From the Desk of Christopher Sutton
National Executive Director
Canadian Hard of Hearing Association
While most of October has been election fever in Canada, the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association has been ensuring that hearing loss issues are at the top of everyone’s mind.
As you know we celebrated the passing of Bill C-81: An Accessible Canada Act this past May and now the work of the various organizations that were established to create standards and regulations have begun their work. However, a number of provinces are still without their own accessibility legislation. We have been working with our networks across Canada to provide them with resources to help you advocate for change and to lobby for development of accessibility legislation in your local communities. Our work is so critical so that our needs are recognized and that standards and regulations developed are harmonized from coast to coast to coast and around the globe.
Although some of our advocacy work had been put on hold due to the election, we have been busy working with our partners with the Hearing Health Alliance of Canada to develop a national hearing health strategy. At the end of October, this group will be meeting at the Canadian Academy of Audiology (CAA) Conference where we will be able to put a clear plan together and make this a priority for the incoming government.
While at the CAA Conference, CHHA will also be able to meet with the various players in the hearing health industry to ensure we create new partnerships and work together with our current partners to advance hearing health for all Canadians living with hearing loss.
In addition, CHHA attended the first Named-Entity Recognition (NER) Advisory Council meeting this past week as the consumer representative. The NER Advisory Council was established by the CRTC this past summer when it adopted NER as the new standard to evaluate the quality and accuracy rate for live television programming. Along with this, we participated in the first meeting of consumer organizations and broadcasters that are reviewing Play by Play Captions. Through this work we will be evaluating user preferences and make recommendations on best practices for Play by Play captions on live television.
At the end of the month we are thrilled to be participating at Rick Hanson 1st Annual Accessibility Professional Conference where we will be presenting on hearing accessibility and the needs of people living with hearing loss in the built environment.
As you can see it has been busy this month and all indicators point to the upcoming months being just as active. We are very active advocating for you to ensure all barriers to communication are eliminated. Don’t forget to watch your email and mailboxes for our upcoming donor drives and remember Giving Tuesday is December 3, 2019, let’s make this a record year for donations to CHHA this giving season.
Thank you for all your hard work and for what you do in your communities for people living with hearing loss.