Sunday, October 24, 2010

Deaf community in New Zealand fights for better access to hearing aids

From The New Zealand Herald:

Deaf people who say they are being denied such basics as hearing aids are stepping up their campaign to overturn ACC law changes.

The National Foundation for the Deaf plans to petition Parliament to reverse ACC legislation that introduced minimum claim thresholds for people with hearing loss.

It meant a person had to have at least 6 per cent hearing loss from sound injury before their claim would be considered by ACC - restricting people's access to rehabilitation and hearing aids.

The foundation claimed the changes, which came into effect in July, affect 50,000 to 70,000 people, mostly older and on low incomes.

"We're going to take the petition out nationwide next year to get as many signatures as possible and present it to Parliament asking that they rescind the amendment," said foundation director Louise Carroll.

"ACC, when they're most needed to step up to the mark, they're denying these people what they really need."