing people much needed communications access through recent laws, new technologies, new organizations and grants. HLA played a large part in making these things happen.

    International Organizations
    (SHHH) Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc. (1979)
    (CIAI) Cochlear Implant Association International, Inc. (1981)

    Law
    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (1990)

    Acoustics – Classroom
    American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards on classroom acoustics were approved in 2003.

    Grant
    First Federal grant to study mental health of hard of hearing people (1994)

    Institute Established
    National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) established in 1988.

    Technology – Medical
    California is testing the hearing of 70% of newborns.
    California’s Infant Hearing Screening Program is the largest in the world
    Fully digital hearing aids (1996); the first Cochlear implants (1972).
    As of 2002, 59,000 people world wide have CIs, half are children.
    Cochlear Implants were FDA approved for 12-month old infants in 2000

    Technology – Assistive Listening Devices
    Email is the best assistive listening device.
    Fax, Listservs, Web Pages
    FM, Infrared and Audio Loop for personal use and for use at movies, theatres and meetings.
    Real Time Captioning in courtrooms, banquets, lectures, workshops

    Captioning – Television
    Telecommunications Act of 1996 surveyed TV and developed mandates.
    FCC mandates that by 2008, 100% of new TV programs be captioned
    FCC mandates that by 2008, 75% of old TV programs be captioned.
    All TVs must have a captioning capability, TV Decoder Circuitry Act (1990)

    Captioning – Movies
    There is no mandate to caption movies or movie videos. The movie industry just does it voluntarily. Some first-run movies are now being shown open-captioned or Rear Window captioned. Most recent movie videos are closed captioned.
    For a list of captioned films, visit Captionfish at www.captionfish.com.

    Captioning – Live Theater in Los Angeles
    Triumvirate Pi Theatre captions all performances. www.tri-pi.org

    Telephones
    All telephones manufactured after 1988 must be hearing aid compatible
    All telephone companies must provide 24 hour inter and intrastate relay services (1993)

    Education – California Department of Education (CDE)
    The CDE, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Education Advisory Task Force, published “Communication Access and Quality Education for Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Children”, 1999.

    The California Department of Education established the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Unit, as part of the State Special Schools and Services Division in 1998.

    Education – Teacher Training
    National University in San Diego opened the Center for Hard of Hearing or Deaf Persons in 2003 committed to training teachers in Auditory-Oral methods of language acquisition.

    Visibility in the Language
    AGBell Association for the Deaf, is now AGBell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (1999). National University opens Center for Hard of Hearing or Deaf Persons, 2003.

    Happiness is socializing with hard of hearing people and finding a new technology that I can make use of.