West Virginia Commission
for the
Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Picture of waterfall

West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Board Meeting Minutes
Thursday, April 26, 2001

Members present: Shana Phares, Jimmy Harrison, Jennifer Burgess, Pierre Sevigny, Delores Pyles, Dr. Charles Abraham, Pat Moss, Pam Roush, J.D. Corbin, Kay Johnston, Dr. Mike Sullivan, Barbara King

WVCDHH Staff:   Kara Russell

Absent:  Alice Kennedy, Gary Vandevander

Visitors:   Roy Pyles

I. Welcome

The meeting was called to order by Jimmy Harrison at 1:13 PM. Introductions were made. New board member, Jennifer Burgess, representing Jim Lewis of DOL, was welcomed, as was Kay Johnston, representing Dr. Dee Bodkins. For the first time in board history, all ex-officio members were represented. Due to family illness, Charity Reedy Hines was unable to attend. The WVCDHH was represented by Kara Russell.

II. Reading of the Minutes

Minutes from the November 16, 2000 meeting were read. No discussion or changes followed. Barbara King moved the minutes be approved, and seconded by Pierre Sevigny. Motion carried.

III. Old Business

a) Kara presented an overview of the strategy planning from the last retreat and subsequent results of activities.

b) The Resource Handbook is currently under development. Response for input from board members was extremely limited. Staff is currently looking at printing prices.

c )TTY distribution has temporarily ceased, due to depletion of stock. 50 TTYs have been loaned out.

d) The Annual Report was distributed to legislators prior to the start of the legislative session.

e )A budget increase was requested. Current budget is $268,000.

f) The Task Force bidding process will start over. The only bid received was withdrawn. Charity will be meeting with Cabinet Secretary of DHHR on May 2 to review status. Alternate plans may be needed. The Department of Education has already implemented their task force subcommittee.

g) Due to confidentiality issues, the data base setup has been delayed. A meeting with MIS staff will address these concerns. Much discussion ensued regarding the establishment of the census and register. It was suggested that a subcommittee be formed to pursue the establishment of the data base.

h) The interpreting directory went to print this week.

i) Terri Richardson, mother of a deaf child, is the WVCDHH secretary.

j) The office has completed its relocation.

k) Communication continues with the Emergency Broadcast System to ensure that all emergency notices are captioned.

l) There continue to be concerns regarding the WV relay - lack of skilled CAs, delays in answering calls, and other issues are being addressed with Verizon.

m) Methods of identifying automobile drivers who are deaf and hard of hearing are being explored with DMV. A system similar to one used in Michigan could help reduce the harassment that occurs too frequently by state and municipal police.

n )A stronger network has been established with AARP and the Bureau of Senior Services. Senate Bill 662 was introduced to establish a hearing aid endowment fund, but died in committee.

o) The agenda and other related material for the WVAD meeting in Wheeling had been sent to Dee Bodkin. Due to limited training funds, counselors for the deaf have been unable to attend past WVAD conferences. It was suggested that WVCDHH explore the possibility of providing stipends to support RCD attendance.

IV. New Business:

a) New board member appointments are in limbo. This issue will be discussed the Paul Nusbaum on May 2.

b )Pierre Sevigny was nominated by Delores Pyles as the new chairperson. The motion was seconded and carried.

c) The following dates were chosen for the remaining WVCDHH board meetings: June 8 (after graduation, 12 - 2 PM, WVSD); September 6 (WVDRS - Large Conference Room); November 8 (WVDRS - Large Conference Room). An alternative date of December 13 (WVDRS - Large Conference Room) was chosen if a quorum could not be obtained for any of the previously listed meeting dates. Motion was made by Mike Sullivan and seconded by Pierre Sevigny. Motion carried. It was suggested that the Commission staff suggest dates for meetings in 2002, obtain feedback from members regarding availability and then set the calendar for the whole year. This would eliminate spending time at board meetings on this issue.

d) TTY loan program' s stock is depleted. There is a waiting list for 7 TTYs, 5 amplified phones and 4 voice carry-over phones. Approximately $148,000 is available in the Commission budget to purchase the needed equipment. Pat Roush moved that the Commission explore all reasonable options to use general revenue resources to purchase TTYs and other equipment prior to the end of the fiscal year. Seconded by Shana Phares. Motion carried.

e) Executive Director's Report: See handouts from Charity

significant increase in office activities since relocation (see performance Measures sheet)

2 new office positions will be advertised in May - HHR Specialist (Interpreter coordinator); and HHR Specialist, Sr. (administrative assistant)

Interpreter directory (renamed Communication Access and ASL Teacher Directory) shows a decrease in the number of interpreters due to relocation, lack of interest or certification.

Legislative activities; SB 662 may be reintroduced next year with new wording and help from Del. Sharon Spencer. It was suggested that PEIA include hearing aids under benefits and that PEIA advocate for this change.

f)  Kara's report:

RID testing site approval is pending.

TTY loaner programs in other states are being explored as changes are made in our program.

The role of the commission was clarified, as there appeared to be lack of understanding re: Charity's role and responsibilities.

V. Agenda topics for June 8 meeting:

a) Focus on legislation re: establishment of commission; and the intent of the registration and census, to provide clarification and direction.

b) Charity' s mid- year evaluation. Motion was made by Dr. Abraham and seconded by Mike Sullivan, to establish a sub-committee, comprised of Barbara King, Dee Bodkin and Pierre Sevigny, to conduct Charity's mid-year evaluation. Input from all board members will be solicited and returned to the subcommittee (Barbara King) no later than May 30, for compilation and review.

VI. Announcements:

Exhibit spots at the WVAD meeting are available for $100 /table. This is a good opportunity for public awareness. Jimmy Harrison will re-send applications for exhibit space if requested. His email is jharrison5@aol.com.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:25 PM


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