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E-News (February 21, 2020)

February 21, 2020

The February 14, 2020 E-News has been posted.

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UPDATE: SSP Program & Transportation

November 22, 2019

Dear MO SSP Program participants and service providers:   On behalf of the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the SSP Program Task Force, I would like to thank you all for your patience and feedback as we have worked together with Beyond Interpreting to resolve some issues with the SSP Program over the last few weeks. This process has deepened our understanding of the value of this program; we have been contacted by numerous DeafBlind consumers and SSPs who have expressed in many ways how this program has changed their lives. While the hold on services has been frustrating for all of us, we believe that moving forward we have a much stronger program to work with.   After much discussion and research, the primary outcome is that SSPs will not be able to transport DeafBlind individuals in their personal vehicles moving forward. This decision is in place to ensure the safety of all program participants, as well as the longevity of the SSP program. I urge you to read the white paper we have developed on this issue and minutes from the task force meeting, if you would like to know more about how this decision was reached. Links to these documents are available at the bottom of this page.   Beyond Interpreting will be releasing more specific details of how this decision will impact the program in the coming days, along with some other important changes. We encourage you to review their announcements and materials thoroughly in order to make this transition as smooth as possible. As always, the staff at Beyond Interpreting and MCDHH are here to answer any questions you may have and receive your feedback and concerns with an open mind.   Sincerely,   Emily Morrison Business Operations Manager Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Emily.Morrison@mcdhh.mo.gov Voice, Direct Line: (573) 526-0232   SSP Transportation White Paper: https://mcdhh.mo.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2019/11/transportation-white-paper.docx SSP Task Force Meeting Minutes, November 15, 2019: https://mcdhh.mo.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2019/11/ssp-minutes-november-15-2019.docx

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Rule Changes Coming December 30

November 22, 2019

The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) has several rule changes that will be going into effect at the end of this year. The changes primarily relate to the Missouri Interpreter Certification System (MICS). These rules were proposed by the Board for Certification of Interpreters (BCI) and approved by the MCDHH Commission. They will go into effect on December 30, 2019. Below is a summary of each rule change and its impact on Missouri interpreters. Please review each rule change to determine how it will affect you. If you have further questions, feel free to contact Jessica Kallenbach, Interpreter Certification Specialist at jessica.kallenbach@mcdhh.mo.gov or (573) 526-5205.   5 CSR 100-200.035 Missouri Interpreter Certification System This amendment adds the Provisional Certificate in Education (PCED) and the Provisional Certification (aka Learner’s Permit) to the list of certifications not subject to annual renewal. These certificates are only valid for one-year and cannot be renewed, so this should not impact any Missouri interpreters; it is merely a change in wording to the rules.   5 CSR 100-200.050 Application for Interpreter Certification in Missouri This amendment removes the Apprentice and Novice certifications. As these certifications are no longer offered in Missouri, this should have no impact on Missouri interpreters.   5 CSR 100-200.070 Performance Test and Evaluation This amendment cleans up a grammatical error and clarifies the follow-up letter process for testers. Additionally, it removes an item that is no longer available to testers. This should not have an impact on Missouri interpreters.   5 CSR 100-200.095 Certified Deaf Interpreter Certification This amendment updates the name of the Texas agency that administers the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) to the proper reference for the Texas provider of the examination. The agency was previously called Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), but is now Texas Health and Human Services Commission. This will not have an impact on Missouri interpreters.   5 CSR 100-200.125 Certification Renewal This amendment removes the section referring to the Apprentice and Novice certifications, which are no longer offered in Missouri. It also clarifies that the Provisional Certification in Education (PCED) is not renewable. It adds a timeline for certifications to become invalid and establishes a late fee. The new timeline for renewal is explained below, and will impact all Missouri interpreters.   5 CSR 100-200.130 Certification Maintenance This amendment clarifies due dates for CEU renewal and reinstatement. The updated dates are listed below and will impact all Missouri interpreters.   5 CSR 100-2000.150 Fees This amendment establishes a $10 per workshop CEU processing fee for approval of Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) workshops. It also removes the fee for wall certificates, which MCDHH no longer provides, and adjusts the numbering system for the remaining fees on the list. This will not impact most interpreters directly; rather, the fee will be charged to the individual or entity that requests RID approval of their workshops through MCDHH.   This amendment also establishes a late fee of $20 for certification maintenance and removes unnecessary zeros. The impact of this fee is explained in the section below on the new timeline for certification renewal.   5 CSR 100-200.170 Skill Level Standards This amendment removes the Novice and Apprentice certifications, which are no longer offered in Missouri. It also re-numbers the remaining list and corrects the title for Certified Deaf Interpreters. These changes should have no impact on Missouri interpreters.   The change also removes Basic from the list of approved certification levels to interpret in financial settings or for financial activities. This will impact the range of situations for which Basic interpreters can work.   Certification Renewal Timeline   Old System (effective until December 30, 2019) November 2: Deadline for earning 2.0 CEUs, with 0.3 in ethics; earning CEUs after this deadline will result in a reinstatement fee* ($60) December 2: Postmark deadline for renewal paperwork (including application for renewal, proof of CEUs, and payment); incomplete paperwork or missing deadline will result in a reinstatement fee* ($60) and certification card is no longer valid after this date *Reinstatement fee will only be charged one time per renewal cycle   New System (effective beginning December 30, 2019) November 2: Deadline for earning 2.0 CEUs, with 0.3 in ethics; earning CEUS after this deadline will result in a late fee** ($20) December 2: Postmark deadline for renewal paperwork (including application for renewal, proof of CEUs, and payment); incomplete paperwork or missing deadline will result in a late fee** ($20) December 15: Certifications that have not been renewed become invalid on this date; interpreters who fail to postmark completed renewal paperwork before this deadline will incur a reinstatement fee ($60) in addition to the late fee incurred on December 2 **Late fee will only be charged one time per renewal cycle

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Changes to SSP Program

November 1, 2019

Dear MO SSP Program participants and service providers:   On behalf of the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) and the Missouri SSP Task Force, I would like to address a major change the SSP Program has recently encountered. Beyond Interpreting has already sent details about a new transportation policy, but I wanted to give you some further background information on how this situation came to be, and details on what you can expect moving forward. Beyond Interpreting's lawyer found a significant liability issue in the way the MO SSP Program has been addressing transportation. We discovered that an individual SSP's auto insurance would not be able to cover a DeafBlind consumer if an accident were to occur. Since the SSP is paid for transportation, it is considered a commercial activity and would need to be insured as such. After meeting with representatives of a few major insurance companies, it became clear that the specialized insurance would not be in the budget for the program, nor for the SSPs to purchase on their own. Clearly, this left a difficult situation for the program. Inadequate insurance coverage is not acceptable, as our top priority must be the safety of our consumers and sustainability of the program. Requiring SSPs to obtain expensive insurance is not practical. However, leaving DeafBlind consumers without transportation would be a huge hurdle to accessing services. This is where the solution presented by Beyond Interpreting came up; having an allotted amount of funding for other transportation services (such as Uber, Lyft, taxis, etc.) provides consumers with a way to get to and from appointments, while ensuring that all parties involved are financially covered in the event of an accident. In the short amount of time this solution has been implemented, it quickly became clear that it is not an effective substitute for transportation. So, in order to fully focus efforts on solving this problem, the SSP Program will not be taking new appointments for training or SSP services for at least two weeks. Existing appointments may continue as scheduled. We recognize that this oversight may cause a lot of frustration, and apologize for not considering this issue sooner. We are thankful for your patience and feedback as we continue to evolve our requirements to grow a program that allows DeafBlind individuals to live more independent lives, while maintaining high standards of safety, efficiency, and fairness. The SSP Task Force will be meeting in the near future on a date to be determined. This meeting will primarily focus on evaluating our options for transportation. If you have feedback or ideas to improve transportation in the Missouri SSP Program, please direct them to Beyond Interpreting and/or Emily Morrison with MCDHH. Your suggestions will help guide discussion of the task force in developing new policies for the program. You can expect to receive further updates from Beyond Interpreting on this matter, and, as always, feel free to ask questions if you are unclear on the process.   Sincerely, Emily Morrison Business Operations Manager Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Emily.Morrison@mcdhh.mo.gov Voice, Direct Line: (573) 526-0232

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Accepting Applications: Missouri SSP Program & DeafBlind Scholarship Programs for Independence and Education

July 12, 2019

MCDHH is now accepting applications for the Missouri SSP Program & DeafBlind Scholarship Programs for Independence and Education through Friday, August 9, 2019. Click here for more information.  

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