IM this article to a friend!

October 18, 2005

Hamilton Relay Presented at the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus

From: Hamiltion Relay - Oct 18, 2005

For Immediate Release

Contact: Beth Slough, 402-694-3656 v/TTY
Communications Coordinator
Hamilton Relay, Inc.

Hamilton Relay Presented at the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus

Aurora, Nebraska– October 18, 2005. The Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (CHHC) participated in a Luncheon Briefing on Emergency Preparedness yesterday in Washington, D.C. The CHHC, a bipartisan caucus of members from the House and Senate, is committed to supporting the needs of those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Founded in 2001, CHHC highlights the issues of critical importance to those with hearing loss through periodic briefings and correspondence with all Members of Congress. The caucus briefing was also supported by the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance and Friends of Hearing Health.

Presenters include Dan Sutherland, Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Cheryl Heppner, Executive Director of Northern Virginia Resource Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons; and Dixie Ziegler, Vice President of Hamilton Relay. These key leaders presented on topics such as Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Communication Access and the impacts emergencies have on individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Dan Sutherland outlined the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on individuals with disabilities including deaf or hard of hearing people, highlighting the efforts of the Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities. The council plays an important role in ensuring accessibility for those with disabilities during emergency situations and disasters.

Cheryl Heppner reported on the findings of a recent special needs assessment conducted by The National Organization on Disability (NOD), along with what's been learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Heppner also shared how the nation can assist those with hearing loss to be prepared for future emergencies and disasters.

Dixie Ziegler focused on the necessity of providing individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Speech Disabled with functionally equivalent telephone accessibility. Through the availability of today's wide array of advanced Telecommunications Relay Services, opportunities for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled to communicate over the telephone have emerged. Ziegler explained how Hamilton Relay ensures uninterrupted, 24-hour telephone access to its customers in the event of a disaster.

"Hamilton Relay is extremely pleased to have sponsored this event," says Dixie Ziegler. "We hope that this caucus will result in better preparedness for all types of disasters."

About Hamilton
Hamilton offers a variety of features and services to further enhance relay communication including Internet Relay, Video Relay, Wireless Relay and CapTel. All services are available at Hamilton also provides traditional relay services to nine states, the District of Columbia, the Island of Saipan and the Virgin Islands. Established in 1901, Hamilton also provides local telephone and cable television service, call center services, Internet services, computer sales, network integration and much more to customers in Nebraska and across the country.