On November 15, the NYC chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America will present a program on advocacy for the hearing loss community. Attorney Bruce Gitlin will speak about the Americans with Disabilities Act and how it affects us individually. Chapter member and advocate Jerry Bergman will discuss local advocacy initiatives, and attorney John Waldo will discuss national initiatives.
Bruce J. Gitlin is the Founder and Executive Director of the New York Center for Law and Justice, a one-stop center for individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing and who require both legal and social services. He attended the ILR School at Cornell University and Fordham University School of Law where he served on the Fordham Urban Law Journal. Bruce is a principal in the firm of Bruce J. Gitlin, P.C. which specializes in personal injury litigation. Bruce has served on the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He is a past member of the Legal Issues Affecting People with Disabilities Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he has lectured on issues involving the rights of the deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing communities. He is a member of the Disability Rights Bar Association.
Jerry Bergman has been a member of the NYC chapter of HLAA since 2010. He is a former member of the chapter Board of Directors and is past president of the State HLAA Board of Directors. In addition to being a certified hearing loss peer mentor, Jerry is a past chair of the chapter’s Get in the Hearing Loop committee and member national’s Get in the Hearing Loop task force. He was the chief advocate for New York City’s hearing loop in construction ordinance adopted in 2017 as well as the City’s open captioning in cinema ordinance adopted last year. For his efforts he received HLAA’s Marcia Dugan Advocacy Award and the New York Center for Law and Justice’s Access to Advocacy Award.
John Waldo is an attorney whose practice is exclusively focused on improving communication access, an effort that combines his thirty-five years of law practice with his lifetime experience with progressive hearing loss. He was involved in several of the cases that led to federal regulations requiring movie theaters to offer closed captioning. A more recent effort resulted in a court ruling that live theaters must offer captioning for any performance where a request has been made unless the theater can demonstrate that doing wo would impose an undue burden. The vast majority of his work is done through persuasion and education, but when those approaches fail, he and his organizational clients will turn to the courts to implement the benefits and protections of federal and state disability laws. He lives in Houston, but practices nationwide.
If you would like to join us for this captioned program, register here. After registering, you will receive an email with the Zoom link.
Can’t Hear? We are here for you!
The New York City Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America is a vibrant, diverse community dedicated to helping people with hearing loss lead more satisfying and productive lives. At the chapter’s monthly meetings, speakers address topics such as hearing aids and hearing-aid alternatives, assistive technology, interpersonal strategies, and advocacy initiatives. Those of you who are interested can find information about our organization on our chapter website by clicking here.