On April 18 we partnered with the Wisconsin Association of the Deaf (WAD, and the Wis. Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (WisRid) for a day at the Capitol. The purpose was to:
Tell our legislators about issues of concern and encourage legislative action.
Give participants a firsthand look at how state government works.
Come together with other organizations with which we share mutual concerns.
It was a successful day despite the impending snow storm. There were a number of cancellations and some left after the morning session to beat the storm. Last minutes changes in venues, groups, meeting rooms were made to adjust to the conditions. About 35 legislators or staff attended and listened to our presentations on the five issues. As HLAA we presented two issues:
mandating audiologists to inform patients about telecoils;
legislation to mandate hearing loops in government and public buildings to better comply with ADA.
We were successful in getting the ear of a number of legislators. They heard, some of them probably for the first time, that the hearing loss community is big in numbers, are invisible, have needs that aren't addressed, have some similarities with the deaf/Deaf community, but have unique differences. We need to follow up on the momentum we created today. The best way to do that is to write (email or letter) to your legislators or attend one of their local town hall meetings. Go to the Wisconsin State Legislature home page at legis.wisconsin.gov/ to find your representatives and contact information. Explain your concerns and ask them to understand our issues and offer to work with them to draft and pass legislation. The legislative day also offered a good opportunity to connect with folks in WAD, WisRid, Deafblind and ASL and audiology students from the University of Wisconsin and MATC (Milwaukee). It was also a good time to visit and connect with HLAA members from around the state.
Thanks to all who attended and participated.
For hard of hearing, deaf, deaf/blind and allies Co-sponsored by HLAA Wisconsin, WAD and WisRid
Tour the Capitol
Meet with your local Representatives & Senators
Hand out educational information
Learn firsthand how laws are made
This is the third annual legislative day and the second year ofparticipation by HLAA. It is an opportunity to meet with our legislators and express important issues to improve the lives of the hard of hearing, deaf and deaf/blind. We are co-sponsoring with The Wisconsin Association of the Deaf and the Wisconsin Registry of Interpreters. It is an opportunity for us to work together to pursue our common interests. It is very important that we have a good showing of people with hearing loss who use technology. This year we have decided that it will be most effective to put emphasis on two main issues that present a clear message of what hard of hearing people need for communication access. The two issues are; requiring hearing loops in public buildings, and mandating a requirement for audiologists and other dispensing professionals to explain and provide an actual ‘live’ demonstration of the value of telecoils and other assistive technologies to all patients who purchase hearing instruments from them. See the text below for information on those issues. WAD will also present two issues pertinent to the Deaf population. We need a strong representation from our chapters to make the event successful and have our voices heard.
There is no fee to register. Jerry Lapidakis President, HLAA Wisconsin
Plan to attend and encourage others in your chapter and others who would benefit. To register go to: