InTouch Spring 2008
The Director’s Corner
From all indications, Spring has made its grand appearance, but it seems the warmer temperatures have
been somewhat delayed! We know, however, that the temperatures will soon rise and the seasons will
continue to evolve as ordered by the universe. Similarly, activities continue to evolve at VDDHH at
varying paces, so I thought I would take this time to highlight a few recent program and Agency
VDDHH’s application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for recertification to
provide state relay services is currently under review by the FCC. During the recent public
comment period on state applications, Virginia received two comments. Both comments related to
the need for increased Outreach for Speech to Speech relay services. VDDHH anticipates no
delays before final approval is announced in June 2008.
The contract for captioning telephone (CapTel) relay services with Sprint has been extended for an
additonal one-year period, through March, 2009. Negotiations for an additional one-year
extension to the AT&T contract for traditional relay services are underway. An extension would
continue relay operations from the Norton center through January 21, 2010.
The VA Relay Advisory Council (VRAC) is currently seeking qualified individuals to represent
the following types of relay users: VCO, IP, STS and hearing. The VRAC is also looking for a
representative from VAD and ALDA. If you are interested in serving on the VRAC in one of
these positions, please contact the VRAC chair, David Crocker, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The VDDHH TAP program has recently established an equipment demonstration center in the
Audiology Department of James Madison University. The equipment will be used to familiarize
audiology students with current technology available to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or
VQAS is currently scheduling for Performance Assessment dates from the end of July through
December 2008. This means that a candidate who registers today will be offered a test date within
3 ½ months of their registration date. This is a significant improvement over times past, when
candidates might have to wait 6 months for the first available test date. One thing which helps is
the addition of “Summer Slots” – test dates on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the Summer
Most, if not all, VQAS Performance Assessment results are going out well within the 90 Working
Day time frame. While Diagnostics results have not been so timely, the Agency has recently
implemented a plan to reduce the backlog and permanently increase the number of available
The Administration and Policy Manager has been reviewing and clarifying VQAS Policies to
ensure that the program maintains its validity and reliability. New and/or revised policy
statements will be available on the VDDHH website soon. These policy clarifications are the
result of the program review which VDDHH is conducting and are responsive to concerns raised
by members of VAD and others about the program.
The online version of the VQAS Written Assessment is now scheduled to be tested outside of the
VDDHH network this Summer instead of Spring. J. Sargeant Reynolds and Danville Community
Colleges will participate in this next phase of testing.
VDDHH is working on a new Interpreter Services Contract to go into effect on January 1, 2009.
The contract is not expected to include a general rate increase but we hope to be able to offer some
improved incentives, including Video Remote Interpreting to help increase the availability of
interpreters in underserved areas without increasing the costs of services because of travel time.
The Outreach and Community Services Programs Manager presented on “Best Practices for Deaf
and Hard of Hearing in Emergencies” at the Virginia Emergency Management Conference in
March. Providing the state level perspective, the local and national levels were also represented.
The VDDHH budget emerged from the General Assembly with no additonal cuts but also with no
additional funds. As a result of budget cuts over the past year, the VDDHH budget is currently
5% less than a year ago. Additional cuts over the next year may be expected as the state’s revenue
forecasts are still gloomy.
The members of VDDHH’s Advisory Board, over the course of several meetings, have been
discussing issues related to the regulation of the profession of sign language interpreters in
Virginia. After a presentation by the Executive Director of the Board of Professional and
Occupational Regulation (BPOR) at the February meeting, the chair, at the request of the VDDHH
Advisory Board, sent a letter requesting a study of the potential for regulating the profession of
interpreting in Virginia. VDDHH learned in early March that BPOR has accepted the request and
will consider a work plan at its June meeting. The associated study should be completed within a
year of the adoption of the work plan. The study will include a series of Public Comment
meetings and VDDHH will work with BPOR to ensure that these are accessible and well
I hope that you find this Spring issue of the VDDHH Newsletter to be informative and beneficial to your
needs. If there is any other information of interest to you, please let us know! Happy Spring!
VDDHH LIBRARY UPDATE
The VDDHH Library has just placed nearly sixty new items on our shelves! More will be released during
the coming weeks, for a total of over 200 new items. By popular demand, some of these items – both old
and new - will be available on DVD as well as VHS. We have carefully selected new materials for each
of our major collections, which include: Sign Language, Interpreter Training, Deaf Culture, Hard of
Hearing, Children, DeafBlind, Legal Rights, and Education.
A list of these new materials is available on the VDDHH Website. Check under “What’s New” and click
on April 2008 Library Additions.
As in the past, the new materials are only available for loan for a period of 2 weeks, and because of the
high demand, there can be no extensions. Also, any Patron with currently overdue materials will not be
permitted to check out any additional materials until the items are returned or paid for. If you are listed as
having overdue materials, and you believe this is in error, contact Pam Richardson at 1-800-552-7917 or
email her at email@example.com.
Patrons borrowing new items will be asked to sign a statement agreeing to return the new items at the end
of the loan period. A version of the form appears below. This step is necessary as the Library has lost
many items over the past years, from patrons simply not bothering to return borrowed materials. The
form is simply a reminder that these new materials have a shorter check out period. Due to budget cuts, it
is likely that no additional items will be purchased for the Library during the remainder of 2008 or in
Also, if any information has changed since you last checked out library materials, PLEASE update your
information as soon as possible. You can do this by email, FAX, or by completing the change form in
person. The changes must be provided to us in writing.
We would also like to encourage Sign Language TEACHERS and STUDENTS to check out and use the
excellent videotapes and DVDs we have available. We have some excellent practice materials that can
help you learn this beautiful and important language.
New Item Loan Agreement
I understand and agree that the “new” items I am checking out from the VDDHH Library have a two-week
loan period, and I agree to return these items on or before the due date of
A continuing service of Virginia Relay is the Virginia Relay Partner, a free program for businesses to
learn how to accept and make telephone calls through the Virginia Relay Center with Virginians who use
TTY’s. This free program also allows businesses who have registered to be listed on the Virginia Relay
Partner Website, a site used often by thousands of consumers to locate a business that is Relay-friendly.
Said one consumer: “If I try to call a business and they hang up because they don’t understand the Relay
Center calls, then I never call – or use – that business again. And I tell all of my friends which businesses
hang up and which businesses are willing to communicate with me. We all share this information. I
would guess that every time a business hangs up on one of us, they may lose 50 customers, and maybe
hundreds or thousands of dollars a year in business revenue. With nearly 500 businesses listed on the
website, we can usually find a deaf-friendly business, and THAT is who gets our business.”
If you use a business, and we all do, tell them about the Relay Partner Program, and ask them to sign up.
It’s totally FREE, and can help their businesss grow. Simply give them the link below:
Outreach and Community Services
Gary W. Talley, Programs Manager
Recently, VDDHH has begun working with Virginia Commonwealth University, J Sargeant Reynolds
Community College, the Department of Corrections, and a few other interested parties, to complete an
application for a Community Engagement Grant to improve communication access for deaf inmates at the
Powhatan Correctional Center. The grant will be designed to teach basic and intermediate sign language
skills to correctional officers who work with deaf inmates at the facility. The purpose of the program will
be increased communication to and for the deaf inmates. The program, which will be dependent upon
receiving the grant, will teach signed vocabulary / language that is specific and relevant to the
environment. The sign language courses will be taught at the prison facility in Powhatan over a two year
period. It is also planned that the program can be adapted to all state agencies – as it will address basic
and intermediate signing skills to a particular work environment. After the basic ASL course, the next
level can be adapted to include language / vocabulary that addresses the specific needs of any workplace.
We feel that, not only will various agencies and personnel benefit, but ultimately, the deaf community
will benefit from increased access.
Outreach…continued next page
The Post Secondary Education Network – PEPNet - has introduced their new “iTransition” curriculum.
“iTransition” is a free, on-line transition curriculum to help students who are deaf or hard of hearing
prepare for life after high school.
This exciting program includes four separate trainings with activities to help students learn more about
themselves, their career goals, and the skills they need to be successful in the future. The four training
modules are titled: “It’s My Plan!”, “Be the One!”, “It’s My Life!”, and “My Online Portfolio!”.
The program is free, and can be accessed at www.pepnet.org/itransition. Teacher guides and support
materials are available at www.pepnet.org .
Utilizing this program, students from ages 14-adult can discover more about their interests, skills, and
how they might relate to a career choice. The students can explore options for postsecondary education,
develop critical thinking skills for academic, career, and personal choices, improve their self-advocacy
skills, and organize their information in their own, personal portfolio.
The “iTransition” program is designed for students, teachers, college disability support specialists and
providers, transition specialists, high school guidance counselors, parents, and VR counselors.
Kids Keeping In Touch Through Virginia Relay
Another new program initiative, in partnership with Virginia Relay and the Virginia Department of
Education, is the “Kids Keeping in Touch through Virginia Relay” curriculum, a hearing loss awareness
program for grades 3 through 5. Outreach Specialists will be available to classroom teachers using the
program. The Outreach Specialists can provide technology demonstrations, sign language instruction and
demonstration, and deaf culture presentations. Additionally, the VDDHH Library has multiple copies of
the books on the program’s “Recommended Reading List. Any teacher using the “Kids Keeping in
Touch” curriculum may check out up to a full set of books from the VDDHH Library (registration as a
Library Patron is required). These books may be kept by the teacher using the curriculum for up to 30
days. The books on the list vary by recommended age levels and reading difficulty.
New Outreach Office
In order to better serve the residents of the Tri-City area, VDDHH has partnered with the Department of
Rehabilitative Services to provide VDDHH Outreach services from the DRS office in Petersburg. The
office is located at 2795 South Crater Road in Petersburg, is intended to make VDDHH services more
easily accessible to residents of the cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Hopewell, and the county
residents in Dinwiddie and Prince George. The VDDHH Outreach Manager will be at this location on
the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month.
To locate the Outreach Specialist in YOUR area, check the list below:
Central and Southside Virginia - Served by VDDHH - Richmond, VA --800-552-7917 (V/TTY)
Sherry Ross, Outreach Specialist Trish Banks (CapTel Specialist)
804-662-9701 (V/TTY) 804-662-9190 (V)
Serving the Counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Brunswick, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Cumberland,
Dinwiddie, Goochland, Greensville, Halifax, Hanover, Henrico, Louisa, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg,
Nottoway, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Prince George, Cities of Colonial Heights, Emporia,
Hopewell, Petersburg, Richmond, South Boston, Surry, Sussex, and the Towns of Ashland, Charles City,
Rappahannock Area – Served by the disAbility Resource Center, Fredericksburg, VA
Phone: 540-373-2559 TTY: 540-373-5890 Web Site: www.cildrc.org
Arva Priola firstname.lastname@example.org and Gail Krpata email@example.com
Serving the Counties of Caroline, Culpeper, Fauquier, King George, Madison, Orange, Rappahannock,
and Spotsylvania, and the Cities of Stafford and Fredericksburg .
Southwest Virginia – Served by the Connie Reasor Deaf Resource Center, Norton, VA
Sue Graham Executive Director (Norton)
Ph: 276-679-6103 TTY: 276-679-6104 FAX: 276-679-6105 firstname.lastname@example.org
Counties of Lee, Scott, & Wise; City of Norton.
William Hess Grundy
Ph: 276-935-6088 TTY: 276-935-0780 email@example.com
Serving Counties of Buchanan, Dickinson, Russell and Tazewell
Hampton Roads (Tidewater) – Served by Endependence Center, Inc., Norfolk, VA
Brenda Estes Ph: 757-461-8007 TTY: 757-461-7527 firstname.lastname@example.org
Serving Counties of Isle of Wight, Southampton, James City, and York. Cities of: Chesapeake,
Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson,
Outreach Specialists continued…
Northern Virginia – Served by the Northern Virginia Resource Center, Fairfax, VA
Cheryl Heppner, Executive Director (Fairfax)
Phone: 703-352-9055 TTY: 703-352-9056 www.nvrc.org
Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William; Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church,
Manassas and Manassas Park.
Linda Miller: Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck, and Eastern Shore
Ph / TTY / FAX: 804-725-2487 Email: email@example.com
Counties of Essex, Gloucester, King & Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex,
Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland, Accomack, Northampton and the Town of Chincoteague
Western Virginia – Served by the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Center, Inc., Roanoke, VA
Ph / TTY / FAX 540-342-0031 Web Site: http://www.deafhh.org
Betti Thompson, Executive Director Ph / TTY / FAX / VP: 540-342-0031 DHHSC@yahoo.com
Serving Counties of Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Campbell, Carroll, Craig, Floyd,
Franklin, Giles, Grayson, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, Pittsylvania, Roanoke, Smyth, Washington,
Wythe; and the Cities of Bedford, Bristol, Clifton Forge, Covington, Danville, Galax, Lynchburg, Martinsville,
Radford, Roanoke, Salem
Drema Bagley: New River Valley
Ph / Fax / TTY / VP: 540-342-0031 firstname.lastname@example.org
Serving Counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski,
Roanoke, Cities of Radford, Covington, Roanoke, Salem, and the Towns of Clifton Forge, Martinsville, Rocky
Jack Owens: Abingdon, Galax
Ph / TTY / FAX 888-823-0260 email@example.com
Serving Counties of Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, Washington, Wythe; Cites of Abingdon, Bristol, and Galax
Feta Fernsler: Staunton, Winchester, Charlottesville firstname.lastname@example.org
Ph / TTY / FAX : 1-888-851-0248 VP: 540-885-0822
Serving Counties of Albemarle, Augusta, Bath, Clarke, Fluvanna, Frederick, Greene, Highland, Nelson, Page,
Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Warren Cities: Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Lexington,
Staunton, Waynesboro, Winchester
Margaret Bryant: Lynchburg Ph / TTY: 434-528-4991 FAX: 484-924-0031
Serving the Cities of Bedford, Danville, and Lynchburg, and the Counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford,
Campbell, and Pittsylvania
Gary W. Talley, Outreach and Community Services Programs Manager
804-662-9502 (V / TTY) 804-662-2323 (VP)
From the Southwest Sue Graham, Outreach Specialist
CERT in the Southwest
On January 12, 2008, members of Wise County Emergency Management, District Epidemiologist,
Lenowisco Health District Deliliah Long, Big Stone Gap Fire Department, and Lt. Larry Kendrich,
conducted a Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) class in Norton, Virginia. There were 25
participants in the class.
CERT classes are growing, not just throughout Virginia, but America as well.
Citizens learn techniques to assist emergency responders during local, state, and national emergencies.
They receive the proper training and tools to carry out their mission, should an emergency arise. Wise
County is proud to announce that they have trained the largest CERT team in Virginia, consisting mostly
of deaf and hard of deaf or hard of hearing members. Out of the 25 participants, 21 are deaf or hard of
hearing. Thanks to Sue Graham and Julia Ringley who served as Interpreters, this group is now ready
and able, but most importantly willing, to assist their community and fellow citizens should they be called
Roger Owens on left
and Scott Meade on Right
Their CERT training will be used to assist the community as a whole, and will offer great assistance to the
deaf and hard of hearing community. These members are now specially equipped to assist first
responders in aiding a person who is deaf or hard of hearing during an emergency.
The Connie Reasor Deaf Resource Center will now be a focal point for their supplies and further
seminars. The center will discuss entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Wise
County to become an official shelter site for the deaf and hearing community.
Other citizens who assisted in the training were Hannah Long, the group’s official photographer and first
aid victim and Johnny Graham, who assisted in setting up the classroom and supplies. Kim Phillips, Wise
County Central Communications (911) was on hand as a participant and also fielded questions from the
group regarding the ability of 911 to handle their emergency calls.
This class is a perfect example of how citizens in Wise County are working together to make our area a
safer place to live, as well as lend each other a helping-hand. Any citizen our group interested in
receiving CERT training should contact the Wise County Emergency Operations Center at 328-8439.
(Article submitted by: Jane Bennett, Wise County Emergency Operations Coordinator)
State InterAgency Team (SIT)
VDDHH, along with the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, the Department of Rehabilitative
Services, and the Community Service Boards, comprise the State InterAgency TEAM that provides /
coordinates services for Deaf, late-deafened, hard of hearing, deafblind, and speech impaired residents of
For the past year, we have been gathering information from the consumers we serve to identify the current
and future needs of this growing consumer group. Meetings have been held throughout the state and
will continue this summer at Hearing Loss Association of American meetings. The first one has been
scheduled for June 7th at NVRC in Fairfax for the Northern Virginia area. Others will be scheduled as we
can coordinate speakers at the other local chapters of HLAA.
Some of the topics already brought up are: group homes for deaf / hh / deafblind youth and young adults
who may or may not have other disabilities; accessibility and assistive technology in nursing homes,
retirement centers, and apartment buildings; Assistive technology (such as FM systems that work with
hearing aids) in museums, restaurants, shopping centers, and other public places;
Reprinted from the Virginia Relay Newsletter
Lots of people are commended for their hard work, but few are recognized with a Senate Joint Resolution!
On February 15, 2008, the Commonwealth of Virginia Legislature passed Senate Joint Resolution No.
203 honoring Arva Priola for her efforts to ensure equal communications access for deaf and hard of
hearing Virginians. Arva is also an outreach specialist for the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard
Sponsored by Senator Edd Houck, the resolution also saluted Arva for providing helpful informaton and
training to deaf and hard of hearing citizens throughout the Commonwealth and single-handedly
recruiting 60 new Virginia Relay Partners.
Since joining the disAbility Resource Center team over 13 years ago, Arva’s advocacy work has included
launching the Visor Alert Program in Fredericksburg to facilitate communication between the police and
deaf and hard of hearing individuals, teaching American Sign Language courses and conducting
emergency preparedness seminars for seniors and people with disabilities.Congratulations, Arva!
Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Staff Members
Ronald Lanier, Director
Clayton Bowen, Technology Manager (Virginia Relay and TAP)
Leslie Prince, Adminstration Manager (Policy, ISP, and VQAS)
Gary W. Talley, Outreach and Community Services (Outreach, Library, and Website)
Prim Coffey, Business Manager
Trish Banks, CapTel Specialist Christine Ruderson, TAP Coordinator
Pamala Richardson, Library Specialist Darlean Walker, Front Desk Receptionist
Jeanne Miller, Temporary Interpreter Elaine Ziehl, Executive Secretary and QAS
Sherry Ross, Central Virginia Outreach
Matt Myrick, AT&T Channel Manager
The following Memorial Resolution, celebrating the life of Fred Yates, was presented at the General Assembly.
The resolution was possible, in large part, due to the efforts of the VDDHH Advisory Board, whose members
agreed at the February meeting to approach General Assembly members who had worked with Fred. The full
resolution also appears on the General Assembly website. Here is the link:
2-1-1 VIRGINIA provides a wide variety of free health and human service referrals. Search our
database (on the left side of the home page) by category and geographic area. Or, you can talk with
a certified call specialist by dialing 2-1-1 toll free, seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to midnight. In
many cases, people end up going without assistance because they don't know who to ask or where
to begin. Get started by clicking on the 2-2-1 Logo on the VDDHH Home Page or by dialing 2-1-1
from any voice telephone in Virginia. TTY users – dial the number listed below.
TTY number for 2-1-1 is 804-771-5897
(This is a direct connect TTY number
New CapTel Services
There is a new CapTel service being offered by two different providers: Hamilton Relay and Spring
Relay. This new CapTel – captioned telephone – will be web based and will work with ANY telephone
and a computer connected to the Internet. It works on either PC’s or MAC computers equally well. The
service does, however, require broadband service. It will not work with dial up service.
Previously, voice carry over telephone service was only available through State Relay services and
required a VCO telephone, or through the Sprint service and required a special CapTel telephone. Both
required an analog telephone line. Now, using any telephone and a broadband internet connection,
anyone can access captioned telephone calls. No special phone is needed. There is NO CHARGE for this
service. The Sprint website also states that: “There is no charge to use the WebCapTel service.
However, there may be charges if your phone is metered for incoming calls - i.e., if you use a
wireless phone that does not have unlimited incoming minutes. You are also responsible for
any long distance or roaming charges you may incur.” The Sprint news release also states that
“9-1-1 calls will be available in the near future. Sprint will make an announcement when that will
become available.” Information about this was not posted to the Hamilton website.
www.hamiltoncaptel.com or www.sprintcaptel.com
Both services work the same way and require registration. There is NOTHING to download and NO
CHARGE for the service. Simply log on, and you will be taken to the “Place Call” screen, where you
will enter two telephone numbers: yours – the phone from which you will be speaking, and the number
you wish to call. The click on “Place Call”. The service will dial your telephone number first. When you
answer, it will then dial the number you are calling.
You can also receive telephone calls through this service. Log on and click on the tab “Incoming Calls”
so the service will know that you are able to ready to receive incoming calls. When your phone rings,
answer it and then you can view the captions on your computer screen.
There is a SPECIAL TELEPHONE NUMBER for this service, different from the CapTel number you
may have given your callers in the past, and used with the CapTel telephone. This new number for
incoming calls is 1-800-933-7219. (It is the SAME number for either Hamilton or Sprint.) Your caller
will dial this number and be prompted to enter YOUR 10-digit telephone number. When your phone
rings, answer it, and you can view the captions on your computer screen. You MUST be logged in and on
the “Incoming Calls” screen. This service will not call you if you are not on-line and connected to the
“Incoming Calls” screen.
VDDHH is not endorsing or recommending one service over the other. Both will work here in Virginia,
and both work the same way and use the same contact telephone number. Captioning is done at the
CapTel center, just as it is on the CapTel telephone.
We will soon begin recruiting for Interpreter Services Coordinator.
Check our WEBSITE (www.vddhh.org) for the announcement during
the next few weeks.
Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1602 Rolling Hills Drive, Suite 203
Richmond, Virginia 23229-5012