The Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing Minnesotans is pleased to announce our 2017 Legislative Agenda. These are items that the Commission Board voted on and approved at our November 2016 board meeting.
Education: Increase funding for the Deaf Mentor Family Program
This early intervention program provides trained deaf adults as role models, language models, and ASL teachers for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
It is evidence-based and recommended by the National Academy of Pediatrics.
Mentors help parents adjust, teach communication, give parents hope and children language and self-esteem.
Program needs more funding to eliminate waiting list and expand its reach.
Age-Related Hearing Loss: Require good acoustics and hearing loops in state-funded construction
Projects paid for with state funding should be built with acoustical standards in mind and include Hearing Loops (the hearing assistive technology preferred by those with hearing aids), when financially feasible.
Age-Related Hearing Loss: Require training for staff at assisted living facilities
Age-related hearing loss impedes communication and is linked to increased rates of dementia, falls, hospitalizations, depression, and isolation.
Staff at senior facilities need to know how to recognize and accommodate age-related hearing loss to facilitate communication and engagement.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD): Modernize the services and increase funding
As a follow-up to the studies done over the last two years, update law to modernize services statewide for deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing adults and children.
Increase funding to ensure funding for DeafBlind services, for mental health services in ASL and for equipment labs with updated equipment continue.
Strengthening Commission: Increase funding to expand Commission’s impact for advocating with deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing Minnesotans
Provide more information in American Sign Language (ASL) through video.
Expand work on age-related hearing loss, education, and employment.
Ensure that Commission has the capacity to monitor the implementation of laws passed.
Commission Board Meeting
The board will gather again for a full Commission meeting on Friday, January 20, 2017, at the Golden Rule Building in St. Paul. We know that several community members plan to attend and ask for our support. The board will vote on the potential new items to add to the legislative agenda.
For More Information and Updates
For more information and to sign up for alerts, visit our website: www.mncdhh.org