Jefferson City, MO (June 1, 2018) – The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) is proud to announce that Governor Eric Greitens signed two bills this morning that will impact Deaf and Hard of Hearing Missourians. Senate Bill 814 makes changes to the drivers licensing system and Senate Bill 843 makes changes to the Board for Certification of Interpreters (BCI). These bills are among more than 70 others signed on what will be Greitens’ last day in office.
Senate Bill 814, filed by Senator Jeanie Riddle in the Senate and Representative Lyle Rowland in the House, will make the drivers licensing system more efficient and culturally appropriate for Deaf and Hard of Hearing drivers. For the last several years, the code used to identify hearing loss on a license has been J88; however, many officers have not been able to identify this code quickly. Under the new law, the code will change from J88 to DHH for easier recognition. Additionally, this legislation has removed the outdated term “hearing impaired” from the corresponding laws.
Senate Bill, also sponsored by Senator Riddle, restructures the Board for Certification of Interpreters (BCI) by reducing the number of gubernatorial appointments from five to three. The board will remain housed within MCDHH. This action resulted from findings of the 2017 Governor’s Task Force on Boards and Commissions, whose goal was to eliminate excessive appointments.
MCDHH works with individuals, service providers, businesses, organizations, and state agencies to improve the lives and opportunities of all Deaf and Hard of Hearing Missourians. It functions as an agency of the state to advocate for public policies, regulations, and programs to improve the quality and coordination of existing services for individuals with hearing loss, and to promote new services whenever necessary. More information about MCDHH and the services it offers are available at http://mcdhh.mo.gov.