April 2009

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					                                                   M ONTHLY B ULLETIN
                                                          V OLUME 3,   ISSUE   4                               A PRIL 2009

It has been a very busy legislative session for   Disabilities. On Friday, the full Senate                 P ROGRAMS
the General Assembly and ODHH. With a             Budget and Taxation Committee accepted the
little under two weeks left in the 2009           recommendations of the subcommittee.
session, there are a number of bills in the                                                          • Awareness Training and
                                                  Legislation Related to Individuals who
legislature that directly impact Marylanders                                                           Technical Assistance
                                                  Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
who are deaf or hard of hearing.
                                                  SB97 – Election Law - Campaign Advertisements -
ODHH Budget
                                                  Closed Captioning                                  • Constituent Services
As you may recall, early in February the State
                                                  The Hearing was on January 29th, however,
of Maryland’s Department of Legislative
Services (DLS) recommended that the
                                                  it has not been voted out of committee. If         • Community Outreach and
                                                  your Senator is on the Education, Health, and        Education
legislative budget committees adopt the
                                                  Environmental Affairs Committee, please
following amendments to the Governor's
                                                  contact him or her today to ask that he or she
Proposed Budget:
                                                  support SB 97.
• Delete Assistant Director Position and                                                             I NSIDE THIS
                                                  HB1478 - Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
related expenditures for ODHH
                                                  – Responsibilities                                 ISSUE :
• Delete funding for reclassification of
                                                  This bill would have changed the make up of
ODHH staff
                                                  the Advisory Council and would have also
                                                                                                     ODHH U PDATES            2
• Merge ODHH into the Maryland                    added “deafblind” to the statute’s definition of
Department of Disabilities (MDOD)                 “deaf and hard of hearing.” We decided to          M EET THE N EW           2
                                                  withdraw the bill.                                 ODHH A DVISORY
On March 17th, the House Subcommittee on
Health and Human Resources met and re-            HB1480 - Interagency Committee on Aging            C OUNCIL
jected the DLS recommendations to eliminate       Services – Membership                              C O -C HAIRS
the Assistant Director position and to dissolve
                                                  ODHH asked that we be included in the              T IPS ON F ILING         3
the Office and move the services under the
                                                  membership of the Committee. Our request           C LOSED
Maryland Department of Disabilities. On
                                                  was accepted. The Hearing for the bill was         C APTIONING
March 25th the full House met and supported
                                                  on March 24th, but it has not yet been voted       C OMPLAINTS
the Health and Human Resources Subcom-
                                                  out of committee.
mittee recommendations to reject the                                                                 H UD P RODUCES           3
Department of Legislative Services recom-         Other Bills of Interest                            V IDEOS M ESSAGES
mendations.                                       HB756 - Cultural and Linguistic Health Care
                                                                                                     FOR D EAF AND
                                                                                                     H ARD OF H EARING
Meanwhile, the Senate Subcommittee on             Provider Competency Program
Health,      Education and Human Resources        ODHH submitted written testimony                   M EET THE          4
met on Tuesday, March 24 to review the DLS        regarding this legislation to suggest that         A DVISORY C OUNCIL
recommendations. The Senate Subcommittee          individuals who are deaf and use American
                                                                                                     C O -C HAIRS
concurred with the recommendation of the          Sign Language as their primary language be
                                                                                                     ( CONT .)
House to reject the DLS recommendations to        included in this important bill. The Hearing       ODHH      ON THE         4
eliminate the Assistant Director position and     was held on March 17th but it has not yet
to dissolve the Office and move the services                                                         M OVE
                                                  made it out of committee.
under the Maryland Department of
P AGE 2                                                                                                  M ONTHLY B ULLETIN

ODHH U PDATES                  AND      D IRECTOR ’ S C ORNER
March can be summed up as “ODHH on the Move.” Not only              We continued to monitor
did the staff respond to over 37 requests for information and       legislation that could impact the
referral (which were responded to in less than one business         lives of deaf and hard of hearing
week), the Office staff “hit the road” to do outreach in much of    Marylanders. We submitted testi-
the state. We exhibited at the National Aquarium’s Deaf             mony on various bills (see page one) to ensure that the needs
Awareness Day in Baltimore and conducted an ADA training in         of deaf and hard of hearing individuals are considered when
Elkton. We gave a presentation about ODHH to the Anne               legislators debate and vote on legislation.
Arundel County Commission on Disabilities and staffed a
                                                                    Finally, in honor of Deaf History Month, ODHH worked to
booth at the St. Mary’s County Disability Awareness expo.
                                                                    plan a Town Hall Meeting, which will be held Wednesday,
ODHH is committed to reaching all Marylanders all over
                                                                    April 1 at 7-9 PM at the Davis Library in Bethesda.
Maryland and we certainly honored that commitment in
The Maryland Advisory Council has two new co-chairs! On             Council. When asked what the most pressing issues for the
January 14th, the Advisory Council chose two new co-chairs:         deaf and hard of hearing communities is, she responded, “the
Laurie Yaffe and Dirk Albrecht.                                     list is too long.” She listed access to interpreters, insurance
                                                                    coverage for hearing aids, access to mental health services,
                              Laurie Yaffe, who founded the
                                                                    access to healthcare, qualified interpreters in the public
                              Deaf Addiction Services At
                                                                    school system, and access to driver’s education as important
                              Maryland (DASAM) program at
                                                                    issues to be tackled in Maryland.
                              University of Maryland in
                              October 2000. Laurie has a MA         Laurie takes her role as Advisory Council seriously “With the
                              degree in Psychology and is a         Office being a staff of one and a half,” she says, “the Advisory
                              licensed clinical therapist. She is   Council can act as a conduit to the larger deaf and hard of
                              licensed by the Maryland State        hearing community. We can circulate and gather information
                              Board of Professional Counselors      about the needs the in the Community, and bring that
                              and Therapists. Laurie has been a     information back to the Office. The Advisory Council gives
Board Member of Maryland School for the Deaf since 2001.            deaf and hard of hearing individuals access to information
She was a former Board Member of Maryland Association of            about services available to them. The Office also serves to
the Deaf. Laurie is a member of Governor O’Malley’s                 educate the greater hearing community about the issues and
Transition Team for Disabilities.                                   laws that they need to be aware of when they are working
                                                                    with a deaf individual.”
Laurie serves on the council in her capacity as an expert of deaf
mental health and addiction services. She sees her role on the      You can contact Laurie via voice or text at 443-604-7032.
Advisory Council as giving feedback, direction, and support to
                                                                                                Dirk Albrecht, who represents
the Director of the Office based on her experience working
                                                                                                Maryland School for the Deaf
with Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in a therapeutic
                                                                                                (MSD) on the Advisory Council is
setting. She prepares for the Advisory Council meetings by
                                                                                                the Dean of Students at the Office
talking with her staff and getting feedback from them and their
                                                                                                of Student Life at MSD.
patients about any issues that they feel are important.
                                                                                                MSD provides education to deaf
Laurie applied to being on the Advisory Council because she
                                                                                                and hard of hearing students from
feels very strongly that the needs of the deaf and hard of
                                                                                                infancy to 21 years. There are
hearing population have been seriously overlooked and/or
                                                                                                MSD campuses in Columbia and
ignored. She believes she can take her knowledge and
                                                                                                Frederick, but students come
experience and help as an advocate within the Advisory
                                                                                                from all across Maryland to
V OLUME 3, ISSUE 4                                                                                                          P AGE 3

From the February 11, 2009 Deaf Times                                "no closed captioning during entire show," "closed captioning
                                                                     disappeared 5 minutes after the program began," "closed
The FCC's closed captioning rules require consumers to first         captioning was garbled throughout the show," "the words
complain in writing to their TV distributor, such as                 were unintelligible such as 'axuy' and '&8777**edz'" or "the
your cable or satellite TV service, or to the TV station if you      closed captioning was not in sync with the audio."
receive television via an over-the-air antenna, before
contacting the FCC. Due to specific time limits established in       EXAMPLE: "On Monday February 6, 2006, I was watching
the closed captioning rules, complaints should be filed as soon      Channel 52 (XYZ Channel), and the show "The Bad Guys" at
as possible after you experience the closed captioning               9 p.m. had no closed captioning, and during the re-run on
problem.                                                             Wednesday February 15, 2006, at 9 p.m. on Channel 52 (XYZ
                                                                     Channel) the closed captioning only appeared in the last 15
The street address for your cable or satellite TV provider is        minutes of the program."
usually on the back of your bill, or you can call the Customer
Service number and ask for the company's main or headquarter         If you are unsatisfied with the TV distributor's response to
street address. Addresses for TV stations are generally found in     your complaint, or the TV distributor does not respond within
the phone directory. Letters should be addressed to the              about 45 days, then quickly contact the FCC with all of the
General Manager or CEO of the company. If your distributor           complaint information listed above as well as your contact
has an e-mail address for the customer service department, this      information. You must provide the FCC with full and specific
e-mail address is also generally on the back of your bill.           details, including a copy of your original written complaint
                                                                     that you sent to the TV distributor, and their response, if any.
Closed captioning complaints should be very specific. Include
the following information in your written complaint to the TV        You can also provide the FCC with any further information
distributor:                                                         you think appropriate (e.g., copies of the TV schedule showing
                                                                     the CC logo for the program you saw without closed
-Your name, full address, daytime phone/TTY number, and              captioning or written out examples of garbled or missing
any other contact information, such as an e-mail address if          closed captioning, videotapes if available, etc…).
available, so they may contact you if any clarifications are
needed                                                               Send all of this information to the FCC at 445 12th Street
                                                                     S.W., Washington, DC 20554, Attn. CICD/CGB. The
-The name of the television program(s) you experienced               complaint package you send to the FCC must also be
closed captioning problems with                                      sent to the TV distributor to let them know you have now
-The name and number of the channel(s) the show was on (For          complained to the FCC. For further information on the FCC's
example- Channel 3, The Art Channel)                                 television closed captioning please see the Factsheet at http://
-The date(s) and time(s) you experienced the problems with
closed captioning                                                    The closed captioning regulations are at
                                                                     cgb/dro/captioning_regs.html. The complaint procedure is in
-A description of the closed captioning problem. For instance,       the regulations at 47 CFR Part 79.1(g).

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development                 website, for help or more information.
announced today that it has produced videos for YouTube and
                                                                     Reaching out to consumers on YouTube and Facebook gives
Facebook designed to educate deaf and hard of hearing con-
                                                                     HUD another avenue for delivering content to users,
sumers about their fair housing rights, housing counseling ser-
                                                                     particularly those who are deaf and hard of hearing. Since it is
vices, and loan programs offered by the Federal Housing Ad-
                                                                     more consumer-driven, videos posted on these sites get a
ministration (FHA)
                                                                     different level of exposure than just being posted on HUD's
In one video, a HUD employee uses sign language to tell his          website. Because people usually circulate videos through their
story of refinancing his home through FHA, the largest               own distribution lists, users are more likely to be informed
government insurer on mortgages. In another video, he ex-            about a video from a friend than by searching for it on their
plains that it's illegal to discriminate in housing based on race,   own. However, videos are also searchable by using keywords
religion, sex, national origin, disability or family status. All     related to the topic.
videos encourage viewers to contact HUD by visiting its
 G OVERNOR ' S O FFICE OF THE                                       ODHH             ON THE          M OVE
 217 East Redwood Street, Suite 1300                            April 2009                                June 2009
        Baltimore, MD 21202                     ODHH Town Hall Meeting                     ODHH Advisory Council Meeting
                                                Wednesday, April 1, 7-9 PM                 Tuesday, June 2, 2 PM— 5 PM
          Voice:410-767-1497                    Davis Library                              MDOT Headquarters
          TTY: 410-767-7756                     Bethesda, MD                               Hanover, MD
           VP: 443-453-5954                     Mental Health Subcommitte Meeting
           Fax: 410-333-1016                    Friday, April 24, 1 PM—3 PM
                                                Jessop, MD

 Martin O’Malley                                                 May 2009
                                                Brown Bag Lunch
                                                Friday, May 1, 12 PM—2 PM
 Anthony G. Brown                               Catonsville Public Library
 Lieutenant Governor                            Catonsville, MD
                                                DORS Disability Expo
 Lisa H. Kornberg                               Friday, May 15, 11 AM— 2PM
 Director                                       Johns Hopkins—Bayview
                                                Baltimore, MD                               Deaf History Month covers the
 Julie Anne Schafer                                                                         period of March 13 to April 15. It
                                                                                            celebrates Deaf history, particularly
                                                                                            key events in Deaf heritage.
                                                                                            Deaf History Month appears to have
W W W . O D H H . M D . G OV                                                                had its genesis March 13, 1997,
                                                                                            when the D.C. Public Library had a
                                                                                            Deaf History Month event with deaf
                                                                                            authors and guest speakers.

M EET THE C O -C HAIRS (C ON . T )                                                          Key Historic Events: Three key
                                                                                            events occurred during deaf history
attend.                                     and provides after-school activities for the    month:
Deaf and hard-of-hearing students thrive    students.                                       -March 13 - Deaf President Now
in an accessible world where staff                                                          movement succeeds. King Jordan
                                            As a state agency, MSD’s primary role on
members provides bi-lingual instruction                                                     becomes president of     Gallaudet
                                            the Council is advising the Director in
and social interaction. The goal is for                                                     University in 1988.
                                            performing her duties effectively, as well
students to receive top-quality education
                                            as providing support from MSD to meet           -April 8 - Gallaudet University
while having opportunities to participate
                                            the needs and goals of ODHH.                    founded. President Lincoln signed
fully in drama, sports, and other activi-
ties, such as National Honor Society;       Dirk serves on the Strategic Planning           the charter in 1864 establishing a
Junior National Association of the Deaf;    Subcommittee. In that capacity, he              college for the deaf. This event is
and Academic Bowl.                          studies and reviews minutes, regulations,       known as Gallaudet Charter Day,
                                            and bills that may be pertinent to the deaf     and is usually marked with a
For Maryland residents, there is no cost                                                    luncheon and awards program at
                                            and hard of hearing communities. He also
to families and referrals are accepted at                                                   Gallaudet University.
                                            is charged with information gathering,
any time.
                                            which he uses to create strategies to help      -April 15 - American School for the
The Office of Student Life is responsible   ODHH perform its duties.                        Deaf, the first public school for deaf,
for providing a “home away from home”                                                       opens in 1817.
                                            Dirk welcomes your questions and
for MSD’s residential and day students.
                                            comments at
The Office of Student Life also arranges

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