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house Bill H.R. 2134

Should the Helen Keller National Center be Reauthorized Through 2023?

Argument in favor

The Helen Keller National Center provides invaluable services for deaf-blind Americans. The Center’s important mission should continue to enjoy federal funding to ensure its services are accessible to all who need them.

jimK's Opinion
···
09/18/2019
I personally don’t know anyone that needs the services provided by the Helen Keller National Center. That certainly does not mean that the services provided by this foundation should not be kept available to those that do. Yes, help those who can gain an ‘identity-recognition’ via the Helen Keller National Center know that they are valued by our government and allow those who can benefit from the services provided continue to benefit. I fully support our government helping all of our people in their individual pursuits of happiness.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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09/17/2019
This is a invaluable resource for some of our citizens.
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NoHedges's Opinion
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09/15/2019
Only if the new legislation meets the Aug13th needs outlined by NAD to The Department of Health and Human Services. On August 13, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) – along with several other deaf and hard of hearing advocacy *organizations — filed joint comments with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), opposing many proposals created by HHS that would impact deaf and hard of hearing people’s ability to access healthcare free from discrimination. That is what the deaf community is requesting. I trust them more than I will ever trust any legislator to know what their community needs are. I would also like to see pressure placed on the Department of Education to increase funding and support for international learning partnerships between here and the UK. “Because of the barriers in communication many deaf children do not have the support structure needed to enter into the global conversations.” I would like to see this change. (This requests is at the request of several teens/preteens in the deaf community). Other requests include more trained interpreters in our rural communities (many students of the younger students are being forced to go without ANY STAFF WHO SPEAKS THEIR MOTHER TONGUE:ASL). There were also several requests for increase in job training partnerships for hearing impaired students to enter programming and cybercrime. “There is an entire building not being used on the CSDB campus where such a program might be housed.” 🎯(Gardner I hope you are taking notes. There will be a quiz on November 3, 2020.) 🔑People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant. - Helen Keller Note: This post doesn’t touch on the needs of the visually impaired community only because I have no formal ties to the community other than my existing ties through Colorado Springs Deaf and Blind school. This is not to imply their needs are not equally important, only that I am unaware of what their needs actually are. I would suggest Mr. Pocan call the CSDB and ask. Their number is 719.578.2100.
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Argument opposed

Services for deaf-blind Americans should be paid for by their health insurers, not the federal government. Likewise, the Helen Keller National Center should be funded by proceeds from the services it offers or donations, not federal dollars.

JTJ's Opinion
···
09/17/2019
Not an appropriate use of our tax dollars. Cut spending.
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Dennis's Opinion
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09/18/2019
Should be privately funded by those who care and the government needs to stay out of it
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Carmine's Opinion
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09/17/2019
Services for deaf-blind Americans should be paid for by their health insurers, not the federal government. Likewise, the Helen Keller National Center should be funded by proceeds from the services it offers or donations, not federal dollars.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
    IntroducedApril 8th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 2134?

This bill — the Helen Keller National Center Reauthorization Act of 2019 — would allow Congress to continue funding the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) for five years. This fund the HKNC from 2019-2023.

Impact

Deaf-blind Americans; rehabilitation and vocational training services for deaf-blind Americans; the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC); and federal funding for the HKNC.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2134

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced this bill to reauthorize the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) for five years

“For more than 50 years, Helen Keller National Center has provided critical services for deaf-blind Americans across the nation. With plans to expand to more states and regions, the Center will continue its long tradition of supporting those who are deaf-blind and giving them the opportunity to fully participate in their communities. Since it was first authorized in 1967, Congress has made funding the Center a priority and I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that we can continue to support this important organization.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) adds

“I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing legislation that would reauthorize the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults. For more than 50 years, the Center has admirably served deaf-blind communities and also supported those who care for and work with these individuals. Certainly, the Center’s valuable mission, important work and role as a resource is worth affirming through reauthorization by Congress.”

The Helen Keller National Center’s Executive Director, Susan Ruzenski, says

“Helen Keller National Center is very grateful for the bi-partisan support for the reauthorization of the HKNC Act. Established 52 years ago, HKNC is working with many partners across the country to strengthen and build services for and with youth, adults and seniors who are deaf-blind. The growth and collaboration among state and local partners has leveraged HKNC’s resources and ability to impact the lives of people who are deaf-blind, their family members and the professionals who work to support the deaf-blind community in achieving employment and independent, self-actualized lives. The reauthorization of the HKNC Act validates the importance of our mission and we wholeheartedly renew our commitment to ensuring that each person who is deaf-blind has the opportunity to live, work and thrive in their community of choice.”

This legislation has 42 bipartisan cosponsors, including 38 Democrats and four Republicans.


Of NoteThe Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) provides rehabilitation and vocational training to the United States’ deaf-blind community. Since its first authorization by Congress in 1967, HKNC has expanded to support regional representatives in California, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Washington and created six new deaf-blind specialist positions providing additional assistance and support to deaf-blind persons in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Ohio, Texas, and Washington. Ultimately, HKNC’s goal is to have 20 deaf-blind specialists (2 in each region) and establish five Community Service programs (the first of which will be in Los Angeles/San Diego) by 2020.

HKNC is the only comprehensive national program providing information, referral, support, and training exclusively to youths and adults who have combined vision and hearing loss. It supports the families of and professionals who work with the deaf-blind community.

In 2016, the HKNC served 93 adult training clients and provided specialized short-term training to 29 clients at its headquarters. Its regional programs also served 1,528 customers — including 447 families and 985 organizations and agency service providers — in FY2016.

Helen Keller — for whom the HKNC is named — was a deaf-blind woman. Due to an unknown illness at the age of 19 months, Helen became deaf and blind. Helen Keller’s life was changed when Anne Sullivan, a 20-year-old graduate of the Perkins School for the Blind, came to teach her. 


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / KenWiedemann)

AKA

Helen Keller National Center Reauthorization Act of 2019

Official Title

To reauthorize the Helen Keller National Center for Youths and Adults Who Are Deaf-Blind.

    I personally don’t know anyone that needs the services provided by the Helen Keller National Center. That certainly does not mean that the services provided by this foundation should not be kept available to those that do. Yes, help those who can gain an ‘identity-recognition’ via the Helen Keller National Center know that they are valued by our government and allow those who can benefit from the services provided continue to benefit. I fully support our government helping all of our people in their individual pursuits of happiness.
    Like (35)
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    Share
    Not an appropriate use of our tax dollars. Cut spending.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a invaluable resource for some of our citizens.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    Only if the new legislation meets the Aug13th needs outlined by NAD to The Department of Health and Human Services. On August 13, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) – along with several other deaf and hard of hearing advocacy *organizations — filed joint comments with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), opposing many proposals created by HHS that would impact deaf and hard of hearing people’s ability to access healthcare free from discrimination. That is what the deaf community is requesting. I trust them more than I will ever trust any legislator to know what their community needs are. I would also like to see pressure placed on the Department of Education to increase funding and support for international learning partnerships between here and the UK. “Because of the barriers in communication many deaf children do not have the support structure needed to enter into the global conversations.” I would like to see this change. (This requests is at the request of several teens/preteens in the deaf community). Other requests include more trained interpreters in our rural communities (many students of the younger students are being forced to go without ANY STAFF WHO SPEAKS THEIR MOTHER TONGUE:ASL). There were also several requests for increase in job training partnerships for hearing impaired students to enter programming and cybercrime. “There is an entire building not being used on the CSDB campus where such a program might be housed.” 🎯(Gardner I hope you are taking notes. There will be a quiz on November 3, 2020.) 🔑People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant. - Helen Keller Note: This post doesn’t touch on the needs of the visually impaired community only because I have no formal ties to the community other than my existing ties through Colorado Springs Deaf and Blind school. This is not to imply their needs are not equally important, only that I am unaware of what their needs actually are. I would suggest Mr. Pocan call the CSDB and ask. Their number is 719.578.2100.
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    Better than funding a vanity wall
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    Should be privately funded by those who care and the government needs to stay out of it
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    Fund Hellen Keller Center.
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    I don’t see how a vital service such as this could be opposed. The federal government needs to ensure that we are continuing to serve the most vulnerable people in our society.
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    Federal funding is vital to many social services. I see no good reason why this service should not continue to be funded.
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    OF COURSE IT MUST BE FUNDED! HERE GOES TRUMP, STILL, BASHING OTHERS WHO MAY BE STRUGGLING. WHAT KIND OF BOTTOM FEEDER IS TRUMP?! ILL TELL YOU THAT THERE IS NO BOTTOM THIS SOUL SUCKER WOULD NOT FEED ON. HE FEEDS ON DECENCY, KINDNESS, INTELLIGENCE, NORMALCY AND SO MUCH OF US THAT IS GOOD. HE SUCKS THESE PARTS OF US DRY! HE FEEDS ON OUR GOODNESS AND LOVE - HE GRINDS IT UP WITH HIS FAKE TEETH. THEN HIS STINKY SALIVA MAGICALLY BECOMES A TRUMP-TYPE ACID AND TURNS THE LOVE INTO HATE. HE SWISHES THE HATE AROUND IN THAT UGLY PUCKERED ORIFICE, AND THEN HE SPITS IT OUT UPON THE WORLD! HE HATES WHAT WE LOVE AND LOVES WHAT WE HATE HE ENJOYS BEING HATEFUL! HE CANNOT LOVE HIMSELF BECAUSE HIS SELF-ESTEEM IS MISSING. SO HE PUTS ON A FACADE OF SELF-CONFIDENCE. (HE COMPARES HIMSELF TO OTHERS AND IN HIS MIND, COMES UP SHORT). SO HE BOASTS AND BRAGS AS IF TO CONVINCE HIMSELF HE IS AS GOOD AS OTHERS. SICK MAN! BUT WISE WISE PEOPLE SEE THROUGH HIM, TO THE VERY PITIFUL SMALL BOY HE REALLY IS - deep inside him, as deep as his behavior goes low! I HAVE HAD IT WITH MY COUNTRYMEN AND COUNTRY BEING KIDNAPPED BY MOBSTERS AND NON-USEFUL OBSTRUCTORS AND TRUMP BOOT LICKERS! ALL WE MAY HAVE IS ONCE CHANCE AT THE VOTING BOOTHS! BUT I WOULD PREFER A FULL-BLOWN IMPEACHMENT YESTERDAY!
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    Services for deaf-blind Americans should be paid for by their health insurers, not the federal government. Likewise, the Helen Keller National Center should be funded by proceeds from the services it offers or donations, not federal dollars.
    Like (5)
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    After all they are American Citizens. They should have every right to be provided services that would allow them to vote. Hello?
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    The Helen Keller National Center provides invaluable services for deaf-blind Americans. The Center’s important mission should continue to enjoy federal funding to ensure its services are accessible to all who need them.
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    Why wouldn't we want this to continue?....i can think of no good reason.
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    Private funding can handle this.,,,government needs out of our wallets.
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    Absolutely!!
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    I personally believe that everyone can benefit from this, not just pre-existing disabilities. What about those that go against it and then face plant into an uncontrollable disability that leave those against the programs, begging for help. Food for those that tout against. I however, am fully in favor of extension or even permanent establishment of these and many more programs to where unethical debate, will no longer be an option to inhumanely rip away for political point proving.
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    What kind of government says someone else should take care of our citizens. We spend trillions of dollars to defend our nation. But very little to see if every American has a meal, has a roof over their head, health care, heat, education, etc.
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    Yes we should honor her what she accomplished with all her disabilities
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    She made history... yes
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