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NCRA Takes the Lead in Pursuing Access for Hearing-Impaired

June 15, 2011

Pushes Court to Make Accommodations for Upcoming Hearing on the "Healthcare Law"

On Monday, June 6th, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance (DHHA), an organization that NCRA is actively involved in, submitted a letter to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to make accommodations for the estimated 30 million deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans during the upcoming proceedings on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, or as it is commonly known, the "Healthcare Law."

Recently, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, due to the great interest in the proceedings of the constitutionality of the health care legislation, they would sell an electronic record for $26 to any member of the public interested. NCRA prompted the DHHA with this news and the DHHA responded quickly in support of NCRA's position that realtime captioning should be available on the Internet and CART, or at the very least, a transcript should be made available to the hearing-impaired.
 
In the letter to the Justices, the DHHA appealed to the court to "provide similar access to the estimated 30 million deaf and hard-of-hearing American citizens. Their interests in this matter are equal to if not greater than those of the general public and they deserve the same access as other citizens. Unfortunately, an audio tape/digital recording is of little or no use to someone who cannot hear it." The DHHA concluded, "Over the past two decades, there has been a push from the courts to allow increased public access to court proceedings. It would be a grave injustice if deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens were excluded from this landmark proceeding, which, regardless of outcome, will have an enormous impact on the nation."

NCRA strongly supports equal access for the deaf and hard-of-hearing and will tirelessly advocate for universal CART and captioning so that all Americans can have equal access to emergency alerts, the nightly news, sporting events, town hall meetings, public events, the courtroom, and dozens of other events that hearing Americans take advantage of daily. NCRA's growing CART and captioning communities are ready to meet that difficult challenge.

Please contact Adam Finkel with any questions, comments, or concerns.