Hearing Aid Compatibility Task Force Announces Administrator Search

Administrator will lead comprehensive and collaborative effort to explore the achievability of a 100 percent FCC Hearing Aid Compatibility compliance requirement for wireless handsets.

WASHINGTON – Today, Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), CTIA, the wireless industry association, the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDI) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), announced the opening for submissions for Administrator of the Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) Task Force.

The six associations are Consensus Signatories in the development of the HAC Task Force, which is a comprehensive and collaborative effort to explore the achievability of a 100 percent FCC HAC compliance requirement for wireless handsets.

The Administrator will lead the HAC Task Force process as it assesses technical and market conditions to make a final recommendation to the FCC. The Signatories seek applicants with relevant technical, legal, administrative and policy expertise to manage the process, which will carefully weigh the needs of consumers with hearing loss, the wireless industry, and other industry participants.

The Request For Information is now available. The deadline for submissions is November 30, and questions can be directed to HACTaskForce@ctia.org.

Cinnamon Rogers, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, TIA said: “New technologies are transforming how we interact with each other, and it is vital that the Federal Communications Commission’s rules enable access to those technologies for the deaf and hard of hearing. The Telecommunications Industry Association is pleased to join our partners in this next step of the landmark HAC Joint Consensus process. The HAC Task Force Administrator will perform a critical role in facilitating a robust report and recommendation to the Commission on the future of hearing aid compatibility with wireless devices. TIA and our members look forward to continuing our work in fulfilling our commitment to making communications technology available to all Americans.”

Courtney Neville, Associate General Counsel, CCA said: “Ensuring that all wireless carriers, especially those that serve rural parts of the United States, have access to HAC-complaint devices for their consumers is a critical issue for CCA. We are pleased to continue collaboration with industry and consumer advocates, and today’s RFI marks an important step toward finding an Administrator for the HAC Task Force to achieve that common goal. CCA members look forward to ongoing work to ensure consumers have access to the latest advances in technology and innovation and to facilitate the Task Force’s important work to determine whether 100% HAC compliance is achievable.”

Kara Graves, Director, Regulatory Affairs, CTIA said: “Today, millions of people with hearing loss can choose from a wide variety of hearing aid compatible wireless devices. Working closely with the accessibility community, we are excited the HAC Task Force is formally embarking on an effort to discover how innovative solutions can break down more barriers to accessible wireless products and services. Ensuring that everyone has access to mobile wireless services is one of the highest priorities for our member companies.”

Barbara Kelly, Executive Director, HLAA said: “The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is pleased to be part of this collaborative effort between the wireless industry and consumer groups—one which has already resulted in an increased number of hearing aid compatible cell phones available to consumers. Formation of the HAC Task Force with the help of an Administrator is the next logical step. HLAA looks forward to continuing our collaboration with the Task Force industry groups as we work toward achieving the goal of 100 percent HAC wireless offerings.”

Claude Stout, Executive Director, TDI said: “TDI eagerly joins other stakeholders with this Task Force in the search for a good, effective Administrator for this Task Force.  With the Administrator’s leadership and impartial counsel, we stand ready to achieve a greater future in the market with all phones coming out new as hearing aid compatible.”



Ashley Simmons, 703-907-7704, asimmons@tiaonline.org

About TIA

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents a global community of more than 400-member companies including manufacturers and suppliers, network operators, software developers, distributors and integrators of communications technologies. TIA drives advancement in global connectivity and innovation through its leadership in U.S. and international advocacy, technology programs and standards development, quality assurance and business performance solutions. TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).