Policy Issues and Efforts

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Advocacy for Children and Families

AG Bell advocates for the needs of children who are deaf and hard of hearing and use listening and spoken language. AG Bell works to shape public policy to improve educational services, increase public access and develop position statements. AG Bell staff and volunteer leaders continue to participate on critical committees and work groups such as the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, Council on Education of the Deaf, the National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance. 

Press Releases  Health Care Reform  Hearing Aid Tax Credit

Table of Contents


Advocacy in Action

Advancing Policy Initiatives
Promover iniciativas de política
Advancing Education Policy, Access to Movies and Hearing Technology
Joining Forces to Advance Education and Public Policy Issues

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Alice Cogswell Act

Deaf Child’s Bill of Rights (DCBR) are laws that have been sweeping the nation, and parents should be aware of them. A focal point of the campaign is the proposed “Alice Cogswell Act of 2013,” which is named after a student who led to the founding of one of the first schools for the deaf in the United States in the early 1800s. This stand-alone bill is intended to advance discussion among congressional representatives, disability organizations and other stakeholders prior to the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Read more about Alice Cogswell Act of 2013.

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Coalitions

AG Bell shapes public policy by being involved in these coalitions. 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance (DHHA) focuses on federal public policy that can improve the quality of life for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and all people with hearing loss.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Action Network (DHHCAN) serves as the national coalition of organizations representing the interests of deaf and/or hard of hearing citizens in public policy and legislative issues relating to rights, quality of life, equal access, and self-representation.  

Council on Education of the Deaf (CED) is an organization sponsored by five major national organizations (AG Bell, ASDC, ACE-DHH, CEASD, NAD) dedicated to quality education for all deaf and hard of hearing students.

Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) address issues that are important to the early identification, intervention and follow-up care of infants and young children with hearing loss.

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EDHI Information

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Act

EHDI-PALS: Linking Families to Services

Position Statement: Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Reauthorization Act of 2008

Early Intervention

Early Identification

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U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education Guidance on Students with Sensory Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education released guidance to remind schools of their responsibility to provide communication access for students with hearing, vision and speech disabilities. The guidance highlighted schools’ responsibilities under three different laws: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Schools must give “primary consideration to students and parents” in determining supports that are needed to ensure effective communication, and these supports can include communications access realtime translation (CART).

This guidance comes in response to the K.M. v. Tustin Unified School District case, in which a high school student sought CART to provide access to classroom discussion. AG Bell filed an amicus brief in the case which provided a victory for the student and paved the way for greater classroom access to CART.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education wrote a “Frequently Asked Questions on Effective Communication for Students with Hearing, Vision, or Speech Disabilities in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools” (FAQs), which explains the responsibility of public schools to ensure that communication with students with hearing, vision or speech disabilities is as effective as communication with all other students.

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Hearing Aid Insurance Mandate Resource Center

List of which states require insurance companies to pay for hearing technology or cochlear implant surgeries. 

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Hearing Aid Tax Credit

Position Statement: Insurance Coverage and Medicare Reimbursement for Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants and Other Hearing Assistive Devices

AG Bell Members Rally to Support Hearing Aid Tax Credit  
  • story in March 13, 2015 AG Bell eNEWS
Hearing Health Forum on Capitol Hill
  • story in February 26, 2015 AG Bell eNEWS
Senators Introduce the Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act
  • story in February 5, 2015 AG Bell eNEWS    
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