August 1, 2016
Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing Minnesotans Bulletin
Good news! Starting today, August 1st, Minnesota’s new closed captioning law goes into effect. As of now, closed captioning is required to be kept on at all times in certain medical facilities.
The law applies to waiting rooms in hospitals, surgical centers, birth centers and some group homes. The group homes affected are those that provide housing, meals and services to five or more people who are developmentally or physically disabled, chemically dependent or mentally ill.
OCTOBER 26, 2015 AT 1:10 PM ET
BY CHRISTINE CASSEL AND ED PENHOET
Untreated, age-related hearing loss is a significant national problem. With the population 65 and older in the United States expected to reach 80 million in the next 25 years, the number of people with hearing loss will rise dramatically. Already, a quarter of adults between 60 and 69 years, more than half of adults between 70 and 79 years, and almost 80 percent of those older than 80 years have difficulty hearing – that’s almost 30 million Americans. Only a small fraction of this group seek out and use assistive hearing technologies, including hearing aids, and that rate is even smaller among low income and racial and ethnic minorities.
In my last entry, I examined the mythical elephant PCAST created in its examination of the hearing healthcare system. The creature seemed to be purely product – no professional services needed – and closely resembled the vision of the Consumer Electronics Association and PSAP manufacturers.
In many ways, the PCAST report is the epitome of the commoditization of hearing healthcare.
The word audiologist was barely used in the report while the more generic “dispenser” and “hearing health care provider” were used more often. Without any evidence whatsoever, the PCAST vision delegated those with mild to moderate hearing loss – the largest category of hearing impaired individuals – into a category where self-diagnosis, self-fitting and self-adjusting are all that is needed.