Thursday, June 24, 2010

Controversial Cali Bill Moves Forward

A proposed law that has upset ASL advocates is out of committee in California's Senate. The Human Services Committee approved the bill yesterday. Sponsored by Democrat Tony Mendoza the bill called AB 2072 covers what information should be given to parents of deaf infants. Critics suggest it will push "oralist" treatments on deaf children. Groups opposing the measure include The California Deaf Newborn Identification & Advocacy Stakeholder Coalition American Society for Deaf Children, and California Association of the Deaf. They say it would discourage teaching ASL early and that supporters are largely for-profit companies with a financial stake in the outcome. A brochure to be distributed to parents is published by manufacturers and vendors of implants. The group also objects to the place given in the bill to audiologists, who would serve as first providers of information to parents of newly identified deaf children. Advocates say the bill simply requires hospitals to discuss all options with parents so they may make an informed decision. A committee report on the bill is posted here.