IAD Legislative Chair Jason Altmann takes a few minutes to talk about accountability and IAD’s position on holding organizations, such as the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission accountable for results.
I would like to talk about a word called “accountability.” What does that word mean?
An act of holding someone, an organization, or an agency responsible for their actions or words.
For instance, our current President provides a speech and we will hold him accountable for his words or actions.
Same for the Deaf community, we hold a Deaf individual, Deaf agency, or Deaf organization responsible for their words and actions.
That is what Illinois Association for the Deaf has been doing all along, holding a person, agency, or organization accountable with a goal to improve quality of life and access for Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing.
Now, you know IAD has been sending out e-mails regarding the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission (IDHHC).
Why are we focusing on IDHHC?
If you look at iDHHC’s eight mandates and also the IDHHC Act then compare to the annual reports and meeting minutes. They don’t align wih each other. Maybe the outcomes meet the minimum requirements, but are it simply just good enough? Absolutely not.
If IDHHC was a strong agency, that would mean IDHHC would do a lot of great things for the Deaf community such as improving Deaf Education, improve nursing home accessibility, enhance mental health services, and many other services.
IAD has attempted to work with IDHHC staff and the staff was not willing to work with us. Same can be said for the IDHHC Commissioners. The Commissioners make up a group of eleven individuals and their responsibility is to oversee the iDHHC staff to ensure that they meet the eight mandates.
The Commissioners yet have to ask the Deaf community regarding to their numerous concerns about IDHHC’s performance. The Commissioners have not asked what they can do for the Deaf community. The Commissioners are not performing their duties and we are holding them accountable because they are not listening to the Deaf community. Instead, they chose to provide a multitude of excuses. The Commissioners need to sit and listen to our concerns.
The recent actions by IAD to hold IDHHC accountable has been inaccurately portrayed as IAD attacking IDHHC. All along, we have been factual in our statements regarding to IDHHC and utilizing the outcomes achieved by IDHHC to back our statements.
We expect IDHHC to be held accountable to the outcomes and mandates that are already written on paper.
Those kinds of actions are not done with any malicious intention or attempt to personally attack an individual.
I must mention an excellent example of Deaf community accountability- hats off to California Bay Area Deaf community, they recognized the ineffective leadership of CSD-Fremont Superintendent and took an immediate action to address it. After unsuccessful attempts to work with the Superintendent, the Deaf community took an action to address the issue and successfully removed the Superintendent from his position.
The Bay Area Deaf community made sure that a positive change occurred because they genuinely care about the Deaf children who are enrolled in CSD-Fremont.
We care about the Deaf community in this state, Illinois.
The Commissioners have been talking all along, ZERO action.
It is time for us to hold the Commissioners and IDHHC staff accountable.