UPDATE ON SB 354 and HB 3253 – CALL TO ACTION

CHS parents, alumni and supporters, we need you! Senate Bill 354 has been set for a hearing in the Senate on Tuesday, May 2 at 9 a.m. 

The newest version of the bill can be found here

Hearing Details

Where: Texas Capitol and Extension

1100 Congress Ave, Austin, Texas 78701

E1.028 (Hearing Room)

Please arrive by 8 a.m. to register to testify

Parking: Capitol Visitor's Parking Garage

1201 San Jacinto Blvd. Austin, Texas 78701

More info

 

If you are able to attend the hearing, please email Kelsey at kgross@centerhearingandspeech.org.

If you are unable to attend, we need your help flooding the members of the Senate Education Committee with calls and emails opposing the bill.

 

Senate Education Committee        
Senator District Room Capitol Phone District Phone Email
Larry Taylor (Chair) 11 3E.10 (512) 463-0111 (281) 485-9800 Larry.taylor@senate.texas.gov
Eddie Lucio, Jr. (Vice-Chair) 27 3S.5 (512) 463-0127 (956) 548-0227 Eddie.lucio@senate.texas.gov
Paul Bettencourt 7 3E.16 (512) 463-0107 (713) 464-0282 Paul.Bettencourt@senate.texas.gov
Donna Campbell 25 3E.8 (512) 463-0125 (210) 979-0013 Donna.campbell@senate.texas.gov
Bob Hall 2 E1.808 (512) 463-0102 (972) 722-3131 Bob.hall@senate.texas.gov
Don Huffines 16 E1.608 (512) 463-0116 (214) 239-6131 Don.Huffines@senate.texas.gov
Bryan Hughes 1 GE.7 (512) 463-0101 (903) 581-1776 Bryan.hughes@senate.texas.gov
Kel Seliger 31 1E.12 (512) 463-0131 (806) 374-8994 Kel.seliger@senate.texas.gov
Van Taylor 8 E1.708 (512) 463-0108 (972) 398-9416 Van.taylor@senate.texas.gov
Carlos Uresti 19 4E.2 (512) 463-0119 (210) 932-2568 Carlos.uresti@senate.texas.gov
Royce West 23 1E.3 (512) 463-0123 (214) 467-0123 Royce.west@senate.texas.gov 

 

Talking Points To Oppose Legislation:

  • We continue to strongly oppose SB 354 and HB 3253 as they do not represent nor benefit deaf and hard of hearing children (DHH) who listen and speak.  
  • The bills do not address two of the main issues among children with hearing loss: the 52% loss to follow-up in Texas after a baby fails a newborn screening, and the lack of a standardized and unbiased communications consultation for parents after a child is identified with a hearing loss. 
  • Overall, the legislation is heavily biased in favor of ASL and does not demonstrate a balanced solution to improve kindergarten readiness for ALL DHH children.
  • The legislation uses the term “English” and never the term “spoken language.” This is concerning in a broad sense as it fails to clearly support the listening and spoken language approach. Also, by using “English” there is a good possibility a child’s native language will not be respected if they do not speak English in the home.
  • The composition of the committee responsible for developing and choosing assessments and making recommendations for DHH children is biased towards ASL and does not include representatives from every communication method.

 

It is important for us to educate our supporters and the public on Lead-K’s true intentions behind this legislation and future plans.  Below is a screenshot of their “About Us” page on their website:  

This is why we categorically oppose both of the bills, and any legislation that does not represent ALL children with hearing loss and their chosen mode of communication.