February 02, 2023

Reps. Takano and Rutherford Relaunch the Congressional Deaf Caucus in the 118th Congress

Washington, DC – Today, Representative Mark Takano (D-CA) and Representative John Rutherford (R-FL) released the following statement after relaunching the Congressional Deaf Caucus in the 118th Congress. Reps. Takano and Rutherford will serve as Co-Chairs of this bipartisan caucus dedicated to bridging the communication divide between Members of Congress and their Deaf and hard of hearing constituents, as well as promoting equal access to government for all. 

“I’m thrilled to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Congressional Deaf Caucus by relaunching the Caucus in the 118th Congress with Representative Rutherford,” said Rep. Mark Takano. “As a former teacher, and the representative in Congress for the California School for the Deaf in Riverside, I will continue to work to breakdown educational barriers for the hard-of-hearing and fight for robust resources to make schools more accessible for deaf students and their families.  As Members in Congress, I believe it is our charge to advocate for a more inclusive and equitable society for all.” 

“For the last ten years, the Congressional Deaf Caucus has focused on bringing awareness to the challenges felt by Deaf and hard of hearing Americans, including those at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind located in Northeast Florida,” said Rep. Rutherford. “I am excited to join Rep. Takano again in addressing opportunities in Congress to promote equity for the Deaf and hard of hearing communities.” 

Rep. Takano was one of the original co-founders of the Congressional Deaf Caucus in 2013. 

This past Congress, the Congressional Deaf Caucus authored a letter to the Federal Communications Commission encouraging an increase in compensation rates for Video Relay Services. In May 2021, the Caucus held a briefing on legislation which would improve services and educational opportunities for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, and deaf-blind. Representatives Takano and Rutherford also published an op-ed on the significance of the award-winning film “CODA” as a call to ensure all deaf Americans can participate fully in public life and their democratic institutions.