Meet CCAC Consumer Advocate Angela Hill

By Pearl Feder

Angela has a hearing loss since the age of 3 or 6, later being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 12. Over the years her hearing loss has fallen into the profound range, forcing Angela to stop doing what she loves most, playing piano. However, more recently, Angela has found a new love, as a consumer advocate for CART.

Pearl: How did you come to discover CART?

Angela: I found out about CART actually due to an unfortunate situation. I had lost my mother unexpectedly in the year 2004. My husband and a cousin of mine were trying to figure out how I was going to get through the funeral. They contacted a local news-station because of the news being captioned; asking what can be done for me. They were informed to contact an organization in Alexandria, Virginia, who in turned told them to contact a local court reporting firm. What could have been an even more stressful situation was made easier when I had CART at my mother’s funeral.

From that point, I received CART at other places such as at church, meetings with the Norfolk Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities, etc.

Pearl: You’re very involved in advocacy, what has helped you with reaching your goals and how did you and others benefit from it?

Angela: I found out about the CCAC through the hearing loss web

My advocacy through the CCAC started with getting open captioning at live performances in my region with the help of the Norfolk Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

The CCAC was the medium that allowed the TDF (Theater Development Fund) to indirectly get in contact with me based on my questions to the forum which brought the Open Captioning Initiative to Chrysler Hall, a premier performing arts venue in the region.

I, along with a number of people from the Virginia Beach Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association, as well as others who could benefit from open captioning, were able to see a number of Broadway shows, to include “Beauty and the Beast”. In a coule of weeks we excitedly await to see the “back by popular” demand “Wicked” performance with open captioning on the 10th of March 2012.

Currently, I use CART at a church in Virginia Beach, Virginia where two court reporters provides CART on separate Sundays. At another church my cousin types a summary using my laptop and Microsoft Word.

The advocacy work that I have done with CART/captioning is the result of the CCAC being a working volunteer organization. The motto in essence that I have gotten from this wonderful organization which propelled me into action is “Don’t Talk about it, Be About it”

Angela, you are truly a consumer advocate for all of us who use CART. I personally want to thank you for all you’ve done and shared with us.

On a more personal note, Angela hopes one day to return to her first love, enjoying music more fully. With the advancement of C.I.’s, Angela hopes to one day have a C.I. and enjoy playing the piano and the organ again.

Pearl Feder is a Social Worker with hearing impaired/deaf/Deaf and visually impaired/blind student population and their families in the NYC Public and Private School system.  Pearl is also the Coordinator of Social Media for the SayWhatClub, an international online support group for hearing impaired and late deafened.

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