Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired
At a Glance
STACIE J. MAWSON, Executive Director
Established – 1974
Average number of full-time employees - 12
Average number of part-time employees - 43
Recurring operating expenses -
$1,059,617.00 General Fund $228,386.00 Federal Funds;
$1,118,962.00 Reimbursements; $870.00 Donations
$0 Bond Funds
Fiscal Operations – Information Referral and Advocacy
The Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired (CDHI) was created as a state-wide coordinating agency to advocate, strengthen and implement State policies affecting deaf and hearing impaired individuals and their relationships to the public, industry, health care and educational opportunities. Connecticut has approximately 204,334 deaf and hard of hearing constituents, approximately 25,000 are profoundly deaf. The Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired provides counseling, job development/placement, sign language interpreting services, outreach, advocacy and in-service training programs as a means to insure health and safety throughout the community.
Public Act 93-262 placed the Commission within the Department of Social Services from the Department of Human Resources, effective July 1, 1993, for administrative purposes only.
CDHI maintains a statewide registry of interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing. This mandate requires CDHI to track and monitor the education and certification of interpreters working for compensation in the State of Connecticut, in Public Act 98-252.
CDHI provides advocacy for equal access to services throughout the State. Counseling and Interpreting services remain our main focus for direct service provision. The agency makes itself available for consulting and in-service training for other State Agencies and public service providers. CDHI continues to collaborate with community organizations serving the deaf and hard of hearing population of Connecticut. These activities have enhanced our relationship with our constituents and have enabled CDHI to become more responsive to the community needs.
§ Advocacy work with Local and State Police to insure individuals rights are not violated and to maintain integrity of all investigations.
§ Incorporated a sign language course for medical students into the University of Connecticut School of Medicine curriculum as well as provide training for 4th year students.
§ Installed the “Guide to Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in Connecticut” on the agency’s World Wide Web homepage. The Guide provides links to INFOLINE and the other State and national resources.
§ Launched a pilot program to establish a nursing home wing in the North Central region for deaf and hard of hearing elderly people through a partnership with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
§ Counseling staff coordinated and co-sponsored the first educational conference for professionals with expertise in hearing loss regarding mental retardation and developmental disabilities.
§ CDHI’s responsibilities in State law for Public Act 96-18, Public Act 97-8 and Public Act 85-411- the Birth to Three Council, Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, and the coordination of substance abuse treatment support services with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services have been satisfied.
§ Continues to monitor Legislation to protect the interests of a person with hearing loss.
§ Counseling and Interpreting Staff continue to work collaboratively with DCF to improve their overall effectiveness with deaf/hard of hearing clients.
§ Established Memorandum of Agreement to place CDHI videotapes and books on hearing loss, culture, Sign Language and interpreting in the State Library.
§ Provide diversity workshops to children throughout the State to instill a greater understanding of people with hearing disabilities.
§ Worked in partnership with DPUC to insure that the State of Connecticut Telecommunication Relay Service remains in total compliance with new mandates required by the FCC.
§ In response to increasing demands in the interpreting department and improvements in technology, an upgrade to the scheduling software for Interpreting services is planned to streamline the workflow process.
§ Two-way paging system for improved communication with interpreting staff while on assignments.
§ Increase the number of qualified court interpreters through training.
§ Continue identification of unregistered interpreters working within the State.
§ Establish an onsite Video Relay center for consumers to use alternative technology to place a telephone call.
§ Maintain relationship with deaf/hard of hearing and deaf/blind community members to best identify the needs of the community.
§ Complete behavioral health trauma/crisis counseling training certification with the Center for Trauma Response/Recovery and Preparedness, DMHAS and DCF.
§ Offer deaf awareness and sensitivity training to local police departments, the State police academy, and the offices of adult probation.
§ Work to establish pilot nursing home project well within the community, providing consultation, outreach and support. Continue to work evolving plans for the future.
§ Embrace the Core-CT challenge.