NYS Capitol building in Saratoga

NYS Advocacy Update, March 2022

Our #1 legislative priority — establishment of a State Commission for the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing — is within reach! New York is one of only 12 states without such a state body.  

Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-Rockland) is leading an effort during this legislative session for passage of A6710, while Senator James Skoufis (D-Orange) is lead sponsor of companion bill S8025.  HLAA NYS is working toward their passage under the aegis of the Coalition of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing and in concert with the Empire State Association of the Deaf and New York State DeafBlind Advocates. The Coalition assisted in finalizing specifics of the legislation and on April 1 wrote to Governor Kathy Hochul to ask for her encouragement.

Once the bills are taken up — in coming days or weeks — all HLAA members are urged to personally contact their respective state senators and assembly members to urge them to become co-sponsors and supporters. HLAA NYS responded to a request from the office of Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for an opinion on a bill to permit physicians to sell hearing aids. We advised against adoption and in line with the position of the NYC Chapter of HLAA and state branch of the Audiology Academy. 

New York City’s new ordinance requiring that weekly showings of movies in cinemas display open captions takes effect on or about May 15. Local chapters are encouraged to seek such ordinances in their cities, and the State Association will consider advocating for a statewide ordinance.   

Jerry Bergman
Chair, HLAA NYS Advocacy & Legistlative Committee

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: