Bill to support Open Caption Movie Bill

John Quinney (cc’d 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.

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. or video phone: 802-881-0125

Important information from the SSA office: (COLA Increase)

Important information from the SSA office in Baltimore, Maryland:
Social Security Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increase for 2018 is 2%
This applies to all Social Security (SSI, SSDI, retirement, blind) beneficiaries.

How much is your new COLA increase? Multiply by .02 to your current amount to estimate your 2018 amount.
Example for SSDI:
Billybob earned SSDI of $1,173 in 2017. In 2018, he will earn new COL increase of $1,197.
$1,173 X .02 = $23 increase. Be sure you use correct .02, NOT .20, smile….

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) thresholds:
2018 New: $1,180 per month 2017 current: $1,170 per month

Trial Work Period (TWP) thresholds:
2018 new: $840 per month 2017 current: $850 per month

Social Security Administration Deaf or Hard of Hearing support information: Some videos in ASL.

Feel free to contact me: email: or my Video Phone:
802-881-0125. Be aware I can only guide you to help find your answers and you might need to contact SSA. Their website: