Establishment of State Commission for Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Awaits Action by Gov. Hochul
In the closing days of the 2022 legislative session, the State Senate unanimously passed S1852B, authorizing New York to become the 39th state to have an agency to represent the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing. The Senate’s action follows earlier passage, also unanimous, by the Assembly.
The legislation now awaits signing into law by Governor Hochul and the authorization of funding for staffing and administrative costs. HLAA members and friends are urged to contact the Governor to urge her to enact the legislation.
Send your letters by mail (preferable), or email, or both. Also, please call the governor’s office.
MAIL: Hon. Kathleen C. Hochul, Governor, Capitol Bldg., Albany, NY 12224
PHONE: (518) 474-8390 (office hours 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday)
HLAA was joined in advocating for the Commission by the Empire State Association of the Deaf and New York DeafBlind Advocates. Our collective voices were amplified through the NYS Coalition of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing, which came together in recognition the need for informed representation in Albany of our respective disabilities and needs.
Confirmation of the legislation, and its text, can be found at: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/A6710
Expressions of gratitude for their leadership may be sent to the bills’ lead sponsors:
Assembly Member Kenneth Zebrowski (ZebrowskiK@nyassembly.gov) and
Senator James Skoufis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Emails to the Assembly and Senate bills’ co-sponsors listed on the web are also encouraged.
The secret of getting things done is to act! — Dante
While HLAA’s chapters are concerned with improving conditions for people with hearing loss in their communities, our State Association seeks:
- to assure access to communications consistent with the Americans With Disability Act, other federal statutes and regulations and comparable state law;
- to promote best practices and person-centered care by audiologists and other dispensers of hearing aids; and
- to foster, under state auspices, a statewide program of advocacy and education to ensure continuity of services to persons who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing and the delivery of direct services to persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.
This is the mission of the HLAA NYS Advocacy and Legislative Committee. All members of HLAA who live in New York State are eligible to join the Committee.
We seek volunteers able and willing to reach out to their state senators and assembly members and other state government officials and those with writing and editorial skills who can help draft white papers on key issues and sample letters. Those interested should email Committee Chair Jerry Bergman at email@example.com.
Our philosophy is that hearing loss has diminished our ability to hear but not our voices. To the extent possible, we hope to combine our efforts with advocates for the deaf and other advocates for the rights of people with disabilities.