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Resolution 2022-04 Concerning Accessibility of Hearing Aids

Whereas recently  at least one hearing aid manufacturer, the Sonova Group’s Phonak,  has made their hearing aid controls accessible to the blind, and

whereas this hearing aid has widely been found to be accessible when using a screen reader, and

whereas other manufacturers are working on hearing aid applications that may also be accessible to screen reader users in the future, and

whereas the FDA has recently issued a ruling, effective October 17, 2022, allowing over the counter purchase of hearing aids without a prescription from a hearing health specialist, and

whereas such a ruling opens the market for hearing aid manufacturers to produce more widely available, affordable, and potentially accessible products:

Now therefore be it resolved that the National Federation of the Blind of California, in convention assembled this sixth day of November. In the city of San Diego California, call upon all hearing care professionals, marketers and manufacturers to work with blind, and deafblind people to  incorporate independent management of their own hearing aid and assistive listening device profiles, and

be it also resolved that the NationalFederation of the Blind of California call upon Phonak and other hearing aid manufacturers to work with the National Federation of the Blind to improve the design of such devices to include non visual access to hearing aid controls for blind and DeafBlind consumers.

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