Vermont Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Advisory Council Reports to the Legislature

On January 15, 2016, the Vermont Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Advisory Council issued a report to the Senate Government Operations Committee.

The report is essentially an executive summary of the “gap analysis” done by each of the four subcommittees relating to services for deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind individuals Birth to Three Years of Age, School Age (3-21 years of age), Adults (21-65 years of age), and Senior Citizens (over age 65).  The report presents a summary of the agencies and services available to each age group, a key issue or challenge faced by each group, and recommendations for future action or study.

The ultimate and unanimous recommendation of the members of the Vermont Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Advisory Council and all four of the sub-committees was clear: Establish an official, legislative Council for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind to include current council members appointed by the Governor.

The creation of a formally-sanctioned Council for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind will ensure that the important issues faced by the Deaf community will continue to be explored, and that policy will be implemented which promotes diversity, equality, awareness, and access.

The Council’s report also recommended that the following goals be addressed:

  • Identification and implementation of quality improvement initiatives across all age groups;
  • Policy recommendations brought to the attention of the Governor and the Legislature;
  • Evaluation of the need for a Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind Commission that has authority to make policy decisions.

Access the entire January 15, 2016 Report of the Vermont Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Advisory Council, and detailed member profiles, here.

The Nine East Network Blog will continue to track the work of the Vermont Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Advisory Council, as well as the legislative progress of S.66.