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Get the latest information and happenings about ODHH here. ODHH has E-News, a newsletter and DSHS news releases. E-News announces the latest information about ODHH, legislative bills, government news related to disabilities, or government job vacancies for people with disabilities. To subscribe, please complete the "Individuals: Subscription and Directory" form. We do not distribute on behalf of non-profits or businesses. However you may request a listing of various listservs via email at

2014 Announcements - The Latest

  • DVR State Plan Public Forum Announcement

    April 17, 2014


    The Department of Social and Health Services Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)& The Washington State Rehabilitation Council (WSRC) Invite you to help us update DVR’s State Plan:

    Why does DVR do a State Plan and what time period is covered?The State Plan is required by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), a part of the US Department of Education. RSA provides federal funds to DVR and monitors DVR’s performance. The State Plan is developed to ensure that DVR fully carries out the federal Rehabilitation Act and shapes the way we deliver vocational rehabilitation services to customers. DVR is required to update the existing 2014 State Plan for the time period

    What is contained in the DVR State Plan?
    The State Plan is made up of a series of documents that describe DVR’s goals, priorities, strategies and other activities that will be carried out during October 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. DVR and the WSRC are hosting three meetings in different locations around the state. If you are interested in where we are going and would like to help guide our direction, please plan to attend one of the meeting to share your thoughts.

    Join us at the meeting nearest you:
    May 22nd – Spokane
    10:00 – Noon
    DVR Office
    1313 N Atlantic, Suite 1000
    Spokane, WA  99201 Conference Room 1
    (Rockport Conference Room)

    June 3rd – Lynnwood
    1:00 – 3:00 PM
    Creekside Plaza Building/WorkSource
    Multi-Purpose Room, First Floor
    20311 52nd Ave W
    Lynnwood, WA  98036

    June  4th – Lacey
    10:00 – Noon
    DVR Headquarters
    4565 7th Ave. SE
    Lacey, WA  98503

    American Sign Language Interpretation will be provided at each meeting. All meeting locations are wheelchair accessible. Public transportation serves each meeting location.

    You are welcome to request reasonable accommodation including spoken language interpretation at any time by contacting Rayanne at or calling toll free 1-800-637-5627. When we receive requests for reasonable accommodations with ten business days notice we can be better prepared to meet the requests.

    To plan your transit for the Lynnwood meeting call: (425) 353-RIDE (7433), 6:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. weekdays. For Lacey meeting: local calls 360-786-1881; calls from outside Thurston County 1-800-287-6348. For the Spokane Meeting: (5096) 328-RIDE (7433), TTY 456-4327 Mon-Fri 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

  • FCC Launches Webpage with Best Practices for Implementing Text - to - 911

    April 10, 2014

    This message is being forwarded on behalf of Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

    FCC Launches Webpage with Best Practices for Implementing Text-to-911
    by:  Admiral David Simpson, Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau 

    March 7, 2014

    Today we launched an interactive webpage with best practices to assist text message providers and 911 call centers with deploying text-to-911. 

    The webpage contains materials prepared by Vermont, Texas, and other state 911 call centers (known as public safety answering points or PSAPs) that have already successfully integrated text-to-911, with expertise and insight that can ease the deployment process for others.  For example, the State of Vermont has developed a list of “lessons learned” from its highly successful text-to-911 implementation as well as a series of informational videos for potential text-to-911 users.

    The webpage is a tool enabling text providers and PSAPs to contribute and refer to comments, best practices, and informational materials.  It additionally contains documents from public safety organizations NENA and APCO, with Frequently Asked Questions, a checklist of issues that 911 call centers should consider, and technological options available to support text-to-911.

    Why is this important?  In today’s world, wireless usage has become increasingly text-based. Yet in most parts of the country, if you send a text message to 911 during an emergency, it won’t be received.  Being able to text during an emergency is essential for the tens of millions of Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities. Texting can also provide an alternative means of contacting 911 when a voice call may place someone in danger, such as in an active shooter or domestic abuse situation, or when voice networks are congested.

    For these reasons, the Commission has made text-to-911 a priority.  In January the Commission adopted a Policy Statement in favor of making text-to-911 available on all text platforms that support interconnected texting. The Commission recognized the leadership of the nation’s four largest wireless carriers, who have voluntarily committed to support text-to-911 service by May 15, 2014, in areas where the local PSAP can accept texts.  The Commission also encouraged other wireless providers and interconnected text providers to similarly support text-to-911 and proposed that they do so by the end of the year.

    These actions set the table for text-to-911.  For this potentially life-saving service to be uniformly available nationwide, however, all text providers and PSAPs need to do their part. I recently had the chance to visit a wonderfully run PSAP in Seminole County, Florida, where I was able to discuss both the value that text-to-911 will provide in communities and see the hurdles with implementing text capabilities. We know that the public safety community faces funding and operational challenges in adopting new services.  But we have also seen how text-to-911 pioneers – PSAPs, wireless providers, and vendors –have worked together to overcome these challenges.  Our new webpage is intended to capture these lessons and enable stakeholders to learn from one another. We hope you will take part.

  • Correction - FCC announces deadlines for comments on Closed Caption Quality and effective dates of the new rules

    April 10, 2014

    This email is being forwarded on behalf of Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

    On February 20, 2014, the FCC adopted a Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, and a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) addressing the quality and technical compliance of closed captioning on television programming, to ensure that video programming is fully accessible to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.  

    Public Comment Due Dates:  There are two sets of deadlines for public comments on proposals to improve television closed captioning quality standards: 

    For Section on Responsibilities for Meeting the Closed Captioning Requirements:
    Comments are due by April 28, 2014
    Reply Comments are due by May 27, 2014

    For Remaining Sections such as Minimum Captioning Quality Standards and Compliance:
    Comments are due by June 25, 2014
    Reply Comments are due by July 25, 2014

    Effective Dates for New Rules:  The new rules relating to equipment monitoring and electronic filing of exemption requests will become effective on April 30, 2014.  New rules relating to the Use of ‘‘Electronic Newsroom Technique’’ will become effective on June 30, 2014.  The new standards and rules for ensuring quality closed captioning will become effective on January 15, 2015.

    Links to the Public Notice:

    Links to the Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:

    For further information, contact Eliot Greenwald, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Disability Rights Office, 202-418-2235 or email

  • FREE 1-Day Interpreting Training in Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Cases

    April 9, 2014

    FREE 1-Day Training in Three Locations
    Interpreting in Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Cases

    Thursday, May 15 - Hyatt at Olive 8, Seattle
    Friday, May 16 - Radisson Hotel, SeaTac
    Saturday, May 17 - Northern Quest, Spokane

    The training focuses on interpretation in the context of a domestic or sexual violence case. Training content includes:

    • Domestic and sexual violence concepts & vocabulary exercises
    • A discussion on "language privilege" and how it affects victim stories

    • Cultural impacts and bias
    • Nuances of domestic and sexual violence in Interpreter Guiding Principles
    • Interpreter roles vs. bilingual advocate roles
    • Impact of language specifically in sexual assault cases
    • Mock Attorney Client Interview

    Up to 6.5 CEUs and .7 RID CEUs, Pending Approval

    Who Should Attend:

    • Washington Administrative Office of the Courts Certified and Registered Court Interpreters*
    • Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID)-Certified Interpreters*
    • Court Interpreter Coordinators*
    • Courthouse Facilitators*
    • Advocates

    *Travel-related costs (lodging, airfare, mileage, per diem) will be paid for court staff and credentialed interpreters to attend this training
    With national experts from the Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence and the Center for Court Innovation.

    For more information contact: Tina Williamson at  

    To register click here:

    (or paste in your web browser)  

    Sponsored by: The Washington State Supreme Court Interpreter Commission, Gender & Justice Commission, Minority & Justice Commission and the Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, DSHS

  • Position Opening - Client Advocate - Seattle

    April 9, 2014

    This message is being forwarded on behalf of Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center in Seattle.

    Good afternoon,
    My name is Rachael and I am the new Human Resources Administrator for the Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center. I am pleased to inform you that we have a position opening for a Client Advocate in our Seattle office. The ideal candidate would have the following experience/skills: 

    • Fluent in ASL
    • Knowledge of Deaf culture
    • Knowledge of Deaf, Deaf-Blind and hard of hearing legal rights
    • A minimum of two years of experience in case management
    • Proficient in written English
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Strong computer skills.

    To get the full job description, go to the link to our careers page:

    If you know someone who meets the position requirements and would be an asset to HSDC and the Deaf and hard of hearing communities, please send them the link to our careers page. They can contact Ariele Belo, Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, at, or they can e-mail me directly.

    Thank you, and have a wonderful afternoon.
    Kindest Regards,

    Rachael A. Hibbs

    Human Resources Administrator
    Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center
    Celebrating 75+Years of Serving You!

  • DSHS RFP 1334-481 - Deaf and Hard of Hearing Cultural Awareness Training

    March 26, 2014

    The State of Washington, Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, has issued an RFP on March 25, 2014, to solicit proposals from individuals and firms interested in participating in a project to provide training to DVR staff on working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing colleagues and how to successfully serve Deaf and Hard of Hearing customers.

    You may access this RFP on the following websites:

  • Washington Relay Presents Taste Of Technology

    March 24, 2014

    Announcement: Washington Relay Presents Taste of Technology
    This is a FREE event open to anyone who is interested in learning more about technology that meet the needs of deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and speech-disabled individuals. 

    To register for this event, click here: (DEADLINE by May 3, 2014)

    WHEN: Saturday, May 10, 2014

    TIME:  10 am – 4 pm

    WHERE: Hotel Marano
                  1320 Broadway Plaza
                  Tacoma, WA 98402

    PROGRAMS (tentative)
     9:00-10:00                       Registration
    10:00 – 10:45                    Keynote Speaker
    11:00 – 12:00                    Vendor Presentations:               
                                                 Speech Technology & Telecommunications
    12:00 – 1:30                      Lunch and Entertainment
     2:00 – 4:00                        Vendor Presentations:
                                                 Mobility, Vision and Technology in the Workplace

    Accommodation Request: If you need CART (captioning) or ASL/tactile interpreting services, please contact Cindy Campbell via email at or call at 877-271-7620 (Voice/TTY) or videophone at 541-418-4726 by April 20, 2014.

    NOTE: Auditory loop will be provided by Hearing Loop NW.
    For more information, contact Cindy Campbell –

Past Announcements:


ODHH publishes newsletters, "Community Review", up to four times a year. Newsletters contain four to ten pages of news, updates and resources. Our newsletters are available in alternative formats.


Current Issue Inside Community Review

Winter 2014

TXT, PDF (English), PDF (English, large print)

Boeing Outreach Effort Wins Washington State Governor’s Award
Do you have a success story?
Could You Be a Caring Foster Parent for a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child?
Deaf Interpreter Standards for Education
Let’s Loop DSHS
Statewide Community Calendar of Events
Putting the Hearing Loop to Work Works
Dear Fellow Washington Citizens
Welcome to Our New Intern
Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Transitions to Aging and Long-Term Support
ODHH Contact Information

ODHH Newsletter Archive to view past issues

DSHS News Releases

The following is a listing of DSHS news releases featuring ODHH. News releases will be added as they become available. news releases from prior years can be found in our archives. For more information on news releases contact ODHH at (360) 902-8000 or the DSHS Media Relations Office at (360) 902-7829.


We will be posting video logs (VLogs) on YouTube DSHS/ODHH channel to explain important announcements or issues in American Sign Language . For some deaf people, ASL is their first language. To be accessible to all people we will include captioning and text files.