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Congresswoman Berkley Pledges to Fight for Passage of Hearing Aid Tax Credit

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, August 16, 2008 A capacity crowd of 120 Las Vegas residents gathered on Saturday, Aug. 16, to thank Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) for her co-sponsorship of the Hearing Aid Tax Credit (HR2329) and to urge her to champion the bill in the House of Representatives. During the event, residents talked about how the lack of financial assistance for hearing aid treatment is a major personal obstacle to addressing their hearing loss. Rep. Berkley is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee that determines the fate of tax legislation, and she pledged to fight for passage of the tax credit as part of overall tax legislation that she anticipates in early 2009.

Rep. Berkley noted that the tax credit would only cover a portion of the cost of hearing aid treatment, but she believes that its important to get our foot in the door with this legislation and work to increase the amount of the credit in following years. Rep. Berkley was introduced by Nevada State Senator Terry Care who championed the states Early Hearing Detection and Intervention legislation. The event was hosted by the Nevada Chapter of the Alexander Graham Bell Assn. for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell), a local volunteer organization that helps parents and people with hearing loss to adapt and thrive.

The meeting also attracted the attention of the Las Vegas Fox television affiliate which filmed an interview with Rep. Berkley. Local chapter of AG Bell along with the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) have hosted similar events for Representatives in Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas to draw attention to the problems created by the lack of financial assistance for people who need hearing aids. The meeting was sponsored by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA). Arnie and Corrine Altman, co-presidents of the Nevada AG Bell chapter, organized the program, and their family helped with event logistics.

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From left: Arnie Altman, AG Bell Nevada; Nevada State Senator Terry Care; Carole Rogin, HIA; Laura Richards, AG Bell Nevada; Rep. Shelley Berkley; Andy Bopp, HIA; and Corrine Altman, AG Bell Nevada

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AG Bell Nevada children lead the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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A capacity crowd of 120 filled the room to show their support of the bill.

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