Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired
STACIE J. MAWSON, Executive Director
Established – 1974
Average number of full-time employees - 12
Average number of part-time employees - 44
Recurring operating expenses -
$955,931General Fund $207,117 Federal Funds;
$1,193,957 Reimbursements; $2,867 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, healthcare and educational opportunities. Connecticut has approximately 204,334 deaf and hard of hearing constitutes, 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 interpreter 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 Conn. Gen. Statute 46(a)-33.
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 with other State Agencies. 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’s needs.
Advocacy for legislation for the deaf and hard of hearing community continues to be a priority for CDHI.
· Revision of policies and procedures for scheduling interpreters.
· Established a new billing rate for interpreting services.
· Collaborated with Northwestern Connecticut Community College to make Interpreting courses more accessible to individuals in need of additional skills to acquire certification.
· Increased the number of registered interpreters in Connecticut
· Increased the number of certified interpreters available to work in Connecticut.
· Two-way paging system distributed to all staff working in the field.
· Continue partnership with Department of Mental Retardation (DMR) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to develop program activities.
· The Counseling Department and DCF staff coordinated and co-sponsored the first educational conference for professionals with expertise in hearing loss regarding child protection policies and procedures.
· Established a Video Relay Service station for use by the community.
· Maintenance of Guide to Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in Connecticut.
· Monitored legislation to protect the interest of persons with hearing loss.
· Counseling staff has completed training in behavioral health trauma/crisis counseling with the Center for Trauma Response/Recovery and Preparedness, DMHAS and DCF.
· Collaborate with DMR to develop services and supports for deaf/hard of hearing mentally retarded person and deaf/hard of hearing developmentally disabled persons.
· Collaborate with DCF to plan a cultural diversity conference using a federal grant for professionals serving deaf/hard of hearing children and families.
· Increase the skill of interpreters for legal assignments through training and mentoring.
· Expansion of the Video Relay for use in Correctional Facilities reducing risks while increasing availability of staff.
· Publicize the list of interpreters who have met the requirements in Connecticut State Law.