An ongoing advocate for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, Nassau County legislator Joshua Lafazan stood side-by-side with Mill Neck Services (MNS) employees to announce a new proposed bill at a press conference in Mineola, in June.
This important bill aims to amend the Nassau County human rights law, specifically the reasonable accommodations section, which outlines changes that an employer makes to a job, a work environment or an application process that makes it possible for an individual with a disability to perform the job duties.
His legislation clarifies that the reasonable accommodations available to public and private employees or prospective employees with hearing loss specifically includes hearing aids.
Lafazan has been a longtime supporter of MNS—an organization that fights for inclusion, champions empowerment and extends support and employment services to adults who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and/or have developmental disabilities. With the support of MNS, Lafazan has passed two previous bills, including requiring a sign language interpreter at emergency press conferences and a Visor Card that helps communication with the police.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the projected number of Americans with hearing loss will increase to about 40 million by 2025 and 50 million by the year 2050.
Together, MNS and Lafazan have set on to challenge the system so that all individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and/or have developmental disabilities can continue their journey toward inclusion—on a level playing field—in the workplace and in all areas of life.