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Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Kansas Commission for (KCDHH)
The mission of the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) is to advocate for and facilitate equal access to quality, coordinated and comprehensive services that enhance the quality of life for Kansans who are deaf and hard of hearing.
The Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) is a state agency authorized to develop and implement a program of information and referral; advocacy; public education; and direct services. Based in Topeka, KCDHH works with other organizations throughout Kansas to assure coordination and availability of services for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Interpreter referral and coordination: KCDHH helps state agencies, hospitals, law enforcement organizations, court and business locate professional interpreters.
Kansas Quality Assurance Screening (KQAS): KCDHH administers the performance portions of the KQAS, which is a certification system for determining skill levels of interpreters. The purpose is to help assure quality services and standards of professionalism among sign language interpreters.
Safety Communication Visor: A vehicle visor, available through KCDHH, helps law enforcement and emergency response officials quickly identify drivers who may be deaf or hard of hearing. The Visor indicates that special communication techniques may be needed.
KCDHH is also responsible for these functions:
Maintains and provides information and referral
Advocates for communication access ranging from education to employment.
Maintains the state-wide registry of interpreters working in the state of Kansas
Consults with the Legislature on hearing loss issues.
Participates on task forces and advisory boards.
Conducts awareness trainings and workshops related to Deaf culture, sign language interpreting, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), etc.
Manages a lending library with over 500 materials ranging from sign language skill building to Deaf culture.
What KCDHH CAN Do for You:
Information and Referral:
• We CAN refer you to an agency that may be able to serve your needs such as Rehabilitation Services, mental health services, etc. Example: You are looking for a licensed audiologist for a hearing evaluation; or you need a list of interpreters within your county.
Advocacy, Education or Awareness –
• We CAN participate in planning of projects, advocate and/or testify for such public policy change. Example: KCDHH can help set up a committee to draft a public policy change such as legislation to improve the quality of life for the Deaf and hard of hearing.
• We CAN provide informational workshops on self-advocacy, use of interpreters, etc. Example: KCDHH will collaborate with other organizations in providing workshops or seminars on various topics such as the ADA.
• We CAN provide information on the ADA to employers and private entities such as physicians and lawyers. Example: If you are unable to explain your rights under the ADA law to your employer, we can provide the employer with information.
What KCDHH CANNOT Do for You:
• We CANNOT administer projects, programs or grants. We are not a funding source. Example: KCDHH does not have separate funding sources for providing Deaf and hard of hearing advocates for each region of the state of Kansas.
• We CANNOT implement new programs. Example: If people express a need for programs (i.e., public safety training), KCDHH cannot create a program but will collaborate with other agencies or organizations to create such programs.
• We CANNOT pay for or sponsor legal services, case management or independent living skills training. Example: KCDHH does not have funding to provide independent living skills training, but can refer you to a Center for Independent Living.
• We CANNOT provide case-by-case advocacy for individuals or fine or sue a physician's office for not providing or paying for a sign language interpreter. Example: If a physician refuses to pay for a sign language interpreter, KCDHH has sample letters for medical providers to help Deaf and hard of hearing people self-advocate for accommodations. Alternately, KCDHH will refer you to a lawyer or the Disability Rights Center.
• We CANNOT be a policing agency. Example: KCDHH is not in the position to continuously "police" sign language interpreters' performance in the field after a KQAS examination and certification has been given, however, a grievance policy procedure is in place regarding ethics ("Code of Professional Conduct").
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