The Committee for Communication Access was created to advocate for the needs and concerns of hard of hearing New Mexicans and is made up of hearing care consumers from throughout the state in partnership with the New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons and the Governor's Commission on Disability.
For the 2019 session of the New Mexico legislature, we will be renewing our efforts to have a regulation put in place that mandates the hearing care providers counsel clients in the technology available to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act in regard to asssistive listening systems in public venues.
In 2016 CCAnm campaigned for revisions to certain New Mexico rules and regulations applicable to the needs of consumers to have such access to the assistive listening systems explained to them. House Bill 70, passed by the New Mexico legislature on February 18, 2016, mandated that, before the sale and dispensing of hearing instruments to any client, a New Mexico hearing care provider must counsel that client in the technology that is or can be available in most hearing instruments that will provide a direct connection between their device and the assistive listening system of any public assembly facility that is in compliance with the 2010 revised terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA specifically mandates that all new or significantly upgraded assistive listening systems be hearing aid compatible and, currently, the telecoils in most hearing aids and other hearing instruments dispensed by audiologists and hearing aid dispensers is the only technology that meets that ADA requirement. The way the bill was worded, if and when other technologies (for example Bluetooth) develop the necessary capability, they would already be covered by the proposed New Mexico regulations..
BILL VETOED BY GOVERNOR
On March 9, 2016, Governor Susana Martinez vetoed the bill expressing concern over the mandating of specific standards of care, specific technologies that must be presented to clients, and specific conduct for hearing care providers.
Because so many hearing care users report never having been told about telecoil technology, laws mandating the very things the Governor objected to in New Mexico already exist Arizona, Delaware, Florida, New York, Rhode Island and Utah with most placing more requirements on providers than did the proposed New Mexico laws. To read the full comments on the bill by the Governor in her veto, click on this link:
Click on the link below to access the results of our survey on the use of telecoils and captions and on consumer opinion on mandated counseling by hearing care providers for clients being fitted with hearing aids.
Click on the link below to access our survey on the use of assistive listening systems by Hard of Hearing consumers and the article reporting on it in Technologies for Worship Magazine.
The CCAnm is working to repeat their 2016 legislative initiative for the upcoming 2019 legislative session and will have a new bills duplicating the language of the 2016 bill introduced in both the NM House by January of 2019.
Any New Mexico resident interested in service on this committee should send an email to CCAnm@juno.com requesting consideration for membership and a short biographical sketch of his/her background. To learn more about hearing loss, hearing aids and the various other devices and technologies available to help those with hearing loss, go to www.LoopNM.com/HLInformation.html .
Click on the link below to access our survey on the counseling of first time hearing aid buyers on the telecoil technology that gives them direct access to the ADA mandated assistive listening systems found in most public assembly areas.gazine.