Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
When a parent first discovers their child is deaf, they may be frightened and unsure of the next step. What kind of resources are available for parents, educators, Deaf, hard-of-hearing, or anyone else who encounters a hearing loss either personally or through contact with someone else? Each state has a commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) that provides support for anyone who falls in one or more of these categories. The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is an exceptional commission, constantly aspiring to better serve our residents.
Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH), though its original name was Missouri Commission for the Deaf, was established in 1988 after a House Bill was passed. In 1990, the Commission began operation. Later, the SCI and BCI were established separate from MCDHH though they all still collaborate for the betterment of the residents they serve. The Commission has come a long way in its twenty-seven (27) years.
The MCDHH mission is as follows:
“Provide effective and efficient leadership, education, advocacy and programs to eliminate barriers and to meet the social, economic, educational, cultural and intellectual needs of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind Missourians.” (MCDHH)
The Commission is state monitored and supported. They address accessibility issues such as legal rights for interpreters in a classroom, Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) in emergency medical situations, and affordability of hearing aids. Along with advocacy, they are a constant resource for anyone with questions, either basic or more detailed. They also organize Deaf and interpreter events and publish a newsletter with upcoming dates and descriptions.
I (Hannah) would like to personally note, I have called and emailed MCDHH employees multiple times in my years as a sign language interpreter. Emily, Dee, Laurie, Ope, Jessica, and anyone else I come in to contact with are eager to help, whether I simply want the dates of the upcoming annual interpreter conference, or am curious about details in the law related to my interpreter certification restrictions.
MT & Associates Interviews MCDHH
Jessica Brown, Interpreter Certification Specialist, was recently interviewed by MT&A president Shelly Tisius. Things are always changing as MCDHH works on annual improvement. View the interview for a few current aspects MCDHH is working on!
Resources and Photo Credit: