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Editorial #111: Deaf Lawyers and Hearing Lawyers Dealing with the FCC

We have heard the expression “deaf people are experts at being deaf.”

In any event, Dr. Z has made an observation.

When dealing with hearing people, it is usually better for a deaf or hard of hearing person to explain situations related to how they need to deal with things as a result of their hearing and communication differences rather than deferring to a hearing person to do it for them.

In dealing with the FCC, VRS companies use lawyers or representatives in various meetings and discussions with the FCC on various issues related to VRS.

What is interesting is the following:

– ZVRS has Jeff Rosen, a deaf lawyer representing them
– Convo has David Behar, a deaf representative and a former congressional legislative assistant representing them
– Purple has Kelby Brick, a deaf lawyer representing them
– Snap has Nancy Bloch, a deaf representative and a former executive director of the National Association of the Deaf representing them

We all can figure out by now that the largest VRS provider, Sorenson, is conspicuously absent from the above list. They have a bunch of hearing lawyers from a law firm working with them in addition to an in house regulatory person who is hearing too.

Can a hearing person explain and defend how VRS is best for us deaf and hard of hearing folks? You decide.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development and Outreach.

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