Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired
At a Glance
STACIE J. MAWSON, Executive Director
Established – 1974
Average number of full-time employees - 9
Average number of part-time employees - 43
Recurring operating expenses -
$927,567 General Fund $182,388 Federal Funds;
$1,337,467 Reimbursements; $94 Donations
$38,442 Bond Funds
The Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired (CDHI) is a state-wide coordinating agency established to advocate, strengthen and implement state policies affecting deaf and hard of hearing individuals and their relationships to the public, industry, healthcare and educational opportunities.
CDHI was placed under the Department of Social Services for Administrative purposes only per Public Act 93-262, effective July 1, 1993.
CDHI is mandated to maintain an updated statewide registry of interpreters for the deaf. This requires CDHI to monitor the education and certification of interpreters working for compensation in the State of Connecticut, Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 46(a)-33(a). There are 151 registered interpreters of which 134 are certified and qualified to work in the State of Connecticut.
Connecticut has approximately 210 thousand deaf and hard of hearing residents of which 17 thousand are profoundly deaf. Services are also available to hearing persons and entities impacted by dealing with hearing loss issues. CDHI provides sign language interpreting services, counseling, employment support, case management, crisis management, outreach, and advocacy to deaf and hard of hearing consumers and family members. CDHI’s focus is on direct services. The agency provides community education in both the private and public sector as a means to insure health and safety throughout the state.
The agency collaborates with service providers statewide to insure services in the State of Connecticut are accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing residents.
The Commission’s Advisory Board members represent diversity within the deaf and hard of hearing communities and provide feedback as to whether or not the various community needs are being met. Annual statistical data compiled by both the Interpreting and Counseling Department has served as an audit of services provided to the consumers.
CDHI continues to collaborate with community organizations serving the deaf and hard of hearing communities within Connecticut. These activities have enhanced our relationship with our consumers and the services they receive enabled CDHI to become more responsive to the community’s needs.
The consumers are aware that managers and supervisors maintain an open door policy.
In collaboration with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association CDHI has been instrumental in the development of the “Statewide Visor Alert” program. The purpose is to educate police officers about deaf and hard of hearing consumers, while insuring the safety of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The Counseling Department continues to monitor services provided by other agencies to insure the needs of the consumers are being met. As a result of the partnership developed with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the counseling staff co-sponsored and co-chaired the fourth annual “Keeping Families Together” Conference.
CDHI provides a training room to Northwestern Connecticut Community College and Family Services Woodfield. This service has increased educational opportunities for interpreters registered in Connecticut.
· Provided interpreting service for 13 thousand interpreting appointments.
· Provides public access to Video Relay Service equipment to encourage individuals to conduct personal business independently.
· The Counseling Department sponsored informational workshops for the deaf senior citizens on the changes in Medicaid/Medicare Part D and Alzheimer Disease. The Interpreting Department provided interpreting services to facilitate communication at various Medicaid/Medicare Part D seminars throughout the state.
· Continued partnerships with Department of Mental Retardation (DMR) to develop program activities.
· Collaborative work with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to improve access, awareness and direct service to deaf and hard of hearing persons in the mental health service system.
· Monitored legislation to protect the interest of persons with hearing loss.
· Counseling staff has continued training and membership in behavioral health trauma/crisis counseling with the Center for Trauma Response/Recovery and Preparedness.
· Collaboration with the Aetna Foundation Children’s Center at St. Francis Hospital. This partnership has enabled the Center to provide the necessary support to deaf and hard of hearing children who are victims of child abuse. The Interpreting Department is involved in the production of a sexual assault video which will be available for national distribution.
· The Counseling staff represents consumers on the Community Planning Group.
· Consolidated office equipment to reduce expenditures.