Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired
At a Glance
STACIE J. MAWSON, Executive Director
Established – 1974
Recurring operating expenses 2008-2009 -
$2,885,887.49 General Fund $215,300.89 Federal Funds;
$1,811,866.65 Reimbursements; $1968 Donations
$1061.87 Bond Funds
Agency Mission/Statutory Authority
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. The agency’s business and human resource functions were consolidated into the Department of Administrative Services, effective October 1, 2005.
Connecticut has approximately 280 thousand deaf and hard of hearing residents of which 17 thousand are profoundly deaf. Services are available to Connecticut residents who are deaf or hard of hearing. 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 collaborates with service providers statewide to insure services in the State of Connecticut are accessible to residents who are deaf or hard of hearing to insure health and safety.
CDHI’s Commissioners represent a diverse population 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 been an assessment of services provided to the consumers.
During fiscal year 2008-2009 initiatives and achievements of the Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired included the following:
· CDHI collaborated with multiple state agencies successfully to achieve goals of shared benefit to the consumers that are mutually served.
· Provided extensive information and referral to Connecticut residents seeking information on services available to assist individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.
· Provided classroom space to Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Interpreter Education Program to enhance access to education in a central location. Provided meeting/training space to a variety of state agencies.
· Provided free accessible income tax preparation in partnership with Internal Revenue Services.
· Provided an internship opportunity to a student from the American School for the Deaf. The student was able to obtain marketable skills for competitive employment upon recent graduation.
· Community outreach includes 86 hours of deaf culture and disability sensitivity training to Police, Hospitals, Medical students and First Responders statewide.
· Counseling Department provided counseling, case management, employment support and advocacy services to consumers statewide.
· Counseling Department staff continued to maintain membership in behavioral health trauma/crisis counseling with the Center for Trauma Response/Recovery and Preparedness.
· Counseling Department collaborated with the Department of Labor making the career bus accessible to deaf consumers at several communities statewide.
· Revised Interpreting Contract to comply with the State of Connecticut’s new contract requirements.
· Increased Interpreting fee for services rate to maintain economic stability.
· Expanded Interpreting Services provided statewide by 5 %.
· Expanded ability to provide legal interpreters for jury duty as a result of successful peer mentoring.
· Improved collection activity has provided increased revenues from severely past due accounts.
Information Reported as Required by State Statute
The CDHI’s Affirmative Action Plan was approved by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. The CDHI has consistently met annual Set-Aside Program goals.