August 23, 2016
The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) is saddened at the news of the death of Daniel Harris in North Carolina. Harris, a Deaf individual who was unarmed, was shot by an officer after an attempted traffic stop.
Although it is impossible to say whether any one thing would have stopped this incident from occurring, MCDHH believes that building relationships between the police and the Deaf Community is key to preventing instances like this in the future.
MCDHH signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association (MSA) in July 2015 for the purpose of encouraging effective communication. Much of this relationship centers on the Missouri Visor Communication Card Program, which provides Deaf and Hard of Hearing drivers, as well as officers, with pictographic cards to facilitate basic communication in a traffic stop setting. More information about the visor card program can be found here. It is understood by MCDHH and MSA that it is important for education to take place for all parties involved. Both organizations have reached out to the Deaf Community through community presentation opportunities and a collaborative YouTube video explaining proper use of the visor cards (click here to view). MCDHH staff recently provided Deaf cultural competency training at an MSA conference and intends to continue working closely with the sheriffs to offer more.
If you are interested in seeing more training in your area, contact your local police department.
- Ask if they are already receiving training on how to communicate with people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
- Explain the importance of learning about Deaf Culture and communication best practices.
- Offer resources through MCDHH or other organizations that provide officer training.
- Tell them about the Visor Communication Card Program and explain that they can get officer cards from MCDHH or MSA.
- Invite them to your local organization’s meetings to get to know your community better.
MCDHH is committed to working with law enforcement and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community to prevent what happened to Daniel Harris from happening in the future. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to collaborate to offer more training in your area.Read More »August 19, 2016
The August 19, 2016 has been posted.Read More »August 11, 2016
On August 10, 2016, Governor Jeremiah (Jay) Nixon announced the appointment of two new commissioners to the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Dr. Katie Barton and Dr. Thomas Horejes.
Dr. Barton, who received her Doctorate of Audiology from Missouri State University and her bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Missouri, is an Audiologist-EP for Mercy Hospital, with a specialization in electrophysiology. She is a member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association and the American Academy of Audiology. The Governor has appointed her for a term ending March 22, 2017.
[Pictured: Dr. Katie Barton]
Dr. Thomas Horejes is the Executive Director for Deaf Empowerment Awareness Foundation, Inc (DEAF, Inc). He previously taught for 5 years within the Department of Sociology at Gallaudet University, the world’s only university designed to be barrier-free for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. He was also a disability policy specialist for Phoenix, Arizona and community advocate for the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness. He holds a Doctorate in Justice Studies from Arizona State University. The Governor has appointed Dr. Horejes for a term ending March 22, 2018. Dr. Horejes will be replacing Mr. Paul Blicharz.
[Pictured: Dr. Thomas Horejes]
Executive Director Opeoluwa Sotonwa and the MCDHH staff are thankful for the more than 20 years that Mr. Blicharz has dedicated to serving Missouri's Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing Community and wish him well in his future endeavors. MCDHH looks forward to working with Drs. Barton and Horejes to further the mission of MCDHH.
For more information from the Governor's Office about recent appointments, visit http://governor.mo.gov/news/archive/gov-nixon-makes-board-and-commission-appointments-40Read More »July 19, 2016
We officially have moved to a new location. We are located at:
3216 Emerald Lane – Suite B
Jefferson City, MO 65109
All phone numbers and Email addresses have remained the same!Read More »March 11, 2016
Deaf Awareness Day at Silver Dollar City (SDC) will be on August 20, 2016! Please click on the link to view the flyer.http://mcdhh.mo.gov/files/sdc2016.pdfRead More »