AG Bell and LEAD-K Reach Historic Agreement

AG Bell and LEAD-K Reach Historic Agreement:  Key Legislation Will Help Ensure Language Acquisition for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

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AG Bell Statement on LEAD-K Agreement

AG Bell and LEAD-K leaders have recently agreed on adaptations to the model LEAD-K bill that will strengthen it for all children with hearing loss. With the adapted bill, parents will continue to rec...

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La primera Línea Directa que facilita recursos y servicios a familias de niños/as con un diagnóstico reciente de pérdida auditiva

La asociación  Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing  (AG Bell) ha presentado  Listen-Learn-Link  ( Oír-Aprender-Conectarse ). 

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Know Your Rights

Knowing your legal rights and being able to advocate for yourself are important skills for everyone but especially for people with hearing loss. Here is a brief overview of the two major U.S. laws designed to ensure equal access to education and opportunities.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals against discrimination in many areas of their lives. The ADA outlines five areas (“titles”) in which people with disabilities have legal rights: employment, public services, public accommodations, telecommunications and other miscellaneous provisions.

ADA Title I: Employment

Title I requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of employment-related opportunities available to others.

ADA Title II: State and Local Government Activities

Title II requires that state and local governments give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services and activities (e.g., public education, employment, transportation, recreation, health care, social services, courts, voting and town meetings).The transportation provisions of Title II cover public transportation services, such as city buses and public rail transit (e.g., subways, commuter rails, Amtrak).

ADA Title III: Public Accommodations

“Public accommodations” include facilities such as restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, retail stores, etc., as well as privately-owned transportation systems. 

Title III requires that all new construction and modifications must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. For existing facilities, barriers to services must be removed if readily achievable.

ADA Title IV: Telecommunications Relay Services

Title IV addresses telephone and television access for people with hearing and speech disabilities. It requires common carriers (telephone companies) to establish interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services (TRS) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

ADA Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions

Title V contains multiple additional laws and acts adopted through the years to further strengthen ADA.

For more information about ADA, visit


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees the right to a free and appropriate public education to infants, children and teens with disabilities (ages birth to 21 or until achieving a high school diploma) in the least restrictive environment appropriate. The law specifies how schools must provide or deny services and how parents can approach school districts, as well as challenge school district recommendations. IDEA includes three parts: Part A, which outlines general provisions; Part B, which outlines provisions for school-aged children (ages 3 to 21), including the Individualized Education Program (IEP); and Part C, which provides for early intervention services for children ages birth to 3.

For more information about IDEA, visit

Speaking From the Volta Bureau

Emilio Alonso-Mendoza, J.D., CFRE
CEO of AG Bell

In this regular column, Emilio Alonso-Mendoza shares his perspectives on the work the organization is doing to help individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing live a life without limits.

CURRENT COLUMN September 20th, 2018

Newborn Screening Awareness Month
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Education Advocacy

   Knowing your educational rights are a vital part of ensuring your child has access to the learning environment he or she needs to succeed. However, this process can be difficult even for people who have experience with education law. Check out these helpful tools: 

IEP Checklist Preparation for the IEP Meeting FAQs about Special Education Advocacy D.D. vs. Foothills Selpa E.N. vs. St Johns County

Register for AG Bell’s free online Parent Advocacy Training course which details the entire process you will go through to establish your child's educational needs and goals.

Register Now

Ask the Experts

AG Bell offers expert responses to your specific questions in partnership with Bruce Goldstein and his associates at Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP. Mr. Goldstein and his team offer guidance on education rights and special education accommodation strategies for children who are deaf and hard of hearing and seek a listening and spoken language outcome based on rights and access supported by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Action (ADA) and more.

Email [email protected]

Call 716-346-8088

Bruce A. Goldstein is Special Counsel with the law firm of Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP in Buffalo, New York. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School, where he graduated cum laude. With more than 30 years of experience, he concentrates his practice in education, disability, estate, not-for-profit corporation and health law. Bruce is a past president of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and a recipient of AG Bell’s prestigious Honors of the Association Award.

Every effort will be made to answer questions in a timely manner. All questions submitted for guidance may appear anonymously on AG Bell's website to help other families with questions. Any information provided by Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP is for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered legal advice.

Reach Us

Alexander Graham Bell Association
for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

3417 Volta Place NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

Tel: 202-337-5220
TTY: 202-337-5221
Fax: 202-337-8314

[email protected]

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Our Mission

Working globally to ensure that people who are deaf and hard of hearing can hear and talk. 

We want all families to be informed and supported, professionals to be appropriately qualified to teach and help children with hearing loss, public policy leaders to effectively address the needs of people with hearing loss, and communities to be empowered to help their neighbors with hearing loss succeed.