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AG Bell and HLAA Honor Rep. Chris Van Hollen

Washington, DC October 4, 2007 The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) and the Hearing Loss Association of America -- Maryland affiliate today honored U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) of Maryland's 8th Congressional District for his support of a Hearing Aid Tax Credit (H.R.2329 / S.1440)

Established in 1890, AG Bell is the only national organization dedicated to supporting children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing who use spoken language and hearing technology to communicate in mainstream society.

Approximately 100 members of both organizations attended a dinner on Capitol Hill honoring the congressman for his support of the legislation. The bill has 57 co-sponsors in the house and 7 co-sponsors in the senate. The bill provides a tax credit of $500 toward the purchase of each hearing aid once every five years for dependents and individuals over age 55.

"I want to stress the importance of reaching out to your friends, associates and colleagues around the country and getting them to talk to [their] members of congress about this legislation," said Van Hollen.

In a press release issued prior to the event, AG Bell President Karen Youdelman commented, "AG Bell is very supportive of efforts to provide the tools needed for families who choose to use spoken language as an option for their deaf or hard of hearing child. Hearing aids are essential to this end and we applaud Representative Van Hollen spearheading this effort."

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing helps families, health care providers and education professionals understand childhood hearing loss and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. Through advocacy, education, research and financial aid, AG Bell helps to ensure that every child and adult with hearing loss has the opportunity to listen, talk and thrive in mainstream society. With chapters located in the United States and a network of international affiliates, AG Bell supports its mission: Advocating Independence through Listening and Talking!

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