County Lawmaker Backs Bill to Declare Hearing Aids a Human Right

County Lawmaker Backs Bill to Declare Hearing Aids a Human Right

Long Island legislator wants to amend county’s human rights law.

Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan has introduced a bill to amend the county’s human rights law to include hearing aids and similar devices as a “reasonable accommodation” that private and public employers can make for hearing-impaired employees, Newsday reports.

The measure is the third bill Lafazan has sponsored aimed at improving life for the deaf and hard of hearing since he was elected in November 2017. He says each one has been well received by his colleagues in the Legislature.

“We have taken great steps in this county regarding expansion of access and inclusion of people who are deaf and hard of hearing,” he said on Tuesday after he introduced the bill.

Lafazan cited statistics from the National Deaf Center, that showed 42.9 percent of deaf Americans are not in the labor force, along with 20.8 percent of hard-of-hearing people.

Lafazan has also introduced legislation to require a sign language interpreter at emergency news conferences and an informational visor card to help the deaf and hard of hearing communicate with police during traffic encounters.

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