February 21, 2017 – Post your support on legislators’ FB pages by Friday, February 24, 2017 to support HB 1264 and SB 5179. They need to be moved out of committee.
House Appropriation Committee Members: post to them to support HB 1264 to cover adult hearing aids under Medicaid.
Senate Ways & Means Committee Members: post to them to support SB 5179 for Medicaid and public employee coverage of hearing aids.
February 16, 2017 – HB 1264 to cover adult hearing aids under Medicaid is now in the Appropriations Committee. It may die due to cost concerns, so write to the Appropriations Committee today and express your desire for health equity for people with hearing loss.
February 15, 2016 – These bills need your support to keep moving! See our advocacy page for details.
January 26, 2017 – Thank you to everyone who testified in Olympia this week. There’s still time to express your support (see below). Watch the video of the hearing and our testimony here.
Wednesday, January 25, 1:30 pm
House of Representatives Committee on Health Care and Wellness, House Hearing Rm A, John L. O’Brien Building.
- House Bill 1264 – Medicaid hearing aid coverage
Thursday, January 26, 10:00 a.m.
Senate Committee on Health Care, Senate Hearing Rm 2, J.A. Cherberg Building. Three bills will be heard:
- SB 5179 – Covers hearing aids for public employee plans and Medicaid.
- SB 5177 – Requires hearing loss recognition training for LTC workers.
- SB 5178 –Requires the Department of Health to develop a hearing loss education program for health care professionals
January 17, 2017 – Act now! Support the Let Washington State Hear Campaign. Tell your State lawmaker to ensure hearing aids are covered under Medicaid and public employee health plans. For more details, see our advocacy page. Use these quick links to offer public comment on Senate Bill 5179 and House Bill 1264.
Coming Soon: A New Name and Website
Loop Seattle is becoming Loop Washington, to better reflect our statewide efforts to promote Hearing Loop solutions and achieve greater hearing access for Washington’s citizens. Over the next few months, we will also be updating our website and are excited to share with you our new look, more information, and helpful resources.
Join us as we make Washington State the most hearing-friendly place in America.
Let’s Loop Seattle is dedicated to universal hearing and communication access. Universal hearing access breaks down communication barriers to employment, transportation, public accommodations, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
More and more churches, theaters, town halls, retirement homes, hospitals, and even cabs and ticket windows are getting in the hearing loop the world over.
Emotional and social impact
The emotional and social impacts of hearing loss can be tremendous. Many people, feeling the stigma that surrounds hearing loss, hesitate to treat it or ask for accommodation. Yet untreated hearing loss can isolate people from their friends, families, and communities. Hearing loops and other assistive listening devices are life-changing for many, reconnecting them and re-engaging them with hobbies, jobs, and community services.
The financial impact of hearing loss not adequately treated or accommodated has been estimated at $122 billion in lost income and $18 billion in unrealized tax revenue.
Hearing access creates opportunities, civic engagement, professional success, and cultural appreciation. Universal loop technology can be used almost anywhere worldwide, helping communication in transient situations every day for millions.
Experience a loop
Let’s Loop Seattle has helped bring loop technology to many Washington venues. For a list of looped locations in Washington, visit our Loops in Washington page, download our special guide, “Roadmap to a Looped Community” (updated April 2016), or our comprehensive comprehensive guide to looped locations in Washington State (updated August 2016).
Washington State’s Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) has installed loops across the state. Check this list with loops and addresses to access State of Washington government services and assistance via a hearing loop.
And please feel free to download and share our brochure. We welcome you–venues, organizations, disability groups, senior groups, veterans groups, and everyday folks of all hearing abilities–on our journey to universal communication access.
Commuting and traveling are safer, easier, and more enjoyable when fully accessible to everyone. Airport terminals, trains and train stations, metros, buses, taxis, and all check-in and ticket counters all benefit tremendously from hearing loops.
Clear communication is critical in health care settings. All heath care services– emergency room care, inpatient and outpatient services, surgery, clinics, classes, cafeterias, and gift shops–should be hearing accessible to ensure patient safety and confidentiality.
Participation in public forums is a right of all citizens. Government agencies that create universal access by readily providing communication aids and services (hearing loops, real time captioning, interpreters) encourage collaborative civic engagement.
We must provide all students with an education they deserve and equal opportunities to achieve their goals. Classrooms, auditoriums, and learning centers need to be accessible so that all students can participate and learn.
Universal access allows everyone to understand and enjoy performances without standing in line to check out and wear stigmatizing equipment that may or may not work. Arenas, theatres, and venues can easily provide communication access at ticket windows and food and vendor counters via a simple loop.
The unemployment rate for people with hearing loss is 20% higher than that of the general population. Most people with hearing loss report lifetime earnings of nearly half a million dollars less than their hearing counterparts. Communication access in the workplace is vital to an inclusive 21st century workforce.