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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

  • Foster Parent of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Information Panel

    May 14, 2014

    Could you be a Foster Parent to a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child or Youth?


    Foster Parent of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Information Panel

    WHEN: Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
    TIME: 5:30 - 7:30 pm
    WHERE: Nexus 1206 N. Howard Street
    Spokane, WA

    WHEN: Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
    TIME: 5:30 - 7:30 pm
    WHERE: South Eastern Washington Service Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
    124 N. 5th Ave.
    Pasco, WA

    RSVP by June 10th to Meri Waterhouse of DSHS' Children's Administration at

    Sign language interpreters will be provided. To request a hearing loop or other accommodation, contact Berle Ross of the DSHS Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at


  • 2014 DSHS Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Sign Language Interpreters Survey

    May 14, 2014

    A total of 219 sign language interpreters participated in this brief survey from November 4, 2013 to January 27, 2014.  The survey was sponsored by the DSHS Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing and conducted online by DSHS Research and Data Analysis through a Survey Monkey tool. The purpose of the survey is to determine fair and effective terms and rates for the new sign language interpreters contract.

    The survey is posted at


  • Washington State Plan on Aging Survey

    April 28, 2014

    Dear Interested Parties:

    The Aging and Long Term Support Administration (ALTSA), which is a part of DSHS, needs your help. ALTSA is asking the State’s older adults, adults with disabilities, caregivers, and persons who provide paid services to share their views on the needs and main concerns of older state residents and persons with disabilities.

    The confidential information you offer will help ALTSA to plan its services, and to develop a State Plan on Aging for 2015 – 2019. Please complete the following short survey so your valued input can be part of our planning process. We appreciate responses by May 30.

    The link to the survey:

    Thank you for your time. We look forward to your responses and comments.


  • Job Announcement - South Eastern Washington Service Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SEWSCDHH) Executive Director

    April 22, 2014

    SEWSCDHH Executive Director
    Job Description
    or 509-543-9644

    - Bachelor or advanced degree in Business Administration and/or Social Services with
       minimum of 5 years experience in this field of work.
    - Ability to communicate effectively with deaf, hard of hearing and hearing individuals
    - Understanding of Deaf culture and Hard of Hearing issues
    - Knowledge of Federal and State laws related to disability issues
    - Ability to advocate persuasively and effectively
    - Experience in developing and managing annual operating budget
    - Experience with program development and/or project management
    - Ability to supervise and manage staff effectively
    - Experience with word processing and data management programs
    - Good writing skills
    - Willing to travel extensively throughout service region

    General Responsibilities
    - Report to Board of Directors
    - Work with Board of Directors to assure all licenses/permits/legal requirements are current
       and in compliance
    - Develop and manage annual operating budget
    - Assure all contract/grant requirements are satisfied
    - Negotiate new service contracts
    - Implement and oversee all client programs
    - Develop new programs as needed
    - Develop and/or revise as necessary operating procedures
    - Supervise staff and volunteers
    - Provide staff training as needed
    - Attend Regional Directors, ODHH Advisory Committee, and Board of Directors meeting

    Specific Responsibilities

    1. Report to Board of Directors
          a. Present monthly report at monthly Board of Directors meeting
          b. Maintain regular communication with Board members by phone or email

    2. Work with Board of Directors to assure all licenses/permits/legal requirements are current
        and in compliance
                c. Maintain city business license
                d. Maintain vendor registration from State Department of General Administration
                e. Maintain master license from the Secretary of State

    3.  In conjunction with the Board of Directors develop and implement business strategic
               f.  Periodically meet with community focus groups to establish community needs
               g. Develop and implement marketing/outreach plan
               h. Network with other agencies to assess cooperative service capabilities

    4.  Develop and manage annual operating budget
               i. Develop annual operating budget ( effective July 1-June 30 of each year) and
                  submit to Board of Directors for approval
               j.  Develop service contract budgets to be included within operating budget 
                   bookkeeping to assure receivables and payables are current
               k. Work with bookkeeper to revise as necessary accounting procedures
               l.  Provide monthly financial report to Board Treasurer
               m. Assure annual audit is performed by Accounting firm
               n.  Copies of audit to e given to Board of Directors and ODHH

    5. Assure all contract/grant requirements are satisfied
               o. Maintain regular business hours
               p. Review and be familiar with all contract/grant requirements
               q. Assess implementation and make periodic adjustments as needed
               r. Fill out and submit monthly/quarterly reports as required
               s. Meet with ODHH contract supervisor as required

    6. Seek out and negotiate service contracts
               t. Review and revise yearly contracts
               u. Seek out and develop new program contracts
               v. Work with attorney if necessary to protect SEWSCDHH interests

    7. Implement and oversee all client programs 
               w. Develop strategic plan for implementing client programs
               x.  Establish outcome goal benchmarks
               y. Assure programs are implemented
               z. Review and revise as needed all client forms
               aa. Using  benchmarks, assess effectiveness of programs and revise as needed

    8. Develop new programs as needed
              bb.  Using focus groups and surveys assess community needs
              cc. Research legal requirements for program implementation
              dd.  Obtain funding for program
              ee Develop plan for implementing program

    9. Supervise staff and volunteers
               ff.   Develop and implement procedures for client services
               gg.  Maintain regular communication with staff members
               hh.  Update job descriptions as needed
               ii.   Recruit volunteers as needed
               jj.   Provide yearly employee evaluations
               kk.  Revise employee forms as needed

    10.  Provide staff training as needed
               ll. Provide one hour HIPAA training twice each month
               mm. Provide professional training opportunities through in-house workshops or
                      outside seminars
               nn.  Review and revise policies and procedures as necessary and provide periodic
                    training to staff

    11.  Attend Regional Directors, ODHH Advisory committee, and Board of Directors meetings
               oo. Attend monthly Board of Directors meeting
               pp.  Attend Quarterly (approximately) Regional Directors meeting in conjunction with
                    ODHH Advisory Committee meeting


  • 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

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

Summer 2014

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

Seattle Mariners Begin 2014 Season with Open Captions
Success Stories of
ODHH Contracted Services
Special Telephone Equipment
Welcome New ODHH Staff
Dan Bridge
Angela Theriault
Deba Pietsch
Char Parsley
Cori Jones

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.