S.320 Hearing Aid Bill

Now is a SIGNIFICANT time to contact your senator about getting this bill, S.320 to pass! Hearing aids are expensive for many Vermonters!  We are gaining momentum now and there is a GOOD chance to get this bill moved to the House for review.

Would you consider contacting these Senators, especially if they are YOUR senators? Ask them to hold a hearing on this bill: S.320 “An act relating to an incremental approach to health insurance coverage for hearing aids”  Ask to meet with them to tell them about the importance of hearing aid coverage.

Ann Cummings, Chair of the Finance Committee, acummings@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:acummings@leg.state.vt.us> (802) 223-6043 Home Address 24 Colonial Dr., Montpelier, VT 05602
Mark A. MacDonald, Vice Chair of the Finance Committee, mmacdonald@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:mmacdonald@leg.state.vt.us> 404 MacDonald Rd., Williamstown, VT 05679 Home Phone(802) 272-1101 senatormark@aol.com<mailto:senatormark@aol.com>
Christopher Pearson, Chittenden District CPearson@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:CPearson@leg.state.vt.us> 12 Brookes Ave., Burlington, VT 05401 Work Phone(802) 860-3933
Randy Brock, Franklin District rbrock@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:rbrock@leg.state.vt.us> 2396 Highgate Rd., St. Albans, VT 05478-9795 Home Phone (802) 868-2300
Brian Campion, Bennington District bcampion@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:bcampion@leg.state.vt.us> 1292 West Road, Bennington, VT 05201 campionvt@gmail.com<mailto:campionvt@gmail.com>
Michael Sirotkin, Chittenden District msirotkin@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:msirotkin@leg.state.vt.us> 80 Bartlett Bay Rd., South Burlington, VT 05403 Home Phone (802) 999-4360 sirotkin.senate@gmail.com<mailto:sirotkin.senate@gmail.com>
Becca Balint, Bill Sponsor, Windham District  bbalint@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:bbalint@leg.state.vt.us>  802-257-4162   271 South Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301

18 Feb 2020

Bill to support Open Caption Movie Bill

John Quinney (cc’d johnq@gmavt.net) the Vermont Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America has announced that the open caption movie bill, H. 312, has a one hour hearing this Friday at 8:30 with the House Human Services.

John invites everyone to write a letter of support and email it to him as a PDF by today at noon. If you’re able to do this, your letters should be sent to John as a pdf and addressed to:

Rep. Ann Pugh
Chair, House Human Services Committee
Vermont State House
115 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-5301

The letters should be as personalized as possible, and may also cover these points:
· 60,000 Vermonters have hearing loss, and are at risk of social isolation
· Most have stopped going to the movies because they don’t understand the dialog.
· Offering a small number of open caption screenings would bring many of these people back to the movies.
· Turning on open captions is as simple as adding subtitles to home streamed movies. There is no cost.
· H. 312 requires open caption screenings to be clearly identified on all marketing materials, so that movie goers can choose accordingly.

Please see the attached background information compiled by John.

If anyone would like to testify, please contact John. He says: “Your personal experience would, of course be useful; we’re also looking for people to speak to the risks and costs of social isolation that are too often linked to disabilities. We have an hour, and want to provide plenty of time for questions, so you could expect to speak for about five minutes or so. Written testimony is also useful – mine will be based on the attached case study.”Access Denied – The Case for H. 312 – Open Captions at the Movies 09-23-19

Click this link to open the PDF and send the letter with your signature.

23 Jan 2020

Social Security SSDI/SSI new SGA thresholds amount for 2020

Just wanted to share some changes to the social security administration (SSA) allowance and SSI benefits amounts that started on January 1, 2020. These amounts will increase every year on January 1st.

SSDI: Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount allowed per month: $1,260.00 Important to know this if you are working part time earning wages.

If you are Deafblind on SSDI: the SGA amount allowed per month: $2,110.00

Full SSI amount for an individual in Vermont is now $835.04

If you are on SSI or SSDI and are interested in becoming employed, or have questions, feel free to reach out to our Vocational Rehabilitation services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. You can contact me to get started: Bill Hudson, Statewide Coordinator of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.

bill.hudson@vermont.gov or video phone: 802-881-0125

06 Jan 2020

VT Association for the Deaf & Hands and Voices Co-host Holiday Party

31 Oct 2019

Vermont Association of the Deaf State Conference

16 Sep 2019