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New Bill to Benefit Deaf Community

On Wednesday, President Trump signed Senate Bill 652 into law. Senators Rob Portman from Ohio and Tim Kaine from Virginia proposed S.652, also called the “Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2017.”


The law reauthorizes funding for important programs through the year 2022. Several groups, including schools for the deaf, speech & audiology associations, pediatricians, Hands and Voices, and the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing supported the bill. There will be modifications in two Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) programs that focus on early detection, diagnosis, and treatment for Deaf and hard-of-hearing newborns.


Though the law emphasizes language acquisition, it does not focus only on English and ASL. It also includes Spanish and French languages, and may include International Sign Language.


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