|DHHCAN 2010-05 May|
DHHCAN Meeting Minutes
May 5, 2010
Present: Claude Stout (TDI) (Chair); Cheryl Heppner (ALDA) (Vice Chair); Rosaline Crawford (NAD) (Secretary/Treasurer); Art Roehrig (AADB); Al Sonnenstrahl (ADARA); Anna Keifer (ASDC) Barbara Raimondo (CEASD); Sam Sonnenstrahl (GUAA); Nancy Bloch (NAD); Shane Feldman (NAD); Ron Sutcliffe (NDBI); Kelby Brick (Purple); Janet Bailey (RID); Mary Lightfoot (RID); Ron Burdett (Sorenson); Jeff Solit (USADSF); and Samuel Jones (consumer).
The Chair called the meeting to order.
Minutes: The minutes of the meeting held on April 7, 2010, will be presented for approval at next month’s meeting.
The FCC Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) has a new Consumer Disclosure Task Force. This action stems from termination clauses in communication service contracts. The FCC CAC is helping to develop a list of what consumers want to know when we buy communication products and services. Suggestions included: a spreadsheet showing wireline, wireless, broadband, and video programming services; availability of hearing aid compatibility, amplification, customer service contacts for deaf and hard of hearing consumers; disclosure of closed captioning complaints received; the clearinghouse provision in H.R. 3101; better product labeling for hearing aid compatibility; in formation on products and services in plain English, ASL, and other languages; and annual reports on complaints filed.
The FCC has established a new process for TV closed captioning complaints. Consumers can file complaints directly with the FCC. The FCC has also created a searchable database to assist consumers who want to contact their TV program provider (TV station, cable or satellite company) for immediate assistance and to file written complaints. That database is now available on the FCC website.
The balance in the DHHCAN account is $37,361.00.
Technology & Telecommunications
Barbara reported that she attended the recent CEASD meeting in Arizona, along with the National Deaf Education summit.
ESEA reauthorization is moving along. The Administration gave money for education competition grants. The “Race to the Top” was once of those competitions. ESEA may have more of that kind of competitive funding.
The stimulus bill that was passed 18 months ago gave states funding for education. However, the economy is not recovering fast enough. A bill has been introduced in the House to provide more funding and a bill has been introduced in the Senate on education funding.
California bill AB 2072 – DHHCAN has not taken a position. The NAD submitted a letter raising concerns about AB 2072. DHHCAN and DHHA both support reauthorization of the EHDI Act. The NAD and CEASD will be dialoging more on EHDI strategies. More information may be available at the next DHHCAN meeting.
Volunteers to serve on a committee on VR issues with Al Sonnenstrahl deferred.
Continental Airlines will start closed captioning in-flight television entertainment.
Janice Schacter is investigating the need for call boxes in New York City (NYC) neighborhoods. Recommended she check with deaf advocates in NYC, particularly those who were involved in earlier related litigation. She also received information from California on available accessible highway call boxes.
Janet is on the NENA work group on VRS/IP Relay interaction with PSAPs. She and Stephanie (co-chairs) will be asking for assistance to review those guidelines.
Nancy requested that E911 access issues be put on a future DHHCAN meeting agenda to discuss the pros and cons of each system.
Health & Human Services
OPM had a hiring expo on April 26. Samuel Jones (consumer) reported that he participated. The format changed, but they provided interpreter services.
White House Website Accessibility. TDI contacted Kareem Dale for an update and was informed that the White House does not have the proper tools, etc. Barbara reported that she received quick response from the Department of Education about their website.
Movie Captioning. Cheryl reported that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided the Arizona movie theater case favorably. The matter has been returned to the lower court for trial. The movie case in Washington state survived a motion to dismiss and will also continue to trial.
Special Committee on Bahar Draft Legislation. Committee members are Claude, Janet, and Shane. Rosaline and Eliot Greenwald (TDI’s pro bono counsel) prepared detailed comments and questions. The committee had its first meeting on April 26 and met with Bahar on May 4 to provide feedback. Discussion included changes in the FCC; language and focus of the legislation (integrity of the TRS fund); desire to be more forward looking; possibly retain strong provisions and add provisions to support what consumers want; and other possible strategies. Committee will meet again and with Bahar. Consumer support is important to Representative Inslee. Impact of expected FCC action (NOI or NPRM) on TRS/VRS is unknown. Question was raised about FCC authority to require “mainstream” VPs to be compatible with VRS VPs. Claude expressed desire for the FCC to retain broad authority. Also discussed concept of developing “report cards” for TRS providers.
Special Committee on DHHCAN Bylaws. Committee members are Kelby, Nancy, Cheryl, Rosaline, and Claude. Rosaline asked if anyone knows of an intern interested in non-profit corporations, please let Rosaline know.
Introduction of the “Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act” (S. 3304). S. 3304 was introduced on May 4. This is a “sister” bill to H.R. 3101. Some of the provisions in S. 3304 are different than H.R. 3101 (such as the definition of “advanced communications,” and creation of a new “achievable” standard instead of applying the “undue burden” standard). Stay tuned for more information.
RID will host a video interpreting symposium at Gallaudet on May 22-23, 2010. Focus is on research. An announcement will be distributed to DHHCAN representatives.
The next meeting will be held in the Ole Jim on Wednesday, June 2, 2010. This will be the last meeting before our summer break. Regular meetings will resume on Wednesday, September 1, 2010.