June 7, 2017 Meeting Minutes





DHHCAN Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Gallaudet Alumni House

(Thanks to GUAA for their generous support of the DHHCAN meeting space.)


Meeting called to order at 12:22 PM.


Roll Call


Voting Members quorum achieved

  • Tayler Mayer, TDI
  • Zainab Alkebsi, NAD
  • Bernie Palmer, ALDA
  • Tom Dowling, DSA
  • Art Roehrig, AADB


Organizational Partners

  • Neal Tucker, RID
  • Ron Sutcliffe, CSD






  • Jayne Tubergen Magneson
  • Jan Nishimura
  • Pat Richey



Note: Claude, the Chair,  was absent so Bernie ran the meeting as Vice Chair.


Approval of Minutes

  • The minutes for the May 2017 meeting stands as read and amended (motion by Tom, seconded by Art).


Officers’ Reports:


Chair’s Report (Zainab on behalf of Claude)

  • Zainab gave a summary of the meeting we had on May 4 with Rep. Yoder’s office on the “cradle-to-grave” leadership and public policy document:
    • Zainab, Claude, Tom, David, and Barbara participated in the meeting. We discussed areas of concern in the document such as employment, education, health care, and civil rights protection and enforcement.
    • We made two requests for follow-up:
      • 1) contacting the White House and checking with them on whether they would have a focal point person in disability access. We can then establish contact with that person for a meeting to review the leadership and public policy document.
      • 2) Using the Congressional Deaf Caucus as a vehicle to check on progress made by the White House and other stakeholders on key aspects of the document. The Caucus can see fit to hold hearings over a time schedule on critical topics like education, employment, or healthcare, typing the topic to whichever month it is celebrated here in America. For example, when we celebrate National Disability Employment Month in September each year, the Caucus can hold a hearing on employment where the Department of Labor, the business community, and others testify and report on progress made to date for this area.


Vice Chair’s Report (Bernie)

  • Gallaudet has a newly redesigned website, which will be hopefully easier to navigate. It is based on a lot of feedback and complaints about the old website. The new site is now up and running.


Secretary’s Report (Zainab)

  • The minutes have been approved.
  • Zainab will continue to post all approved 2017 meeting minutes thus far to the DHHCAN website.


Treasurer’s Report (Tom)

  • Tom explained that he and Sonny met at the TDI office the previous Thursday to go over the transition and went to BB&T to make it official.
  • The current balance as of April 28, 2017 is $22,676.21 as of June 6, 2017.
    • Art asked what was the balance exactly a year ago.
    • Tom did not recall off the top of his head but Zainab looked it up in last June’s minutes: $24,782.79.
    • Art then asked why the balance is less at this point in the year than it was last year.
    • Tom responded we now serve food for lunch while we did not last year. Most of the expenses are for interpreting.
    • Bernie suggested that it may be a good idea to expand on expenses in each report for the group to get a better idea of things.


Committee Reports

  • Civil Rights Protection and Enforcement (Zainab Alkebsi):
    • Every month, the NAD’s CEO, Howard Rosenblum, posts a vlog called “Ask Howard Anything (AHA).” The May 2017 AHA video touched on ensuring that deaf and hard of hearing people have the tools to self-advocate for their civil rights. We developed different advocacy letters for consumers to use and show to the person responsible, along with advocacy tips.
  • Transportation (Lise Hamlin not present but Zainab reported):
    • The Cabin Announcements Task Force had its most recent meeting on June 1st – making progress.
    • The Air Carrier Access Amendments Act will be introduced in the Senate on June 8, sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin, Richard Blumenthal, Tammy Duckworth, Maggie Hassan, and Ed Markey. It will strengthen ACAA enforcement to include specific protections for various disabilities and a private right of action. Among other things, it will ensure that airplanes are designed to accommodate visually accessible captioned announcements as well as captioned entertainment. The NAD was one of several organizations that worked on this bill.
  • Telecommunications (Claude not present but Zainab reported):
    • On May 30, Consumer Groups filed joint comments on:
      • VRS quality metrics (defer to the results of the DAC working group);
      • Phony VRS calls (CAs should not be harassed but at the same time should not be immune to criticism. If a certain user is harassing, s/he can be denied service on a call by call basis but there should not be any moratorium on an user since they still need to make VRS calls such as to 911);
      • use of enterprise/public videophones (added burden of PIN); and
      • direct video calling customer support services (as a follow-up to the VTCSecure petition that we discussed at a previous meeting with Dr. Christian Vogler present).
      • Reply comments are due June 26th.
    • On May 9, Consumer Groups filed joint comments on Next Generation Broadcasting, generally supportive of the NPRM’s proposals to allow broadcasters to begin the transition from ATSC 1.0 to 3.0. We agreed with the conclusion that ATSC 3.0 technology will allow broadcasters to roll out features that will benefit D/HOH consumers. But our support is conditioned on the Commission’s proposal to continue applying CC rules to stations transitioning to 3.0; they must continue to comply with the captioning rules on 1.0 transmissions and 3.0 transmissions.
    • The FCC is proposing to gut a lot of the good things on the 2015 Tech Transitions Order on a very tight timeframe, such as eliminating the FCC requirement to provide direct and advance notice to people with disabilities about planned copper retirements, which will impact TTY users. We are quite concerned about the impact on those who still use TTYs; they need uninterrupted service. We signed onto Public Knowledge’s motion for extension on May 25 and will file substantive comments.
  • Housing (Tom Dowling):
    • Nothing to report.


There was no report for Education, Employment, and Health Care due to absent chairs.

Old Business

  • None


New Business

  • Zainab clarified that Claude did not mean to leave in “election for new Treasurer” – that was inadvertently left in from the previous agenda.
  • Bernie shared that in light of recent events in London, it is more important than ever to make progress on emergency communication access. Zainab concurred and shared that the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) has an Emergency Communications subcommittee.



  • NAD will be hosting its National Leadership Training Conference (NLTC) on October 5-7 in Oklahoma City.
  • RID will be hosting its conference in Salt Lake City on July 20-24.
  • ALDA will be hosting its conference in Orlando on October 11-15.
  • TDI recently announced its second round of program additions; the conference is July 27-29.


Next Meeting Date

  • Wednesday, September 6 at Gallaudet Alumni House.


The Vice Chair adjourned the meeting at 1:11 pm with thanks to Neal for coordinating lunch.


Submitted by

Zainab Alkebsi, Secretary