On June 7, 2012 from 6p - 8, the MCDHH Statewide Advisory Council met.
I asked about MCDHH's communication plan. It recently
wrote a contract that allows it to make accessible vlogs (English, ASL,
and English captioning). The cost of a typical vlog is about $500, most
of the cost of which is translation expenses, so vlogs must be made
judiciously given budget restraints. On a related note, the translation
of materials from English to ASL (or ASL to English) is costly. For
example, the translation of the interpreter contract, or perhaps the
interpreter manual, into ASL would cost $20,000. This does not mean the
pursuit of bilingual materials is futile. Given the situation, a way
has to be found.
Given the current economic climate and funding cuts over
the last few years, I asked whether it was time to bring in an external
organizational consultant. MCDHH responded that a consultant had been
considered but was too expensive. They report they have done their own
internal assessments and have four priority areas to help them achieve
their vision. Information about the priority areas (Effective
Government, Community Connected Services, Education, and Workforce
Development) can be found under mission and vision on the website: www.mass.gov/mcdhh.
With these remarks I am still left wondering about effective
communication. MCDHH no longer has a newsletter, and it has no person
or department responsible for active and intentional dissemination of
information, great and small. What have been your experiences in
communication with the Commission?
At the meeting, we discussed the Deaf Child's Rights
Bill, which has been in formulation for about 15 years and which has
finally reached an iteration that has the potential to be passed by the
legislature. The SAC reviewed the bill and made recommendations to the
Commissioner supporting the bill as written.
Good news from the interpreter referral department: the
department will soon acquire new software for interpreter referral that
should greatly improve the booking process for everyone involved.
Roll-out should begin the fall and early winter.
As always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
SAC meetings are open to the public, so feel free to attend. Please
notify MCDHH of your intention to attend. The SAC is always in search
of new members, and if you're interested, consider applying. Members
include Deaf and hard of hearing people, interpreters, educators of Deaf
students, individuals who work at independent living centers, and
more. If you're interested, contact me.
That's all for now. Thanks all.
I wanted to announce that I just became a member of the Mass Commission
for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Statewide Advisory Council (SAC). I am
not a representative of interpreters, or of MassRID, or of any other
group, but I am happy to do my best to make the proceedings of the SAC
known to the community, and to bring the concerns of the community to
the SAC meetings. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns,
feel free to be in touch. Thanks, all.
Nathan Fowler, NIC-A
RID Nationally Certified Interpreter
MCDHH SAC Member