This page focuses on all legislations pertaining to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing issues or concerns. You may want to check where each bill stands at this point. Please click here to go to RI General Assembly Bill Status System. Make sure to put all 4 digit numbers ("7786" for House Bill 7786) next to "Bills:" and click on "enter" button on the screen. (not on the keyboard).
Current Legislations (Legislative Session in 2013):
Rhode Island Legislative News: Two bills, HB 5818 and HB 5419, will be heard on April 10th.
DATE: April 10, 2013
LOCATION: State House, Room 135
EVENT: Hearing on HB 5818 and HB 5419
TIME: At the RISE (at or shortly after 4:15pm)
ACCESS: ASL Interpreters and CART service are confirmed.
HEARING?: What is the hearing? This is the opportunity for you to give testimony/to explain as to why you feel this is very important to you and your community and why do you think this bill should become law.
WHAT ARE THE BILLS?:
1. House Bill (HB) 5818: All theaters in RI that have 10 screens or more are required to provide access to movies for the deaf, hard of hearing, and people who are blind. The Office of Attorney General with assistance of the RICDHH will develop and progulmate the regulations to define the requirements. (http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText13/HouseText13/H5818.pdf)
Number of Theaters that have 10 screens or more have a level of access:
RI - 6 theaters (3 theaters are committed to access) = 50%
MA - 38 theaters (30 theaters are committed to access) = 81%
Number of SCREENS among theaters that have 10 screens or more:
RI - 80 (3 screens are accessible) - 3%
MA - 504 (179 screens are accessible) - 37%
What access equipment do they provide?
3 Theaters - each provides RearWindow (RW) - an average of 3% of screens are accessible.
8 Theaters - each provides CaptiView (CV) - an average of 74% of screens are accessible.
10 Theaters - each provides SONY Glasses - an average of 67% of screens are accessible.
12 Theaters - each provides RearWindow (RW) - an average of 11% of screens are accessible.
2. House Bill (HB) 5419: This bill was to increase the dollar coverage on Hearing aids. Children under 19 years old: From "$1,500.00" to "a full cost of hearing aid". Adults: From "$700.00" to "$1,500.00". (http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText13/HouseText13/H5419.pdf)
FACTS: Today, RI General Laws (Section 27-18-60, Section 27-19-51, Section 27-20-46, and Section 27-41-63) requires insurance companies to cover the hearing aids up to $1,500.00 per ear every 3 year for children under 19 and up to $700.00 per ear every 3 year for adults. It is depending on your insurance plans to see if they are applied. (Self-insured, out-of-state, and federal mandated programs are exempted from these state laws).
WHAT TO DO FROM NOW UNTIL APRIL 10th?:
1. Please e-mail to Chairperson Rep. Joseph McNamara and all MEMBERS of the House H.E.W. Committee (House Bill 5818) NOW explaining that YOU SUPPORT THIS BILL. E-mail addresses of the House HEW Committee members: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/ComMembers/ComMemr.asp?ComChoiceR=HHEW
2. Please prepare the testimony for April 10th at the Rise for the House HEW Committee.
3. Please share this information with your organizations, families, and friends and to get their support.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LEGISLATION OR LEGISLATIVE PROCESS:
1. Please e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Please call at 401-256-5511.
3. Please check the website at www.rilin.state.ri.us.