Thursday, August 20, 2009

Retired Moms and Dads Can Support HR 3101 Too!

Even Jamie's mother is doing her part to help Caption Action 2. Jamie's mother wrote to her own Representative. Here is the letter, and after the letter is the result of Jamie's mother's advocacy for HR 3101!

Dear Congressman [Robert] Wexler,

I realize that the issue of healthcare reform is utmost on your mind at this time nonetheless I am asking you to expand that concept to include the welfare of the deaf community from yet another perspective.

There is a bill in Congress today, The 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act of 2009, HR3101 which is very important to me because I have a deaf daughter. She has asked me to contact you and ask you to co-sponsor that bill.

We all take closed captioning for granted on television today. As a deaf child, Jamie missed much because there was no closed captioning available to us. As an adult she fought for closed captioning on home video.

My daughter, Jamie Berke wishes to have the same rights as the hearing community, which is to understand the streaming videos on the internet. She will be able to do that if you join her and co-sponsor HR3101.

Jamie is the deafness guide on In that capacity she provides much information related to deafness and hearing loss. I invite you to visit her site at As you know, you represent a large constituency of people with hearing problems, especially among the senior generation. If you ever have a question about the hearing impaired, you can be sure to find an answer there.

You can find her fighting for this cause on Facebook as the creator of Caption Action 2 ( where she is establishing a community of people to join her in this battle and to raise funds to make this dream, a reality.

Once again, I beseech you to co-sponsor HR3101.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this request.

Jamie's mother followed up that letter with a call to the Representative's office. Then she called again. This time, she had a response! Eva Dominguez in Wexler's office returned the call and according to Jamie's mom, "was very positive and said she would bring the information directly to Rep. Wexler." In a subsequent follow-up message, Jamie's mom said that Dominguez told her that she would be checking out Caption Action 2 and that she would "definitely" bring up HR 3101 the next session.

Our parents (most deaf people are born to hearing parents) have been advocates for us all of our lives. They have had to advocate for us to have access to things, for interpreters, for enough speech therapy, for hearing aids, for captions, for sign language, and for better education and the right to mainstream or attend a school for the deaf. HR 3101 is just another thing that our parents can advocate for! For those of us who are a certain age, advocating for HR 3101 may be the last thing our parents advocate for on our behalf.

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