Senator Kean was a major supporter of the bill.
The average cost of a hearing aid is $2,500-$4,000. Insurance companies would be required to cover expenses for hearing aids up to $1,000 for each ear every 24 months for children 15 and younger.
When Senator Kean visited the Orthodox Union in Manhattan in August, he met with representatives of its program for the deaf and hard of hearing, Our Way, and the OU affiliated organization, The New Jersey Association of Jewish Day Schools (NJAJDS) to discuss issues facing non-public school, disabled students in the state.
Our Way and NJAJDS are divisions of Yachad/ The National Jewish Council for Disabilities.
In a letter to Senator Kean, Batya Jacob, Program Director of Our Way and NJAJDS, described him as “a champion for the rights of deaf and hard of hearing children in New Jersey.”
“Although this new law, when signed by Governor Corzine, will cover only part of the expenses incurred with the amplification of young children, this is a major milestone in helping our deaf and hard of hearing children develop speech and language,” Mrs. Jacob wrote. “Our hope is that early identification and affordable amplification will enable these children to better access the excellent New Jersey education system, and in the future become full members of the New Jersey working and social community.”
Noting that the cost of hearing aids often puts “a considerable strain” on the budgets of families, she continued, “We know that you have put in a tremendous amount of time towards the passing of this bill. The deaf and hard of hearing community of New Jersey is greatly indebted to you and thank you for working towards enabling all citizens of the state to live a full and meaningful life, despite their physical challenges.”