West Virginia Commission
for the
Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Picture of waterfall

Board Meeting Minutes
Thursday, September 6, 2001

Members present:
Jimmy Harrison
Delores Pyles
Pierre Sevigny
Alice Kennedy
Gary Vandevander
Dr. Charles Abraham
Shana Phares
Pat Moss
Barbara King
Ben Dettinger for Pam Roush
J.D. Corbin
Charity Reedy Hines
Kara Russell

Dr. Mike Sullivan
Dr. Dee Bodkins

Veronda Harrison
Roy Pyles
James Ennis


I. Welcome

The meeting was called to order at 1:17 by Pierre Sevigny.

Reading of the Minutes

Minutes from the April 26, 2001 meeting were read. Modifications were made to the minutes and a motion to accept the modification was made by Dr. Abraham, seconded by Gary Vandevander, Motion Carried.

Old Business

a) We need to distribute Senate Bill SB662 for Board Review. This bill was introduced to establish a hearing aid endowment fund, but died in committee.

b) Funding for the Commission was discussed. A question was asked as to who funds the Commission and is there anyway to use the provider tax to help with funding. It was explained that the Commission is funded by state appropriations and that the provider tax is gradually being phased out.

New Business

a) Resource Library: Board needs to decide where the library will be located, the times it is to be open, tracking and internet capabilities. There was discussion about putting everything on the internet and asking people to give a credit card number as security for the loan program. The Board decided to have someone explore the possibilities for the Commission, so far we have identified possibilities of having the Resource Library at DRS, public libraries or the School for the Deaf. It was also suggested that maybe county libraries could lend out and recover books. Right now function is more important than access. Motion was made by Dr. Abraham to have Shana Phares and Jennifer Burgess be the subcommittee, seconded by Pat Moss, motion carried.

b) Legislative Fiscal Note Contact Person: Charity will be the main contact person at the Commission then the Deputy Director. Discussion was held on a backup contact person. Delores Pyles made a motion that Barbara King along with Shana Phares be the backup contact. Seconded by Jimmy Harrison, motion carried.

c) Reclassification of staffing: We have two new positions. Our wage for Executive Director is not competitive given the job classification. Dr. Abraham made the motion that Pat Moss do research on this along with Charity, time frame after first of the year 2002. Alice Kennedy seconded, motion carried

d) ASL as a Foreign Language in schools: Subcommittee needs to be formed to explore the 1995 Department of Education/ Senate Bill 1000 that was passed recognizing sign language as a foreign language. The implementation of this bill has not been put into action. Motion was made by Gary Vandevander to ask Dr. Bodkins to chair this committee with assistance from Alice Kennedy. Alice Kennedy seconded, motion carried.

e) Name change for TTY Distribution Program: Gary Vandevander mentioned the name change is rather long if changed to Telephonic Devices for Individuals with Communication Access Needs. It was explained that people can be deaf and have low vision. We have deaf and hard of hearing, speech impairments, deaf/blind and deaf/low vision. The Board felt the name was cumbersome and an acronym would not work with this program name. Other possible names are Communication Access Distribution Program, Communication Access Program, Communication Devices Program, Telephonic Access Communication Devices (TACD) and Telephonic Communication Devices Loan Program (TCD). Jimmy Harrison made a motion to use Telephonic Communication Device Loan Program as the name. Delores Pyles seconded, motion passed.

Executive Directorís Report

a) Deaf Awareness Day is planned for September 15, 2001 in Beckley from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Crossroads Mall.

b) Two thousand Public Awareness Kits will be distributed. Alice Kennedy recommended that the kits be distributed at the end of Deaf Camp for parents.

c) Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf has a proposal to preclude interpreters from certification in the future unless they have a bachelorís degree at the time of taking the Certified Interpreter/RID Evaluation.

d) Kara went to Florida for the Educational Interpreting and RID Conference and met with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). NAD has decided to start training people to give interpreter testing. Educational interpreter testing is being explored. Kevin Williams from Nebraska is willing to come to WV to work with WVCDHH and WV Department of Education to assist with training to improve interpreter skills and for educational interpreter evaluations. It will cost $225.00 to take the test. The Commission will videotape the test performance and send it to Mr. Williams for screening. We are waiting for additional information and materials from Mr. Williams.

e) Interviews were conducted for the two new positions. They will be filled as soon as the paperwork is finished.

f) Improvement Package: We missed DHHRís deadline date for submitting the request for appropriation, we hope to obtain an extension. More fiscal resources are needed to support interpreter training and testing.

g) Discussion of future meetings: Dates were distributed for members to schedule board meetings for the calendar year 2002. There were comments from the board concerning March 13th conflicting with the end of the Legislative session, recommendations were made to change the date to March 28. A reminder was given for the next two board meetings: November 8 and December 13. Both meetings will be held at the DRS.

h) Annual Report 2001: A copy of the Annual Report was distributed to each member present. The Annual Report was hand delivered by Ms. Russell on June 29, the date it was due. A database has been developed to organize and assist the staff in obtaining information for the next Annual Report, the database should be completed in October.

i) Activity timeline: Distributed for Board, shows actual schedule of activities, dates and results of events within the Commission.

j) Board Retreat Summary: Distributed for board members to review and be aware of what is expected over the next year.

k) Legislative Agenda: Charity discussed issues concerning the following bills; Hearing Aid Coverage, Driverís License Coding (with DMV), and eduational interpreter classification. Shana Phares recommended the Executive Director meet with John Law, to discuss concerns, issues or to obtain assistance with legislative drafts, etc. John Law works for the Secretary of DHHR.

VI: Executive Session

Pierre Sevigny, Chair of the board made a motion to go into Executive Session for an Employee Performance Appraisal. The motion was seconded by Shana Phares, motion passed.

Pierre Sevigny made a motion to return to regular session. Motion was seconded by Delores Pyles, motion passed.

VII: Announcements

Board Members were surprised with Polo and T-Shirts with the Commission logo on them.

VIII: Adjournment

Gary Vandevander made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 4:25 p.m. Alice Kennedy seconded, motion passed. Meeting was adjourned at 4:25.

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