Jamie visited the offices of 88 Congressmen and Congresswomen, plus had a meeting with her own representative's legislative director. The meeting with the legislative director went very well! Jamie left with the hopeful impression that her own representative would support HR 3101 soon. The LD had several questions about HR 3101, not all of which Jamie was able to answer. For the ones she was not able to answer, she referred him to the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology.
In another office, the staff person asked, "Why HR 3101? What about Google and YouTube captions?" That led to Jamie sitting next to the staff person to explain that we still need HR 3101 because as great as it is that Google is introducing automatic captioning, those captions are not the same quality as the captions we are used to on television and DVD. Google's captions are imperfect machine generated captions; the ones we are used to on television and DVD have been carefully produced and edited, with the exception of live captioning. But even the live captioning is done by professional real-time captioners.
This being Capitol Hill, Jamie did have one surprise. In the office of Representative Debbie Halvorson (Illinois), the young staffer sitting at the desk began to use sign language with her. It was fairly fluent sign language, and Jamie exclaimed, "You know sign language!" He called someone over, and another young staffer came over to talk to Jamie, signing even more fluently. He had deaf parents! Jamie had bumped into an adult child of deaf parents, a CODA! He did not know about HR 3101, and asked Jamie to send him a PDF of the SIGNews November article on HR 3101. You just never know where you will discover a "deaf connection!"
In fact, this time, it was the SIGNews article that impressed the Hill staff. When Jamie displayed her copy of SIGNews to Hill staff, more often than not the reaction was "Wow!" The big headline made them realize just how significant HR 3101 is.
Below is a list of Representatives' offices that Jamie visited today, by state. If your representative is on this list, please follow up with a call or email:
|Faleomavaega, Eni||American Samoa|
|Young, CW Bill||Florida|
|Jackson Jr., Jesse||Illinois|
|Peterson, Collin (became a cosponsor!)||Minnesota|
|Cleaver, Emmanuel (became a cosponsor!)||Missouri|
|Pallone Jr., Frank||New Jersey|
|Sires, Albio||New Jersey|
|Teague, Harry||New Mexico|
|Arcuri, Michael||New York|
|Clarke, Yvette||New York|
|Crowley, Joseph||New York|
|Engel, Eliot||New York|
|Tonko, Paul||New York|
|Price, David||North Carolina|
|Sablan, Gregorio||Northern Mariana Islands|
|Clyburn, James||South Carolina|
|Jackson Lee, Sheila||Texas|
|Johnson, Eddie Bernice||Texas|
|Matheson, Jim||Utah (return visit)|
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