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July 2018

July 2018 Issue

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Education + Advocacy = Action

CCDHHDB working in collaboration with the Colorado Deafblind Task Force sponsored a community forum on June 9th. The Deafblind Task force chose to have the afternoon discussion focus on transportation challenges and solutions as one of the more pressing needs. CCDHHDB funded and facilitated the forum to include the discussion of transportation challenges/solutions facing the deafblind community. Kate Williams of Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council (DRMAC) and an elected Board member of Directors of the Regional Transportation District, shared information about transportation resources that are available in the Denver Metro area. She shared the “Getting There Guide,” a transportation resource guide. The guides are available by calling DRMAC at 303-243-3113. The guide provides a list of available transportation options, which was of interest to individuals who are deafblind and to those who are in need of accessible public transit.

At the end of the forum a survey was conducted and 2 of the top 5 concerns included transportation and hearing dogs.

Service animal means any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items (retrieved from Electronic Code of Federal Regulations https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=d315855e2f2c9f940970f4c191349c12&rgn=div5&view=text&node=49: e-CFR data is current as of July 10, 2018). Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

CCDHHDB does not use “impaired” terminology. The above quote is taken directly from Federal Regulations.

There was inquiry from the Deafblind forum audience as to whether or not documentation of service animal status was required for the service animal to be allowed on public transit. The presenter responded “yes, certification is required.” However, according to ADA.GOV this response is erroneous. ADA regulations state: “when it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.”

Generally, title II (state and local governmental) and title III (public accommodations) entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go. However, under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. If the individual does not appear to be under control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or if the dog is not housebroken, then there is a legitimate reason to ask that the service animal to be removed. Additional information relative to this topic was retrieved from the e-CFR data cited above:

  1. Caring for Service Animals. A paratransit or fixed route (Fixed route system means a system of transporting individuals (other than by aircraft), including the provision of designated public transportation service by public entities and the provision of transportation service by private entities, including, but not limited to, specified public transportation service, on which a vehicle is operated along a prescribed route according to a fixed schedule) a passenger’s request that the driver take charge of a service animal may be denied. Caring for a service animal is the responsibility of the passenger or a PCA.

 Rural Interpreting Services Project (Pilot)

CCDHHDB is establishing the Rural Interpreting Services Project (RISP) Pilot, which will provide and fund ASL/English interpreting services for rural Coloradans. The goal of this pilot is to improve access to effective communication for deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind persons in rural communities.

The pilot has three components:

  • Scheduling and funding ASL/English interpreting services for rural communities;
  • Funding training and mentoring opportunities for interpreting students, interpreters-in-training and newly certified interpreters who commit to working in rural areas of the state; and
  • Conducting outreach to those in rural communities who need ASL/English interpreting services and to those who may be interested in becoming interpreters.

The RISP Pilot is in the initial planning phase. The first RISP Pilot Stakeholder Committee meeting will be held in early August 2018 and ASL/English interpreting services will be available to rural Coloradans starting in August 2018. RISP Pilot town hall meetings will be held across the state beginning in late summer or early fall 2018. More information will be posted at a later date.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and feedback with CCDHHDB as it moves forward. The RISP Pilot email address is ccdhhdb_risp@state.co.us. The CCDHHDB web site will be updated soon with information on the RISP Pilot.

Interesting facts about Colorado:

Area Codes: 4

Counties: 64

Cities: 399

Zip codes: 643

HB 18-1108 Renames CCDHH to the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind (CCDHHDB)

Governor John Hicklenlooper signed House Bill (HB) 18-1108 into law on May 29, 2018.

This bill includes the following key changes:

  • Change the name of the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to the “Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind.”
  • Clarify and update definitions
  • Attach the term “deafblind” to “deaf and hard of hearing” throughout the statutes.
  • Change the position title of the CCDHHDB administrator to “director.”
  • Change the name of the Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program to “Communications Technology Program.”
  • Allow, as a pilot, CCDHHDB to coordinate auxiliary services for state agencies in the Executive Branch.
  • Create the Colorado DeafBlind Citizens Council as an official advisory committee to address deafblind issues and needs for CCDHHDB and the state.
  • Ensure transparency that CCDHHDB includes wording of the Community Access Program (deafblind services specifically), as HB 16-1414 did not have language that defined it.
  • Clarify the authority of CCDHHDB Legal Auxiliary Services to provide auxiliary services.

HB 16-1414 was signed into law by Governor Hicklenlooper on May 4, 2016 to enact a monthly surcharge on customers of voice telecommunications providers (VoIP and wireless) to fund the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) for telephone users with disabilities, and, in connection, making an appropriation for CCDHHDB’s DeafBlind Services to include two full-time equivalent positions.

The amendment includes language change to the Legal Auxiliary Services statute, 13-90-(201-210), C.R.S.  It allows consistency within the CCDHHDB statutory changes regarding name change and clarification of programs.  It also cleaned up areas of confusion that existed within the statutes regarding the statutory authority of Legal Auxiliary Services.

This amendment also reaffirms CCDHHDB’s mission to build seamless, effective resources that community stakeholders deserve.

Please contact us if you need a copy of HB 18-1108.

2018 Susan J. Elliott Award

In June 2018, CCDHHDB gave Ms. Emy Lopez the Susan J. Elliott Award in recognition of her
years of support for the Legal Auxiliary Services (LAS) program. As the Program Administrator
for the Office of Language Access (OLA) at the State Court Administrator’s Office, Lopez
oversaw the spoken language interpreter certification process and interpreting services in all 22
judicial districts. In 2006, she was an active supporter of Senate Bill 06-061, which established
the LAS program to ensure effective communication for deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind
persons in the state. Once LAS was created under C.R.S. 13-90-201, et seq., Lopez served as a
mentor to CCDHHDB staff in establishing the new program and developing solid working
relationships with courts and personnel all across the state. She was steadfast in including LAS
in statewide program and policy planning, and also was an active supporter of LAS on the
national level with the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC) and the
National Center for State Courts (NCSC). Lopez’s guidance and wisdom were invaluable in
helping LAS grow into the solid program that it is today. She recently left her position at OLA
and CCDHHDB wishes her all the best in the next phase of her career.

Lifeline Discount Limits

Did you know that Lifeline subscribers may receive a discount on either a wireline or a wireless service, but may not receive a discount on both services at the same time? Lifeline also supports broadband and broadband-voice bundles. FCC rules prohibit more than one Lifeline service per household.

If you have Lifeline for wireless service and are in need of home phone service for amplification, remember that the Communications Technology Program offers Bluetooth-enabled home phones that pair with your existing cell phone via Bluetooth, which all simple flip and smart phones should have.

This allows a person to have a home-based phone with amplification without having to subscribe to home phone service.

Contact JoAnne Hirsch, Communications Technology Program Manager, at (303) 866-2097 or email joanne.hirsch@state.co.us for more information or an application.

Notice of the Commission Meeting 

The next quarterly Commission meeting will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 6, 2018.

Location and Agenda: TBA


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