DHHCAN Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Gallaudet Alumni House
(Thanks to GUAA for their generous support of the DHHCAN meeting space.)
Meeting called to order at 12:13 PM.
Voting Members – quorum achieved
- Claude Stout, TDI
- Zainab Alkebsi, NAD
- Tom Dowling, DSA
- Bernie Palmer, ALDA
- Art Roehrig, AADB
- Neal Tucker, RID
- Ron Sutcliffe, CSD
- David Bahar, CSD
- Barbara Raimondo, CEASD
Michele Mulligan, CPADO (and her father)
Judy Stout, consumer
- Jayne Tubergen Magneson
- Jan Nishimura
- Pat Richey
Approval of Minutes
- The minutes for the October 5, 2016 meeting stands as read.
- Tayler Mayer (TDI), who kindly recorded the minutes for the November 2 meeting in Zainab’s absence, is still working on those minutes.
Chair’s Report (Claude)
- Claude discussed the post-election results and reactions. We have our work cut out for us for access.
- Claude sent our Policy Document to the Trump transition time about two weeks ago but is not sure who the right person is. It has been difficult to find specific contact information for the proper contact.
- David suggested getting in touch with Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers since she drafted the RNC platform.
- Claude also gave an update on a meeting that he and Zainab had that morning with Administrator Rosekind at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in regard to the critical issue of 19 carbon monoxide deaths of deaf and hard of hearing people caused by keyless ignitions with no visual or vibrating alerts that the car is still running. It was a very good, encouraging meeting. The NHTSA will send a letter to car trade associations next week with Zainab and Claude copied, asking for solutions. A supplemental rulemaking is possible later after the transition.
- Zainab echoed Claude’s sentiments regarding the positive meeting.
- Tom is resigning as Treasurer due to other pressing obligations so we will have an election for Treasurer later in the meeting. The Treasurer must be a regular voting member.
- Claude applauded Zainab for her new role as the DHHCAN representative on the Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC), taking Claude’s place. Claude is starting to step back from some duties.
- Claude explained that he received some feedback from Zainab regarding the 12 to 2 pm meeting time taking place during lunchtime without food provided. We should provide food to show we respect the time of our members and for added incentives for members to attend. Claude agrees but we need to figure out the logistics of who would coordinate the food each month.
- The TDI Holiday party will be December 15, 6 to 9 pm at the Washington Court Hotel.
- We have people requesting to attend the meeting through the conference call, particularly West Coast folks, but we are trying to figure out the logistics.
Vice Chair’s Report (Bernie)
Secretary’s Report (Zainab)
- Zainab thanked Tayler for taking minutes in her absence at last month’s meeting.
- The October 5 minutes drafted by Zainab were approved as read. Approval of the November 2 meeting is tabled to the next meeting since Tayler is still working on those.
- Zainab will try to circulate this month’s minutes before the holidays, especially since the next meeting is right after everyone returns from holiday break.
Treasurer’s Report (Tom)
- Our current balance is $23,765.04 as of December 7, 2016.
- On December 6, Tom sent membership dues letters to 8 regular members and 4 organizational partners.
- Tom provided Zainab with a membership roster with paid dues for 2015-2016 for our records.
- Tom also provided Zainab with renewal letters dated for 2016-2017 for our records.
- Tom also provided Zainab with a budget proposal for 2016-2017 with projected revenue of $4,000 (from membership dues) and projected expenses of $3,048. Most of the expenses are for interpreting and food.
Review and Discussion of the Policy Document Submitted to the Trump Transition Team
- Barbara had an idea, recommending that we add information on current regulations/policies that cover the items in the Policy Document. We should specify which laws/regulations are connected with each recommendation to reduce the legwork of staffers.
- Zainab responded that some sections, such as Civil Rights and Education, already do specify those but other sections do not and might need citations for clarification. Instead of revising the entire document and re-submitting it again, it might be better to simply add an appendix with citations.
- David noted that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has indicated a desire to be an ally and he already submitted the Policy Document to her office. He believes she is willing to work with us on these issues.
- Claude stated that on an ongoing basis, we will annotate the Policy Document with any progress and updates on the recommendations.
- Education (Barbara Raimondo):
- Barbara gave an update on the IDEA Amendments bill. Given the current political climate, they will look at the different goals of the bill and see where it might fit in terms of possible state level actions.
- The new Education Secetary is Betsy DeVos . She loves vouchers. She would be happy to see the public system closed and instead see growth of the private system. We will spend our time fighting new ideas.
- Employment (David Bahar):
- The Small Business Administration’s 8A program is designed to help socially and economically disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace through federal contracting. We are working on trying to add disability-owned businesses. We are still in the initial stages and are hoping to introduce a bill next session.
- At this point, Michele’s father stated that he is disappointed that the Republican invitees did not come to last month’s meeting. He suggested that we should invite Republican appointees to future meetings to jumpstart dialogue with Republicans.
- Civil Rights Protection and Enforcement (Zainab Alkebsi):
- One of our recommendations touched on captioning of in-flight entertainment. Zainab reported at an earlier meeting about her and Lise’s involvement in a regulatory negotiation with airlines in regard to accessibility of in-flight entertainment and communications with Zainab as co-chair of that working group.
- After seven months of negotiations, the committee reached an agreement on ensuring that the same in-flight entertainment that are available to all passengers are also accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind, and visually impaired passengers. The committee submitted its recommendations to the Department of Transportation to incorporate in its rulemaking. Certain highlights include:
- All new in-flight entertainment systems, whether on newly delivered aircraft or newly-installed on existing aircraft, must be capable of supporting closed captions and audio descriptions as of the effective date of the final rule.
- If an aircraft has inaccessible seatback in-flight entertainment systems, it must provide an alternative personal entertainment device (PED) with accessible comparable video content. Airlines can do this either through their own PEDs, on which content can be preloaded or streamed wirelessly, or by streaming wirelessly to passengers’ PEDs.
- Airlines shall request from video content providers that 100% of covered in-flight entertainment content are closed-captioned and audio-described, and shall obtain such covered video content with closed captions and audio descriptions available from the content providers, including edited versions.
- There are many other nuances to the consensus agreement but some examples of other requirements mandate user-customizable captions, accessible WiFi for blind and visually impaired passengers, information collection and reporting by the airlines, disclosure of accessibility options in advance of travel, and the provision of search filters and identifying icons.
- The committee also agreed to establish an independent task force to develop and submit recommendations on proposed specifications for accessible cabin announcements (on text displays and also delivered to smartphones) on or before November 15, 2017. The NAD and HLAA will be representatives on this task force.
- We are very excited for accessibility in the air.
- Everyone in the room echoed their excitement as well.
- The edited bylaws were approved as read and consists of changes in regard to a minimum of attendance from regular members to monthly meetings per year, and also edits to cover past decisions from the coalition like splitting duties to cover past decisions from the coalition like splitting duties of Secretary-Treasurer position to two positions – Secretary and Treasurer.
- Election for new Treasurer: no regular voting member present at the meeting volunteered so Claude will send an email soliciting interest to the regular voting members not present.
Next Meeting Date
- Wednesday, January 4, at Gallaudet Alumni House.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 1:51 pm.
Zainab Alkebsi, Secretary