BOSTON >> Advocates for deaf and hard of hearing individuals on Friday called the Legislature’s attention to what they said are significant funding shortfalls that threaten their ability to communicate with others.
As legislators continue their work reviewing the $39.55 billion fiscal 2017 budget proposed by Gov. Charlie Baker, advocates told the House and Senate Ways and Means committees that cuts to the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing have made life more difficult for deaf residents.
“I’m very concerned about the cuts at the Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing because it impacts a lot of deaf people in their daily lives. You can see there are a lot deaf people here, they’ve waited on case management services and other issues,” Andrew Veith, president of the Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf, said through an interpreter. “Several years ago, I had to wait six weeks to get an interpreter at the hospital. I don’t know if it was the fault of the commission or the fault of the hospital, I’m not sure, but I was left in the middle without an interpreter.”