Senators and deputies this Thursday (14) at a joint meeting of the National Congress overturned the total veto (VET 58/2022) by former President of the Republic Jair Bolsonaro to the draft law (PLC) 23/2016. The proposal guarantees the rights of people suffering from complete deafness in only one ear, known as unilateral hearing loss. Legislation currently recognizes bilateral limitations (both ears) as a disability. The text will be subject to approval by the president.

Once the veto is overturned, any person who is completely or partially deaf in one ear will be able to benefit from the rights already afforded to people who are deaf in both ears and are recognized in the legislation as persons with disabilities (PWD). PCD rights include the reservation of vacancies in public competitions and employment under the quota law, which requires a differentiated percentage of PCD in companies, proportional to the number of employees.

The text, once again agreed by parliamentarians, covers people who are deaf in only one ear with the same technical criteria for defining deafness as defined in Law No. 7853 of 1989 for people with bilateral hearing impairment. People with a loss of 41 decibels (dB) or more, as measured by an audiogram at frequencies of 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, 2,000 Hz, and 3,000 Hz, will be considered deaf.

According to the project's definition, deafness “impedes a person's full and effective participation in society, on equal terms with other people.”

In the December 2022 veto announcement, the government stated that the definition of hearing impairment contained in Act PL 1,361/2015 and the criteria for its detection hamper legislation. The government understood that the best diagnosis to define “hearing impairment” is a diagnosis of medical competence, which varies in nature depending on the development of science.

Agência Senado (reproduction authorized based on the quote from Agência Senado)

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