IAD Legislative Chair Jason Altmann shares an IDHHC Commissioner has been openly critical of IAD for the letters IAD has written regarding to IDHHC issues. This is a deviation from what IDHHC commissioner responsibilities are; in the IDHHC bylaws, commissioners are responsible to hear out the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing community, gather concerns and comments from individuals, rather than criticizing individuals, and bring the list of feedbacks to the Commissioner meeting to have a discussion.
IAD Legislative Chair Jason Altmann:
Hello! I am Jason Altmann. I am your IAD legislative chairperson.
You know, IAD has written several letters to Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission (IDHHC) regarding to concerns from the Deaf community and the members of IAD about IDHHC’s performance for the past several years.
Some people recently had discussions about the role of 11 IDHHC Commissioners because it is not clear to them whether they report to the Director of IDHHC or if the Director of IDHHC reports to the Commissioners. One Commissioner has been openly critical of IAD for the letters IAD has written regarding to IDHHC issues and also the Commissioner has shared information from IDHHC to the public as well.
I reviewed 11 pages of the IDHHC Bylaws, which I have in hand, and the Bylaws state that the Commissioners are appointed for their knowledge and expertise with a goal to assist IDHHC in figuring out how to best address the needs and gaps of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing community such as lack of qualified interpreters, not enough support service providers for the Deafblind, nursing home accessibility, and many other issues. The Commissioners are responsible to hear out the Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing community, gather concerns and comments from individuals, rather than criticizing individuals, and bring the list of feedbacks to the Commissioner meeting to have a discussion. Some issues can be carried over to the committee meeting to further address a specific issue or create guidelines with a goal to improve the lives of Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing.
If you feel that any of the IDHHC Commissioners has criticized you for making your thoughts or concerns known, please do let IAD know of this. You have the right to state your concerns and thoughts to the Commissioners. I encourage you consider attending a IDHHC Commission meeting to share your comments or sign your name on the IAD petition.